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Dear Ann Landers,
What follows was written by Judy Vekasy, a registered nurse and director of activities at a nursing home in Savannah, Tenn. It originally appeared in the Memphis Commercial Appeal. In this season of thanksgiving and just plain giving, I have some suggestions for those who need something to be thankful for, or those who need someone to allow them to give of themselves. Nursing homes are full of opportunities. You say you can't do anything. Can you read? Good. Read to me. My eyes aren't what they used to be. Can you write? Good. Write a letter or a card for me. My hands are shaky. Can you sing? Good. Help me with the words, and I'll sing along. Can you tell me about your job? I was a nurse once myself. Can you listen? Wonderful. I'm starved for conversation. Can you bake a sponge cake or zucchini bread or angel biscuits, or make fudge? They aren't on the nursing home menu, but I remember how good they were, and I would like to taste them again. Do you play checkers or dominos or rummy? Fine, so do I, but there is never anyone who has the time. They are understaffed around here, you know. Do you play the violin or the flute or the piano? My hearing is poor, but I can hear any kind of music. Even if I fall asleep, you'll know I enjoyed it. Once we were somebodies, just like you. We were farmers and farmers' wives and teachers, nurses, beauticians, stockbrokers and electricians, bankers and sheriffs, and maybe a few outlaws, too. We're not all senile -- just old and needing more help than our families can give us. This home, whatever its name, is "home" to us, and you're an invited guest. Please come. The welcome mat is always out. I hope you will keep this and read it in January, February, and every other month of the year. We'll still be here, and our needs will still be the same.

,


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Dear Readers,
, My x-girlfriend who lived with my son and I for 16 years died of cancer. Prior before we knew she had cancer-she moved out because of an addiction problem. We did stay very close before she died. Her x-husband an attorney took over her finances and the burial arrangements. I being financially set was okay with that, whatever they needed I provided. What really hurt my son and I the most was the obituary - we were not mentioned at all. Our friends (mine and hers) were appalled. I was embarrassed and upset for not just me, but for my son-who loved her also. I never been so upset. Her x-husband put his wife and kids and their grandchildren in the obituary, who my girlfriend barely knew. They live an hour away from us. I know its silly to be mad over a little section of the newspaper, but it still hurts. Will time let this devastating loss of her and this article ever go away? I am so angry at this whole situation, its not like we can go and rewrite an obituary notice.

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"Don't accept your dog's admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful."
-Ann Landers