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The care behind a card should be acknowledged

Dear Annie: Frequently, we read letters from your readers who are mystified about the fact that when they send a card or a package carefully wrapped and mailed, the recipient does not even think about the fact that love played a major role in this. We often send cards with money and a note of love to young family members. No reply! Not that we want the receiver to feel obligated; we just want to know that in their busy days they thought of us for at least 15 minutes while they opened what was sent. Hopefully, after reading the note, they would make a quick phone call or send an email. This is not too much to ask of someone who has been shown love, care, time and the encouragement to tackle the world. No, that is not too much to ask. Life is short. Don’t waste time thinking, “Gee, I wish I would have called sooner!” — Concerned Grandparents

Dear Concerned Grandparents: I’m printing your letter because I appreciate the sentiment: Material gifts from family members aren’t about the monetary value but about the thought. And they should be received in kind: with thoughtfulness.

However, I do have to note that the phone line goes both ways: Don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and call your grandkids.

Dear Annie: When our family was dealing through the illnesses and deaths of my parents, there was tension because everyone wanted to do things differently and hold to their own ideas. A counselor I saw a few times to help with my stress suggested that all my statements should focus on “we.” For example, “Are we sure that moving mom at this time is the right course of action?”

It worked! I was including my siblings in the conversations and inadvertently opening up my mind to listen to their ideas. — Cheryl M.

Dear Cheryl: It’s wonderful to hear how this tried-and-true “we” technique is not only a way of encouraging others to hear you but also a way of encouraging yourself to hear others. Thanks for sharing.

Dear Annie: I was saddened to read the letter from “Sick of Being Treated This Way,” the 76-year-old who was having trouble with aging.

While this individual feels that she is being treated with condescension by some, I think the real issue may be her attitude.

I am not quite 76, but I am not too far away, and I have embraced the aging process. I love my wrinkles. My mother always said her wrinkles were earned due to living a good life, and that is how I see them, too. If someone wants to help me by holding a door or offering to take my groceries to my car, I am appreciative.

We all age, that is just a fact of life. Acceptance will make the transition much easier. — Still Living a Good Life

Dear Still: Enough people wrote in to voice a similar viewpoint to yours that I must admit I might have missed the mark in that response. Thanks for writing.

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“Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie” is out now! Annie Lane’s debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@creators.com.

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