Dear Readers: Happy Thanksgiving! We hope you are fortunate enough to be spending the holiday with family and friends. And an extra shout-out to those readers who are spending the day volunteering at shelters and soup kitchens. Bless you for your kind hearts and generosity of spirit.
Here is one of Ann Landers’ favorite essays, which we feel is quite appropriate for Thanksgiving:
I Asked God (author unknown)
I asked God for strength, that I might achieve.
I was made weak, that I might learn to obey.
I asked for health, that I might do greater things.
I was given infirmity, that I might do better things.
I asked for riches, that I might be happy.
I was given poverty, that I might be wise.
I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men.
I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life.
I was given life, that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing that I asked for — but everything I had hoped for.
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am, among all men, most richly blessed.
Dear Readers: This was written many years ago by Judy Vekasy, a registered nurse and director of activities in a nursing home in Savannah, Tennessee, and it appeared several times in Ann Landers’ column. It originally appeared in the Memphis Commercial Appeal. For those with some spare time this week, please stop by any nursing home and volunteer:
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 dominoes 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 and not just on Thanksgiving. I hope you will keep this and read it again in January, February, and every other month of the year. We’ll still be here and our needs will be the same.
Annie’s Snippet for Thanksgiving (credit the late Irv Kupcinet): An optimist is a person who starts a new diet on Thanksgiving Day.
“Annie’s Mailbox” is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar. This column was originally published in 2016. To find out more about Classic Annie’s Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Creators Syndicate at www.creators.com.