Have My Hankie
Dear Readers: A number of you wrote in with very touching stories about your loved ones and handkerchiefs. I'm printing a few so they bring you some comfort.
Dear Annie: I've been smiling at the letters you've received on this subject, because they reminded me that that's how my mother taught me to iron as a kid, ironing my dad's handkerchiefs.
Well, not much gets ironed these days, but 10 years ago when I lost my husband to cancer, I was cleaning out his dresser and tossing his old, worn handkerchiefs when I came upon an unopened package of new ones.
Something made me think to just save them, not give them away or toss them.
They might come in handy if I had a bad cold and ran out of tissues -- that was my thinking.
Well, here we are today in a pandemic, and those brand-new handkerchiefs sure make good face masks, and they don't cost $12.95 apiece, either! With a couple of rubber bands, they work very well. -- Staying Safe in NY
Dear Annie: I have a story about the handkerchief. My dearest, loving husband was 85 years old when he passed away last December. He was the ultimate gentleman. We were together 40 blessed and happy years. He said his father taught him to always carry two handkerchiefs: one for himself and one for his lady. He never failed to do it. I hold this memory close to my heart and smile when I think of it. -- Loved in Louisville
Dear Annie: With regard to handkerchiefs, all his life, my father carried handkerchiefs. He would continue using the same ones over and over again, with frequent washings, of course, until they were thin enough to read through. The family relied on Mom, until her death, to sneak the most embarrassing ones into the trash bin.
For birthdays or Christmases, someone in the family would invariably give Dad a fresh pack of handkerchiefs. After Dad died, my brother and I found pack after pack of unopened new handkerchiefs in his dresser drawer. We had a good laugh and cry. A child of the Depression, Dad just couldn't bring himself to throw out perfectly serviceable handkerchiefs no matter how stained, tattered or transparent they became. -- Loving Son
And now for a change of subject.
Dear Annie: Hoping you would consider printing these questions, since they have made a difference for someone in our family.
1. Have you ever decided to stop drinking for a week or so but only lasted for a couple of days?
2. Do you wish people would mind their own business about your drinking -- stop telling you what to do?
3. Have you ever switched from one kind of drink to another in the hope that this would keep you from getting drunk?
4. Have you had to have an eye-opener upon awakening during the past year?
5. Do you envy people who can drink without getting into trouble?
6. Have you had problems connected with drinking during the past year?
7. Has your drinking caused trouble at home?
8. Do you ever try to get "extra" drinks at a party because you did not get enough?
9. Do you tell yourself you can stop drinking any time you want to, even though you keep getting drunk when you don't mean to?
10. Have you missed days of work or school because of drinking?
11. Do you have "blackouts"?
12. Have you ever felt that your life would be better if you did not drink?
Reprinted with permission from Alcoholics Anonymous -- AA Questions
Dear AA Questions: Hopefully these questions will prompt anyone who needs help to take that first step and attend a meeting. Thank you.
"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 firstname.lastname@example.org.