Patricia Firestone, Seattle WA
I could barely contain my anger while reading "The Good Daughter" article in your May, 2011 issue. I took better care with my dying Black Lab three months ago, a kind, painless quick death from her vet. Why is it so hard to do this last kindness for our loved ones? Both my parents feared a "bad end" and they both got it, weeks in a hospital, needles, tied down when necessary and finally, finally entrance to that 'sweet goodnight'. I weep for Anne-Christine Strugnell's mother; when at the end she could not even enjoy a bit of her daughter's cooking or a sip of water because our so-called civilization deemed any other release, a sin. No worse, a crime. I am so ashamed of us all.
Linda McKee 66, Moreno Valley, California.
I appreciate this article from the point of view that the mentioned procedures are safer than the old cosmetic surgery procedures. What I am bothered about is the obsession with our outward appearance by more and more women in the U.S. I think we should be more concerned with healthy glowing skin and hair that comes from physical health and mental happiness. I am 57 years old and I feel like I will be judged by my appearance. I spend plenty on good skin products, make-up and exercise. But how will this compare to those who are spending thousands to make themselves look younger than they really are? And what about the value to society? Isn’t $30,000 better spent on feeding the hungry than preventing the jowl problem? Can’t we get over ourselves? Can’t we just be ourselves? Who are we trying to impress and why? Please don’t add any fuel to this crazy obsession among women.
Judy Phifer, Littleton, CO
I guess I'm now one of the bread slices in that sandwich, yet it feels like just a short time ago I was the one juggling the stresses of launching children into adulthood, dealing with aged and ill parents from a long distance, managing a good career, being the good and supportive wife, and never feeling like I was doing the best for any of them. Thanks for addressing a tough topic in your Editor's letter (May). You asked for some guidance as to where to go for answers and one strong suggestion is to seek advice from the very people (those sandwich layers) who are dealing with these issues on a daily basis. Those of us who are the top slice of bread pretty much know what we want, and expect, from those who are/will be the ultimate care-givers. Sometimes, the answers may come as a huge surprise to those middle layers who often rush in to "take-over" without actually taking the time truly assess the whole picture and involve all parties in the decision making. Of course, that isn't always possible in the cases of serious and sudden debility, or great long distances, etc. One very important fact to address is the matter of guilt: Guilt as the motivator, the stimulus, the result of doing too little, too much, whatever. Guilt should never be given too much power or else too many people suffer needlessly and waste energy that could otherwise be used for better things. Sorry for the long tirade. I guess you really opened a Pandora's box, and I'm grateful for the change to share a few thoughts on this timely subject. I love MORE for not being too timid to approach tough topics and to deal with them directly and thoroughly.
Regina Petsche, Moorestown, NJ
OMG! Just read your editor's letter in the May issue. While I'm not sure there is anything anyone can do, just knowing there are "Others" out there - even those we assume have it all together and life is a piece of cake - facing the same daily struggles trying to balance aging parents, kids, work and some semblance of a life, is strangely comforting! I think "Club Sandwich" is a great idea and look forward to more articles!
Susan Holloway, Jefferson City, MO