Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

`Reconciliation Day:' Time to Heal

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

`Reconciliation Day:' Time to Heal

Article excerpt

Dear Ann Landers: Your advice to "Grandmother in Fort Wayne" to reconcile with her daughter, "Melinda," was excellent. Lost years can never be recalled.

When I was in college, back in 1928, my dormitory buddy, "Gus," and I had many interests in common. However, we quarreled over Prohibition, and Gus played some nasty practical jokes on me. After 1929, I saw nothing of him.

In 1991, I received a totally unexpected phone call from Gus, asking my forgiveness for what he called "the utterly uncalled-for nastiness" he had inflicted on me. I replied immediately, "Nothing would please me more." I told him in Latin, "Absolvo te" - I absolve thee.

From then on, we were the best of friends. Gus told me often how sad it was that we had lost more than 60 years because of sophomoric vindictiveness. Together with our wives, Gus and I finally had a very happy reunion over dinner in the summer of 1992. We vowed we would get together at least once a year from then on. Unfortunately, this was not to be. Gus died several months later.

It doesn't matter how wounded or wronged either party may feel, the sooner you make up, the better it will be. Life is so precious and true friendship so rare that even a single day is too much time to lose. CLASS OF '31, ITHACA, N.Y.

Your beautiful letter reminded me that it is once again time to print my annual Reconciliation Day message and the letter that started it all. Here it is:

Dear Ann Landers: I've suddenly become aware that the years are flying by. Time somehow seems more precious. My parents suddenly seem old. My aunts and uncles are sick. I haven't seen some of my cousins for years.

Then my thoughts turn to the dark side. I remember the feelings I've hurt, and I recall my own hurt feelings - the misunderstandings and unmended fences that separated us and set up barriers.

I have a friend in New York I haven't spoken to in three years. …

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