DEAR READERS: The following column has been published many times, and a significant number of readers wrote to say that it deserved to be run every Mother's Day, so here it is:
DEAR ABBY: My beloved mother passed away recently, so I called my minister and asked him for the wording of a prayer I could say for my mother. He said, "I'm too busy - and a lot of good prayer will do her now!"You see, Mama went to church long ago, but my father never liked to go, so Mama quit going. Abby, I can't believe that heaven is open only to church members.
I've called all the bookstores in town, and they say there aren't any prayers for the dead in any of the books they have. I've heard there are places where you can send a few dollars and they will pray for the dead, but I don't know their addresses.
Abby, I'd be so grateful if you'd print a short prayer I could say for my mother before I go to sleep at night. Any faith is acceptable. I can't let you send it to my home because my father looks over the mail first and I'm sure I'd never get it. It means the world to me. Thank you, and God bless you. Sign me . . . A PRAYER FOR MAMA
DEAR PRAYER: I found this prayer in my Union Prayer Book. It's the prayer Jews recite on Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) to honor the memory of a deceased mother:
IN MEMORY OF A MOTHER
"I remember thee in this solemn hour, my dear mother. I remember the days when thou didst dwell on earth, and thy tender love watched over me like a guardian angel. Thou hast gone from me, but the bond which unites our souls can never be severed; thine image lives within my heart. May the merciful Father reward thee for the faithfulness and kindness thou hast ever shown me; may he lift up the light of his countenance upon thee and grant thee eternal peace! Amen."
CONFIDENTIAL TO ANYONE FOR WHOM IT IS NOT YET TOO LATE: The gestation period of a mother's advice is anywhere from one week to 50 years. Losing one's mother before having thanked her for the many precious things she taught you is one of life's greatest tragedies.
DEAR ABBY: I have four grown children, three married and the other engaged. My oldest has my only two grandchildren, whom I love dearly.
The problem is she swamps me with pictures. I have tried to tell her before that I just want a couple now and then. My other children will have children in time, and I'm sure other grandmothers have this problem. I don't want all these pictures! I won't be able to keep albums for them, either.
How do I get her to understand that I don't WANT a whole lot of pictures all the time without hurting her feelings? I explained once, but she still brings or sends all these pictures. Any suggestions would be appreciated. - A GRANNY IN ROCK HILL, S.C.
DEAR GRANNY: Purchase a shadow box plexiglass frame and use it to display whichever of the photographs you DO like. Return the rest of the pictures to your daughter with the suggestion that SHE make albums using the "extra" pictures, so that the children will each have mementos of themselves while they were growing up.
Hopefully, that way, there will be no hurt feelings.
By popular request, Abby shares more of her favorite prizewinning, easy-to-prepare recipes. To order, send a long, business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: More Favorite Recipes by Dear Abby, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054. (Postage is included.)
Copyright 1991 Universal Press Syndicate