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Letters to Globe Magazine

April 3, 2011

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Found and lost

Good luck to these former New Englanders who are laughing all the way to the beach (“Paradise Found,” March 13). But for someone like me, no thank you. How can I pass up the chance to hug my relatives and friends, cook for my grandchildren when they sleep over, comfort family and friends in times of need? It’s too bad some people have to move away to find paradise. If they would only open their eyes.

Fred Aleman / West Newton

Going green for Lent

In response to G. Jeffrey MacDonald’s essay (Perspective, March 13), I want to tell him how our house of worship is observing Lent. At the Congregational Church of Needham, we are practicing a “Carbon Fast,” pushing ourselves to be aware of the climate costs of our choices and to actively choose to live differently. There is a spiritual discipline in turning down your thermostat, hanging your clothes to dry, eating more vegetarian meals, using only reusable bags, refraining from buying bottled water, and walking or biking instead of driving. I can’t think of a more important and timely way to observe the season and to “grow in character and compassion.”

Deborah Baldwin / Dover

I was just having a discussion with friends who disagreed with me on the real meaning of Lent. Giving up dessert was as deep as it got for them. There was no desire to go any further.

Jackie Perrone / Ashland

Even in my own Catholic church, Lent is not spoken about in great detail. I try to instill in my kids the idea that they need to give up something or do something. It’s not a bad thing to be deprived, as we have plenty and the notion of going without is so foreign. And while I often think giving up something is OK, actually doing something and going out of your way to be a better person helps not only yourself but also someone else. Maybe you’ll like it so much you’ll want to do it all the time.

Barbara Conneely / Tewksbury

Love in a time of texting

As an old guy, I was amused and bemused by the March 6 Dinner With Cupid. “I asked for her number, but [just] my luck, my phone battery had died,” said Dan. “She sent me a quick text with her number and then we hugged goodbye.” Maybe I’m a technologically challenged Luddite, but I wonder why she didn’t just whip out a pen and write her number on a piece of paper.

Joe Spear / Wakefield

The things they carried

I read Gwen Romagnoli’s piece about her difficulty parting with her late husband’s possessions (Coupling, March 13) and could really relate. I lost my husband of 40 years 18 months ago, and letting go of his things was both painful and cathartic. We lived in Florida at the time. I’ve just moved back to New England and had to go through all his things again. He had left his heavy raincoat and winter hat at my sister’s house, so the day I got my keys for my new apartment the first thing I did was hang his coat and hat in the hall closet, which is where they will stay. Now he is a part of this, my home.

Phyllis Martel / Woburn

My wife died 11 months ago in our 51st year of marriage. We were a fortunate couple with three wonderful children, and we knew it. I suggest Romagnoli follow her heart when it comes to letting go of her husband’s things. It’s good to keep in mind that you can discard later, but not retrieve.

Eugene Mirabelli Delmar, New York

I never thought I would survive the first year as a widow, but with the help of my family and bereavement groups I am now in my sixth. I once read an article about a widow who was having a difficult time parting with her husband’s clothes. Her dearest friends came over and had his shirts made into a lovely quilt. Well, I did the same thing. I have pieces on the quilt of our construction business shirts, boating emblems, and patches from when we hiked the Appalachian Trail. My grandchildren and I discuss the quilt and tell “Grampy” stories. I read that you are working on a book, “Learning to Be a Widow.” I am not a writer, but may I humbly suggest you consider another title. We can never “learn” to be a widow.

Karen L’Italien / Beverly

Romagnoli’s article touched my heart. My dad’s keys remain in my top drawer, and I wear his wool jacket whenever there’s a chill in the air. If I may make a few suggestions for recycling some of her husband’s treasures, how about a shadow box for his souvenirs and a clothing donation to a local nursing home? And that beige shirt she wrote about sounds perfect to wear while planting a tree in his memory.

Deb Pappas / Saugus

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