"I am torn between sympathy for the McCanns and anger at them for leaving their children alone"
I admire Kate McCann for having the courage to stand up to her critics. I see her as a mother who feels guilty because her child is gone. All parents blame themselves when something bad happens to their children.
No matter how many sympathetic articles you publish, it will not change the fact that many parents think Kate and Gerry McCann were neglectful in leaving their three young children alone in a hotel room so they could go to dinner. They are both doctors who should have known better.
I've always been a huge fan of Britney's and will continue to support her while she's struggling with personal and emotional issues. I hope she will do whatever it takes to get her children back. Britney needs to get help for her kids' sake. They need their mother.
Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.
CAROL ANNE GOTBAUM
Although Carol Gotbaum's death was tragic, I was outraged to read that the Gotbaum family is claiming Carol was mishandled at the Phoenix airport when she was clearly out of control. What loving husband would allow someone with an addiction to travel alone from New York to Arizona? Shame on her husband for blaming our police because he wasn't doing his job. The family says, "This never should have happened." The family should be asking, "Why did we let this happen?"
Kudos for your tribute to Animal Planet's Meerkat Manor matriarch Flower. Fans of the show will attest that Flower was a great leader, caring mother and devoted partner. Flower always put the safety of her family first and went to great lengths to protect them. Her last heroic act was saving her pups from a deadly snake. Flower was not just another entertaining TV character; she was a wonderful example for us all.
Brittany gave an honest portrayal of anorexia and its damaging effects. Her comment that you don't have to be on the brink of death to be an anorexic was right on. As a person who has struggled with anorexia for years, I often appear healthy but torture my body with exercise and food deprivation. Brittany's story gives me hope that I too can get help and live a healthier life.
Our story about the controversial drug Chantix prescribed to smokers to help them quit elicited responses from readers who wrote of their disturbing dreams that can be a side effect of the medication. "In the dreams it would feel like my hand was in a bear's mouth, ripping away the flesh and muscle," writes Angela Fellenz of North Myrtle Beach, S.C. "I stopped taking Chantix after day 5." Being able to finally kick the habit was worth the restless sleep for others. "I smoked for over 50 years and was surprised that I was able to quit so easily," says Frances Roberts of Silver Spring, Md. "I had some vivid dreams, but they were harmless." Adds Jan Smith of Blackshear, Ga.: "Chantix, if taken correctly, is wonderful for people who want to quit and have failed before."
In our Oct. 1 issue, we stated that David Colby is 45 years old. He is 53. In our Oct. 15 issue, we should have said that Melia McEnery is the mother of Eric Clapton's three young daughters, not two. We regret the errors.