05/02/1983 at 01:00 AM EDT
Life After 35
Linda Evans (PEOPLE, April 11) is not only the sexiest 40-year-old woman in America; she also has an amazing sense of purpose and genuine self-esteem. Her only shortcoming is the sad fact that she can't be cloned.
I don't know how you overlooked an incredibly beautiful woman whose career began before most of these women were even born: Lena Horne.
Cheryl V. Chambers
Capitol Heights, Md.
There was a white backlash against Harold Washington in his mayoral campaign, but what about the flip side of the coin? How many people voted for Washington because he was black, conveniently overlooking his "plainly questionable episodes" of total dishonesty?
Voight gushes because his ex-wife's boyfriend had the drawings of Jon's daughter hung in a diner! Doesn't he know that most potential stepparents make an initial effort to win over the children? I remember chasing after my stepsons with freshly baked cookies. The true test comes later. After years of sharing time, money, space and your mate's affection, are you still making these "lovely gestures"?
Hang in there, Jon Voight. As a recently divorced father of two children, I'm also sharing my children's love with my ex's younger boyfriend. I appreciate your statement that "there are male egos involved, and there is friction" because sometimes a man's children are all he has left after a divorce. But by giving all our love, the children will realize in their hearts that a father's love is forever.
Kevin P. Bossidy
Life After Baseball
I came into Danny Cater's life after his major league career was over, but I know how much it meant to him even though he doesn't talk about it much. If I had not found clippings, I would probably never have known how good he was. I've realized for a long time what he must have gone through when his career was over, but after reading how hard it was for others, he's more special than ever to me.
Carolyn G. Cater
Danny Cater played for seven major league clubs between 1964 and 1975, hitting .313 with the Boston Red Sox in his best season.—ED.
Right to Die
I, too, have kept vigil by a terminally ill husband, just as Wilma Wilson has done. I had to stand by as my 180-pound husband dwindled to a mere 111 pounds during a long struggle with malignant mesothelioma. He was hospitalized the last 76 days of his life. How dare the courts decide when a person can die. They should have to watch the person they love die a day at a time, knowing they can do nothing to help. It breaks your heart.
Nita Jo Basey
As a nurse for more than 20 years, I have seen many terminal patients whose doctors play judge and jury. They sentence these people to imprisonment in life by the use of IVs, respirators, etc., often against the wishes of the patient and family. I have also seen terminal patients refused adequate painkilling medication because doctors did not want them to become addicted. God help us all.
Why is there so much indecision about the right to die? The living will is a good solution. Make the decision beforehand in writing; then there will be no mistake, no malpractice suits, and spouses and children will not be forced to choose.
Jackie R. Mullis
For a copy of the living will, write to Concern for Dying, 250 West 57th St., Room 831, New York, N. Y. 10107.—ED.
I am a registered nurse at the Hospice of Southeastern Michigan in Southfield where Don Wilson was a patient. After working more than two years there, I am more convinced than ever that an individual who is dying has the right to live a life of quality not quantity, if he or she so chooses. A life for some of last birthday celebrations, anniversaries, children being born, old friends and relatives to be seen, prayers to be said, reflections to be made.
Very often people ask me, "How can you work in such a depressing situation?" I tell them what my 10-year-old daughter said after coming to work with me a few times, "Mom, Hospice is the happiest 'sad' place in the world." And that is what a hospice is: choosing to live as you die. There is singing around the player piano, children laughing, animals eager to be hugged, loved ones visiting 24 hours a day, parties, cheery decor, services in the chapel, hand-holding, a loving and hopeful atmosphere—all rights of every individual.
Lynn Crink, R.N.