Kids in the Middle
After reading your article on the Baby M case (PEOPLE, March 23), I would like to thank you for reporting this controversial story impartially. So much space in the press has been given to the financial advantages that are held by the Sterns, I feel the Whiteheads are not being given a fair chance. I live in the same municipality as the Whiteheads and don't feel that my child would have better opportunities if he lived in the Sterns' upper-middle-class neighborhood. I'm puzzled over the comment by the psychiatrist that Mrs. Whitehead is "overenmeshed with her children." Caring about your child's appearance now makes you "overenmeshed?" I think this shows how caring a mother Mrs. Whitehead really is.
I can't be sympathetic with Mary Beth Whitehead. I can't for the life of me understand how anyone could promise a baby to someone else. How cruel of her to make the Sterns think they were going to have a baby and then change her mind. She wasn't naive; she had experienced the joy of carrying a baby before; she knew what it would be like. I say tough luck, Mary Beth!
Cottage City, Md.
I feel compelled to question both parties whether they have considered the stress that this ordeal has already placed upon the baby. Supposedly, what is best for the child will be decided by the court, but irreparable damage has occurred, and no court of law can change that. I am no psychologist, but even I know that the first year of a child's life is crucial in its mental growth and development. Bonding with parents is of utmost importance. They may call her Sara or Melissa, but she should be called "Taffy" for the pulling to which she has been subjected.
Thank you for your article on the disc jockey afflicted with Tourette syndrome. I commend Saul Lubaroff for his courage and determination to overcome his affliction. I, too, have Tourette syndrome, and although my case was milder than his and consisted more of motor tics and rapid speech rather than loud vocalizations, it was noticeable enough to cause me to be labeled "nervous" and "mental" and to become a social outcast in my teens. I was turned down for jobs although I was a good student. It wasn't until I was in my 20s and recognized my condition on a television report that I received a proper diagnosis and treatment.
New York City
About a year ago I finally discovered that my son has Tourette's. There are still too many adults and children out there who cannot control their movements or speech and don't know that they have this devastating disease. There is a great association that can help people find a doctor and support group: Tourette Syndrome Association, 42-40 Bell Boulevard, Bayside, N.Y. 11361.
In your otherwise delightful article on oratory in Congress, you may have misled your readers by implying that William Jennings Bryan made his "Cross of Gold" speech there. He didn't. Bryan, who was elected to the House in 1890 and defeated when he ran for the Senate in 1894, actually made the speech at the 1896 Democratic convention in Chicago.
"I will not help to crucify mankind upon a cross of gold. I will not aid them to press down upon the bleeding brow of labor this crown of thorns" is actually what Bryan said in a speech to the House on Dec. 22, 1894. Sixteen months later he used an almost identical form at the convention, electrifying the delegates and winning the presidential nomination.—ED
As a native Mississippian, I must correct some of the "absolutely essential facts about Congress." Both Hiram Revels, one of the first blacks sworn into office, and Jamie Whitten come from Mississippi, not Massachusetts.
We regret the error.—ED.
Sister Anne Brooks
Your article on Tutwiler, Miss, moved me to tears. One hears from the media vague references to the poor in America, but rarely is that word "poor" elaborated on. How petty my economic gripes seem to me now, as I think of Sister Brooks's patients. At least I can afford medical care, a clean apartment and good food. One thing your article lacked, however, was an address to which donations may be sent. I'm sure there are many others besides myself who would like to help.
Donations maybe sent to: Tutwiler Clinic, P.O. Box 462, Tutwiler, Miss. 38963.—ED.
The next time the White House or Capitol Hill cuts money from social programs, we will know who will really suffer. It's the little towns like Tutwiler. Thank God for people like Sister Anne Brooks who make up where the government falls short.
Thank you. You can't imagine how your article on Jerry Rothman and Tom Cole affected me. I found myself identifying with many of the problems stemming from sibling loss. I always suspected these feelings were the result of my sister's death, but even after almost seven years I still was not sure.
Greg Fourticq Jr.
Thank you for validating my own journey with grief and loss. Fifteen years ago my brother, who was 33, committed suicide. I lost a lifelong best friend. For years I presented a "stiff upper lip" to protect my heartbroken parents and to quell my grief. Five years ago, with the help of my loving husband and an understanding therapist, I was able to accept the unbearable and move on.
Julie Boren Patrick
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