JULIA & LYLE
Why don't you give it a rest as far as Julia and Lyle are concerned? They are obviously passionately in love with each other. If you want to talk about oddball marriages, let's take a look at Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley. Now there's a marriage that's bound to last. Yeah, right! Pull my other leg and it plays "I'm All Shook Up."
SUSAN J. HEDRICK, Kansas City, Mo.
It's very obvious that whatever they are doing works for Julia and Lyle, and if it doesn't, then I'm sure they will fix the problem themselves. I can't imagine being forced to live in a fishbowl the way these two people have to. Leave them alone to deal with the struggles of being newlyweds and the struggles of having two very demanding careers.
STACEY L. KOMAR, Dallas
Let's see, in the three years I have been married, I have appeared in public without my husband, without my wedding rings, and yes, I have even danced with a man who was not my husband. We have also endured lengthy separations due to work or family-related matters, and both of us have on occasion had to have contact with ex-loves. Are these indicative of my marriage being in trouble, or am I just experiencing an "unconventional union"?
DANA C. BLISS, Hope, Mich.
I was 11 years old when my sickly mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. For six years she fought the disease as well as she could, but she died in my senior year of high school, without ever having seen me perform in a choral concert or play. I was exposed to measles and was not able to see her for a week preceding her death. I was never able to say goodbye to her, though she did call from the hospital to say "I love you" just before she died. My father "helped" me grieve by leaving me alone five days after her death to attend a conference. I determined that I wasn't supposed to mourn and allowed myself 10 minutes of crying every Sunday night after I went to bed. My friends blithely talk about their mothers and fathers, and I am jealous, as it is a relationship to which I simply cannot relate. I don't even know if I have the emotional strength to read Hope Edelman's book, Motherless Daughters: The Legacy of Loss, but I am so glad it has been written.
VICKI SURGES, Reno
I lost my mother 13 years ago, when I was 14 years old. Though my life is (relatively) normal, there are days when I mourn her death as though it were yesterday. It's comforting to know there are women who feel the same way.
VANESSA J. ENGLE, Mount Holly, N.J.
I was 5 years old when I lost my mother to cancer, and I was not told of her death until after the funeral. There has always been a gaping hole in my heart because of that loss. Recently I had the privilege of hearing Ms. Edelman speak, and I was both awed and comforted as I looked across a room filled with nearly 300 women who were inextricably bound by a common thread: We were all motherless daughters. September 11 marks the 40th anniversary of my mother's death, and I plan to hold a memorial service to finally say the goodbyes that I was robbed of so early in my life. Although it will never erase the constant ache in my heart, I look forward to finally bringing closure to an unfinished chapter in my life. Thank you, Hope, for putting into words what has been so indelibly imprinted in our hearts. You truly honor us.
CAROLE LEONHARDT, Beaverton, Ore.
THE BARTLING BROTHERS
I have nine uncles who are farmers in Iowa, a couple of them were even hog farmers. But none of them even came close to resembling the Battling brothers! Those little piglets must be in hog heaven—I know I would be!
KAREN E. LUNDIN, Lansdale, Pa.
Your article "Cashing In" just proves that John Wayne Bobbitt has the IQ of a parking meter. Your comment on Bobbitt's being broke as the "crudest joke of all" I feel is wrong. The man was accused of beating and raping his former wife, was acquitted of it and went on a publicity run for money, all the while showing the world what a complete idiot he is. Now he's broke, has admitted to being the father of a child born out of wedlock and has been charged not once but twice with beating up his fiancée (and we know why she's with him, and it ain't for sex). I feel the crudest joke of all is that Lorena had to be institutionalized for whacking off the only brain John Bobbitt had.
REBECCA HODGSON, Federal Way, Wash.