Men’s health important this father’s day
Dear Readers: Happy Father’s Day to all of the men in our reading audience who have had the pleasures and responsibilities of raising children. This includes fathers, stepfathers, grandfathers and those who have stepped in as father figures for children who need them. Bless you all. Having a caring father is not only one of life’s great joys, but fathers also are tremendously important to a child’s emotional, academic and moral development. Studies have shown that children who maintain close relationships with loving fathers do better in school and are more likely to stay off drugs. Please take the time today to let yours know you are thinking of them.
DEAR ANNIE: Please urge your readers, both male and female, to pay more attention to men’s health. Women’s health gets a great deal of attention all year, but men’s health is rarely promoted.
Men’s life expectancy still lags almost six years behind women’s. Many women are negatively affected by men’s poor health and early deaths. Women should urge the men in their lives to get annual physical checkups at the doctor’s office, eat better and get more exercise. And men should listen to that good advice.
I am a man who cares about my health and men’s health in general. Please help, Annie. Thanks. — A Men’s Health Advocate in Texas
Dear Texas: Your letter is the perfect reminder on Father’s Day for all men to make an appointment for a full medical checkup. Schedule that prostate exam or colonoscopy you’ve been putting off. Get a gym membership and use it, play basketball with some friends, or take a 30-minute walk each day. Pay attention to what you eat. The women in your lives want you to be around for a long time.
DEAR ANNIE: I am responding to “Evil Stepmother,” whose husband didn’t want to attend his daughter’s wedding because he wasn’t going to walk her down the aisle. We had the same situation.
My stepdaughter called her father to tell him that her maternal grandfather was going to give her away. For three weeks, my husband struggled with whether or not to attend and finally decided to not go because it would have been too painful for him. I would have supported either decision. But three years later, his daughter humbly came to visit and explain that her mother had pushed her to do this and begged her father’s forgiveness.
When my daughter married, she faced this same choice. What she decided, all on her own, brought tears to our eyes. Both her father and her stepfather walked her down the aisle, one on each arm. It was beautiful and respectful. This special day should not be used to lash out. — Vermont Lady
Dear Vermont: Many readers mentioned that brides could have both the father and stepfather walk them down. Others suggested having the stepfather walk the bride halfway and the father the rest of the way (or vice versa). These are wonderful solutions. Weddings should bring families together, not drive them further apart. Annie’s Snippet for Father’s Day (credit Michael Jordan): My father used to say that it’s never too late to do anything you wanted to do. And he said, “You never know what you can accomplish until you try.” Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to anniesmailbox@ creators.com, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA, USA.