Dear Abby: My husband doesn't like to go to the doctor. We have three young children, and I'm genuinely concerned that he could one day have a sudden health emergency or a life-threatening illness that could have been prevented if it had been discovered in time. PLEASE help him see the importance of regular exams.
-- Loving Wife in Ohio
Dear Loving Wife: There are reasons why men have a shorter life expectancy than women in this country. I'm sad to say that one of them is fear of going to the doctor. Because today is Father's Day, remind your husband that he has a family who loves him and needs him healthy. Remind your husband that if anything should happen to him he would leave all of you not only heartbroken but also likely struggling financially. He needs to understand that the greatest gift he can give all of you would be to schedule an appointment with his physician for a baseline checkup.
Dear Readers: I offer good wishes not only to fathers everywhere, but also to those caring individuals who donate their time to mentor youngsters whose fathers are absent or deceased. Many readers have asked me for a prayer in memory of a father who is no longer living. The following prayer is from the Hebrew Union Prayer Book, and is recited on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. It is also available in my "Keepers" booklet:
> IN MEMORY OF A FATHER
"Thy memory, my dear father, fills my soul at this solemn hour.
It revives in me thoughts of the love and friendliness which thou didst bestow upon me.
The thought of these inspires me to a life of virtue; and when my pilgrimage on earth is ended and I shall arrive at the throne of mercy, may I be worthy of thee in the sight of God and man.
May our merciful Father reward thee for the faithfulness and kindness thou has ever shown me; may He grant thee eternal peace. Amen."