(Ed. Note: The following is a tribute to "Dear Abby" columnist Pauline Phillips, who died today, Jan. 17, 2013 at the age of 94.)
News of your death has filled me with a bittersweet feeling.
I'm glad you've been released from the bandit of dementia that mercilessly robbed you of your memories and joie de vivre.
Nonetheless, I'm sad just the same. Our world is less bright without your brilliant smile. Thank you for a lifetime of advice giving all the while taking the risk of being misunderstood.
You must have known from the start that speaking your mind with the hope of touching another's heart has a price tag. I started reading your column when I was just a kid.
As I recall, it's what got me started reading the newspaper to begin with. I didn't always agree with you, but your concise and candid replies were fun to read and taught me about responsibility and relationships. Your columns modeled how to reach out to those who reach out to you. With humor and insight, you found a way to benefit countless readers while personally relating to a single individual.
Your winsome writing inspired me to do the same. And so I keep trying.
Writing and reaching with the hope of helping others while encouraging them to listen to their heart and do the right thing.
With fingers on the home row of my keyboard, I peck away hunting to find the success that marked your life. Rest in peace, Pauline Phillips.
You were a dear, indeed! Goodbye Abby!
A grateful reader (Greg Asimakoupoulos, Mercer Island)