There are some readers I correspond with a fair amount over time, especially Premium subscribers. Ian in the U.K. was one of them. I had a recent letter from him in my “use in an issue when needed” folder, in which he had written:
I’d like you to know that TRUE is one of the few things that provides a truly happy moment when it arrives; it *never* fails to induce a smile (and God knows I’ve needed a few over the last year or so). It may be your business, earning money to help you live, but it makes a difference you wouldn’t believe. A very heartfelt (I’m shouting here) *THANK YOU*. You don’t realize (no, you don’t) just how much joy and light you bring to people’s lives — there’s nothing like a good laugh at the world. Kind regards, Ian.
Unfortunately, his wife sent me a follow-up last week:
I am vaguely aware that this is a service for which Ian pays. I thought you might like to know that Ian died suddenly on the 28th of December 2002 and that maybe you would like to pass on his subscription to someone else who may appreciate it.
I told Paula about the fabulous correspondence I had with Ian, and I indeed applied the remainder of his paid subscription term to another reader who told me he couldn’t afford his renewal, since he had been laid off just before Christmas.
Ian’s generous spirit lives on.