From Our Readers

Young People Ask Thank you for the article “Young People Ask . . . Why Doesn’t My Parent Love Me?” (September 22, 2002) I am 16 years old, and I haven’t seen my biological father since I was 4. This article expressed exactly how I feel. It was correct in saying that few things wound more than rejection by a parent. Thank you for this spiritual food at the proper time.

J. J., United States

My parents decided to get a divorce 13 years after their separation. I did not understand why I was suffering so much, since I thought I had dealt with the trauma long ago. Understanding the reason for my profound sadness helps me to be more specific in my prayers and to throw even this burden upon Jehovah.

M. D., Italy

My father left my family when I was six years old. Since then he has had minimal contact with me. For years I have battled with feelings of guilt. As a result, I have never been good at communicating my feelings to others. The experiences in your article touched me and helped me to see that I am not alone in this situation. Please do not underestimate the benefits we readers gain from these articles and the gratitude we feel for them!

A. H., England

I am 16 years old, and my father just divorced my mother. My younger brother, older sister, and I have been crushed. This article was just incredible. The moment I started reading it, I burst into tears. It described every feeling I have been experiencing inside. The wording was so tender and loving. The more I read, the more I was touched. Many times I have wondered if I was really worthy of my father’s love. That is why I found so much comfort in this article. It is the best feeling to know that even if my human father doesn’t love me, Jehovah always will. I don’t have to worry that he will suddenly change and turn his back on me.

A. M., United States

Our family grew up with an alcoholic father, and my mother suffered a lot. We children didn’t get much attention. I felt I was worthless and even thought that I wanted to die. I asked for help in my prayers. When this article came, I was so thankful. I received comfort from the thought that even people in this situation can choose a happy, successful outcome by putting Bible principles to work. I realize that I too can be happy!

A. I., Japan

Vanilla I am a bit concerned about the article “Vanilla​—A Spice With a Long History.” (September 22, 2002) Years ago I read an article about a toxic vanilla from Mexico. Many people buy it and do not know that it can be toxic.

P. D., United States

“Awake!” responds: Some vanilla produced in Mexico​—as well as in other countries—​contains extract of tonka beans, which has a high concentration of coumarin. This chemical has been banned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration because of its possible toxic effects. Since it may not be possible to detect the presence of coumarin simply by sight or smell, consumers are advised to buy vanilla only from reputable sources. Additionally, since pure vanilla extract is expensive because of the cost of its production, a “bargain” that is “too good to be true” should be viewed with due caution.