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by Abigail Van Buren

Grandfather by Any Name Is a Treasure to Children

DEAR ABBY: I have been married to a very nice gentleman named "Brad" for three years. This is a second marriage for both of us. He is kind and thoughtful and enjoys playing with my grandchildren, who love him very much. However, he has one quirk: He will not allow the children to call him "Grandpa."

He has instructed them to call him "Brad." He says the reason is that the grandchildren are not his grandchildren -- they are mine. He says when his children have children, they will be his grandchildren.

Abby, this hurts me very much. I never knew my grandparents. As a child, I envied my friends who had grandparents to visit. I was so happy when I married someone who would be a good grandfather. I am shocked at his attitude. I don't want us to be a family of "his" and "hers." I want it to be ours. When he has grandchildren, I'd be delighted to have them call me "Grandma," "Nana" or whatever.

Why does he feel this way? I'm hurt when I hear my adorable grandson call him "Brad." In the case of my other grandchildren, he is the only grandfather they will ever have, so they'll never have anyone to call Grandpa.

Is there anything I can do? I never say anything about it, but I so wish my grandchildren could have the grandfather I never had. -- DESPERATELY SEEKING GRANDPA

DEAR DESPERATELY SEEKING GRANDPA: Your husband probably thinks that being called "Grandpa" is an old man's label -- which he is not ready to accept.

Although you may not be pleased that he prefers that the grandchildren call him "Brad," it is his preference. Accept it and don't give him a hard time. Brad's relationship with the children is what counts, not the title.

DEAR ABBY: After 40 years of a happy marriage and seven children, I became a widower. I have always been close to the children.

Two years after my wife died I met "Bernice," a lovely widow. We were married a year later, and my children were happy for us.

Bernice and I travel extensively. We love each other and life is good. We have lived in Florida for the last five years. We both feel that Florida is our home, and we wish to remain here for eternity. With that in mind, we purchased adjoining funeral plots in a nearby cemetery.

My children are very upset about this and feel that I have slighted their mother. I understand their feelings, but what does one do? My present wife has cared for me, and she will until my demise, or hers. Our lives together are meaningful. I don't want my children to think that I didn't love their mother. I did, but I have a new life now. Am I wrong? -- A FLORIDIAN

DEAR FLORIDIAN: No. The decision about where your final resting place will be should be up to you and your present wife. Since you wish to be buried next to each other in Florida, that is what you should do. Your children are adults and should respect your decision.

For Abby's favorite family recipes, send a long, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Cookbooklet No. 1, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

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