Join the debate. Vote Now on the Dear Abby Poll of the week.

by Abigail Van Buren

Mother's Day Brings Only Pain for Mom Who's Mostly Ignored

DEAR ABBY: I have three grown children between the ages of 30 and 40. This past Mother's Day, I received no card or gift from any of them. Oh, one child finally left a message on my answering machine late in the evening after I had given up hope and gone to bed. (I found it the next morning.)

My heartache increased with every hour of Mother's Day, and in the days that followed when I looked in vain in my mailbox for a belated card and waited for my phone to ring with a call of apology.

I admit I haven't been a perfect mother, but I think I am worthy of being acknowledged on Mother's Day. From the time they were born, I have given my children -- and their children -- my love and support and have always remembered them on their special days.

Although my heartache has diminished, I cringe at the thought of facing another Mother's Day, and yet I don't want to chastise them for ignoring me because I would never know if future remembrances were done only out of a sense of duty.

Abby, do you have any words of wisdom to comfort me? -- IGNORED MOTHER

DEAR IGNORED MOTHER: Sorry, I have no words of wisdom to comfort you, but I do have a question: How do your children treat you the other 364 days of the year?