DEAR ABBY: This is in response to "Hurt Mom in Washington," who was both angry and sad at her daughter's wedding plans. I was in a similar situation five years ago when my daughter married. She, too, insisted on planning every last detail of her wedding on her own, and made it more than just a bit clear that she was going to do things "her way" without any "interference" on my part.
To make a long story short, several weeks before her wedding her caterer informed her that due to a scheduling misunderstanding, he would be unable to cater her wedding after all. After frantically contacting many other caterers without success, guess who she asked to cater the wedding? You guessed right -- good old Mom!
Although I wouldn't want "Hurt Mom's" daughter's plans to go awry, she needs to know that these things usually have a way of working themselves out.
The food I prepared for my daughter's wedding turned out so well that some guests had a hard time believing the reception had not been professionally catered. It also helped my daughter and me regain the closeness we had previously shared and enjoyed. Sign me ... BEEN THERE IN WASHINGTON
DEAR BEEN THERE: Your daughter was fortunate to have such a talented and forgiving mother. Your experience gives new meaning to the slogan, "Nothin' says lovin' like something from the oven!"
DEAR ABBY: I am a widower, living in California, writing in response to the woman who signed herself "Second Love." I suspect that her husband doesn't know when he is well-off. He is very fortunate to love and be loved by a second wife. Not all men are so blessed. He should remove all the pictures of his former wife, except possibly one group picture of the family.
Abby, after my wife of 45 years died, I realized that I could never create new memories with her again. When I remarried, I put all my family pictures into a drawer, and I review them periodically.
I cannot afford to let the past interfere with the present. The past has gone, and nothing can change it. I am very fortunate to have loved and been loved by two wonderful women, and I intend to keep it that way. -- DAVID S. EICHER, GLENDALE, CALIF.
DEAR DAVID: Your pragmatism is admirable. I agree there is much to be said about living in the present. However, not everyone reacts in the same manner to loss and grieving.
DEAR ABBY: Recently a reader told you how she used the telephone answering machine to monitor calls for her bedridden husband -- and how he enjoyed listening to his messages, even repeatedly. Such a recording could be a treasured memento of the kind words left by friends and family for their terminally ill loved ones.
I am not ill, but I appreciate hearing the voices of loved ones who call when I am not at home. I, too, play the message back more than once -- for the joy of hearing that voice.
Eventually the answering machine must be cleared, but before I clear it, I often put my cassette tape recorder beside the answering machine and record the messages on tape. Then, if I wish, I can hear them again -- today, tomorrow or any time I need a lift. -- MS. HAZEL DANIELSON, SHORELINE, WASH.
DEAR HAZEL: What a clever idea! I'm passing it along.
Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)
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