DEAR ABBY: Your response to "Hurt in Connecticut," who was bothered that family members didn't attend her choir concert, was a very good one. Family solidarity should be valued; however, it may be expressed in many ways.
I, too, am a "singing grandmother" who was disappointed when none of my children or grandchildren attended a particular performance of the chorale in which my husband and I both sing. May I share the following thought process that helped us soften the disappointment?
1. Consider the many other ways your sons, daughters and grandchildren demonstrate their love and respect throughout the year.
2. Remember that they all have their own activities, goals and commitments, their own social needs and responsibilities.
3. Remember how you felt at their ages. Would you have had time to attend? Would you have changed or abandoned your previous plans?
4. If you do not wish to accept an invitation to a sports event, glee club performance, etc., it's OK to politely decline.
5. Finally, how would you feel if you were not invited to any of those "boring" events?
I am honored when I'm invited to an awards banquet or graduation. (Attendance is limited, you know.) Singing in the chorale is a personal pleasure, which is enhanced whenever my family and/or friends are able to attend the performance. When they cannot, it is not a rejection. In other words, dear "Hurt," count your blessings. I'm sure you'll feel much better. -- CALIFORNIA GRANDMA
DEAR CALIFORNIA GRANDMA: You're singing my song -- as far as I'm concerned you can repeat another chorus.
DEAR ABBY: My son is 11 years old. He has no contact with the family of his biological father. His grandfather (my father) passed away when my son was 2 weeks old. This was a great loss -- a loving, generous father and grandfather who accepted all his family, blood ties or not. My son has a grandma (my side) who also loves him dearly.
I have recently remarried and am now expecting a baby. I am sure this new baby will be expected to call my husband's parents "Grandma" and "Grandpa," although they insist my 11-year-old son call them "Mr. and Mrs. Last-name." My husband was adopted, and I think, of all people, his parents and family should understand the importance of being accepted into a family unconditionally. Unfortunately, this is not the case. I am not fond of my husband's parents, but am trying to get along.
I wonder how my 11-year-old will feel when this new baby calls them "Grandma" and "Grandpa" while he is not allowed to. I want to do everything possible to make my son feel good about himself. What should I do about this situation? -- MOM
DEAR MOM: Tell your husband's parents that you want both of your children to use the same names for them -- and let his parents decide what those names should be.
DEAR ABBY: The letter about the man who wondered how to date his tombstone if he lives into the year 2000 and your reply to use a little humor, reminded me of a man's headstone we came across while searching for the gravesite of a friend.
The stone listed the man's name, etc., and then, "Thanks for stopping by." I confess I almost laughed out loud in that solemn place. -- WISH I HAD KNOWN HIM IN CINCY
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