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by Abigail Van Buren

Woman's Sudden Windfall Blows Ill Will Her Way

DEAR ABBY: I have a major dilemma. I began dating "Edward" six months ago. Edward's grandmother and I took a special interest in each other and soon became great friends. Three months later, she fell ill and passed on. God rest her soul.

Now the problem: She left her entire estate to me! This includes property, two cars, her home and a handsome sum of money. The family was shocked to learn of this, and so was I. Now I'm afraid Edward's family resents me.

Should I hand everything over to her only remaining son, Edward's father, or keep it? I am not sure if I should honor her wishes or make the family happy. I really love Edward and hope to have a serious future with him. I don't want any ill will with his family. Please help. -- UNEXPECTED HEIRESS

DEAR HEIRESS: Before you make any hasty decisions, speak with the attorney who helped Edward's grandmother make her will. It might give you some insight into her motivation for naming you and excluding the family. It is possible she felt she had already provided enough financially over the years for her only remaining son and his family. Even if you now feel like the object of resentment, there is no guarantee that handing over your inheritance will make those feelings go away.

It goes without saying that this is a decision that only you can make. So think carefully about the implications and take plenty of time. Continue to work on your relationship with Edward -- and "que sera sera."

DEAR ABBY: I have a suggestion, based on my experience, for "Colorado Lady in Waiting," who is in love with "Bob" after dating him for seven months. He wanted her to be his girlfriend, but didn't want her to go with him when he moved out of state, saying he "wasn't sure he wanted to commit."

Twenty years ago, I maintained a four-year long-distance relationship with a boyfriend. Everything seemed fine. Then suddenly he advised me that he had met someone else. I was devastated and unable to form a lasting relationship for years, as I trusted no one.

Absence does NOT make the heart grow fonder; absence makes the heart forget.

My boyfriend left me for a woman he felt would make him a better financial partner. The joke was on him. I made my first million when I was 40. I found him recently via the Internet and discovered that his marriage is an unhappy one, and he regretted the decision he made so many years ago. Today I am ... SADDER, OLDER AND WISER

DEAR SADDER, OLDER AND WISER: Sadder? Please reconsider and settle for older and wiser. Be grateful that this man showed his true colors and made another woman miserable for 20 years. There but for the grace of God go you!

DEAR ABBY: I've been dating a sweet guy for a while. We really like each other and have a lot of fun together. The problem is, he's shorter than me. All I think about is the difference in our height. Please advise me what to do. -- NOT SEEING EYE-TO-EYE

DEAR NOT: With pleasure. Recognize your priorities. If he has an ear you can confide in, a mind that's open and a heart that's generous, he has all the equipment you need for a beautiful relationship. The measure of a man should be from eyebrows up. To disqualify someone because of a height requirement would be shortsighted and the "height" of stupidity.

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