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by Abigail Van Buren

No Room in Widow's Heart for Men Who Need Lovin'

DEAR ABBY: This is for the "shopping grandma," the "cooking grandma," and grandparents everywhere.

Let me tell you what I do -- I am a PLAYING grandma. I get down on the floor and play with my grandkids. I ask, "What do you want me to be?" Then I am the dog that barks, the tiny baby who cries, the mermaid who dives into the sea in search of treasures, or the prince cutting through the thicket with his huge sword to find Sleeping Beauty (stretched out on the sofa).

When my 5-year-old granddaughter was asked why she likes to play with her grandma, her answer was, "Because she makes the dolls talk." -- GRANDMA SHIRLEY IN METAIRIE, LA.

DEAR GRANDMA SHIRLEY: Your granddaughter is a lucky little girl. You are the grandparent every child deserves and dreams about.