DEAR ABBY: I had what I thought was a great marriage to "Grant" for nearly 15 years. Like many women, as I entered my 30s, I became bored and unhappy and, as our marriage suffered, I blamed it all on him. (I mean, wasn't he supposed to keep me happy?)
To make a long story short, I filed for divorce. Grant was shocked. I don't think he would have ever filed. It devastated our 10-year-old son and 8-year-old daughter.
It has been three years since our divorce became final, and after a series of boyfriends -- each more disappointing than the last -- I still haven't found what I'm looking for. Grant has had only two girlfriends since, and he is fairly infatuated with the woman he is seeing now.
Our children adore their dad, and I now realize how handsome, how nice, and what a great man Grant really is. I now believe he really is my soul mate.
Did I make the biggest mistake of my life? Can I, or should I even try to win him back? Help me, Abby! -- REGRETFUL IN MICHIGAN
DEAR REGRETFUL: The answer is yes to all three questions. Sometimes we don't appreciate what we have until we lose it.
Before you start campaigning to win him back, you would be wise to get some counseling to be sure you're serious about wanting him back and not acting out of frustration about your inability to connect with another man.
If it turns out that Grant really is the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, pray that he is more forgiving than most would be after having been hurt the way he was. It will take a miracle for him to forgive you. But miracles have been known to happen. And you'll never know unless you try.
DEAR ABBY: My 90-year-old grandmother had been a devoted member of her church for more than 50 years. She has been homebound for the last two years. The first of each month, she continues to send 10 percent of her Social Security check to her church, hand-delivered by friends and family -- whoever is attending.
Is my grandmother's pastor required by a "higher power" to come to her house on a regular basis to visit and pray with her, so that she feels she's still a part of her church community?
During the past year, my grandmother's pastor has come by her home only once. Grandma's modest home is always spotless, and she is pleasant to be around -- she's just old and lonely.
Her world has always revolved around her church, and now is the time that she needs their support. To tell you the truth, I'm so disappointed by their lack of compassion, it will be hard to look at those church people if they show up at her funeral. -- VENTING IN OKLAHOMA
DEAR VENTING: There is no excuse for your grandmother to be ignored any longer. Whoever takes her money to the church next time should have a heart-to-heart chat with the pastor and tell him or her what you have written to me.
The responsibility to visit belongs not only to the pastor, but to the elders, deacons and the church members in general. Sometimes there is even a committee of volunteers to minister to the needy, elderly and infirm.
DEAR ABBY: My grandmother died recently, and while going through a box of old photographs I was reminded of some advice you've given to readers: Always write the names of the people (and the date the picture was taken) on the back of your photographs.
One of my grandmother's snapshots was of a lady and a dog. Neatly printed on the back was, "Me and my dog." -- SAM IN PENNSYLVANIA
DEAR SAM: It could have been worse. It could have said, "Me and my gal," signed with a paw print.
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