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by Abigail Van Buren

Dying Mother's Wishes Are Turned Into Dust

DEAR ABBY: My 69-year-old widowed mother, my younger sister, "Lia," and her family, and my husband and I live in different states. Mom is in good health, active and has many friends. In the 25 years Lia and I have been married, Mom has come to stay with me five times. Only twice has she stayed more than two days.

Lia was recently telling me about a visit she'd had from Mom and estimated that Mom had been at their home 200 days over the past 10 years. I had never thought about the disparity before. When I said, half-jokingly, "Maybe I should be hurt," Lia responded, "Mom likes to come here because we have kids and you don't, and she's more entertained."

I have always asked Mom to stay longer than she does. I even offered to pay her plane fare or drive there to pick her up. Mom always says she's "too busy."

I love my mother's company and we have never argued. We have common interests and there's lots to do in my city. I understand her wanting to see her grandchildren. I enjoy them, too, when I visit my sister. But I'm hurt that Mom has never wanted to spend more time with me. I feel like I'm less valued as a daughter because I have no children. Am I silly for being hurt? -- OVERLOOKED IN ROCHESTER, N.Y.

DEAR OVERLOOKED: Your feelings are not "silly." Your sister's bragging was tactless, and so was her follow-up. Tell your mother about the conversation and how it made you feel.

Not knowing your mother or her relationship with you and Lia, I can't explain the disparity. But please allow me to point out that you are all adults -- you have a good marriage and a good life, and, if necessary, concentrate on that and not how often you and your sister see your mother.