DEAR ABBY: On July 26, 2011, you posted an answer to "Jittery Future Bride in Boston." I am that woman. I had asked you how to get my boyfriend of five years to use my deceased grandmother's ring as an engagement ring.
I followed your advice and told my boyfriend-at-the-time that I wanted to use a family ring. I spoke with my father about it and checked with my sister to see if she would mind if I used it.
We got engaged seven months ago, and my now-husband told me he had been hoping to take the stone from my paternal grandmother's ring, a stone from my maternal grandmother's ring and one from his family to make a new "joining of the families" ring. We haven't made it yet, but we all look forward to the special meaning that it will embody. We even plan to make a new setting out of the old setting. It's a fairy-tale ending. -- BLUSHING BRIDE IN BOSTON
DEAR BLUSHING BRIDE: Actually, it's more like a fairy-tale beginning. I love the idea. Thank you for letting me know how things turned out. Not many of my readers take the time to do that. I wish you and your husband a lifetime of happiness together.
DEAR ABBY: The mother of a friend of mine died recently. I offered my condolences, and since then I haven't been the same.
I am nine months pregnant, and even though I should be excited and celebrating the anticipated arrival of our baby, all I can think about is that my mother is going to die one day. She's 52, healthy and happy, but I can't get it out of my mind. I have become a different person, crying at the most trivial things and often panicking that Mom's OK. I don't think I could make it through if anything happened to her.
Dwelling on this is affecting my relationship with my husband and my friends. How do I stop obsessing over this? -- ANXIOUS IN ALBUQUERQUE
DEAR ANXIOUS: A discussion with your OB/GYN would be helpful. By the last months of pregnancy, a woman's body is swimming in hormones. Those increased hormone levels have been known to have a profound effect on a woman's emotions.
The solution to your problem may be as simple as understanding that once your baby arrives and your hormones return to normal, you will be back on a more even keel. If that doesn't happen, you may have to talk with a mental health professional -- although I doubt that will be necessary. In the meantime, your mother is healthy, happy and about to be a grandmother, so dwell on the positive.
DEAR READERS: A thought for the day: The best exercise in the world is to bend down and help someone up.
To order "How to Write Letters for All Occasions," send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby -- Letter Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. Shipping and handling are included in the price.