DEAR ABBY: My mom passed away two years ago. Because she was cremated, there is no grave site to pay tribute to her. She lived in Rhode Island; I live in Florida.
My roommate's mother passed last year, and she was buried here in Florida. On Mother's Day, I wanted to pay respects to both of our moms. Because my mom has no grave site, we placed flowers on my roommate's mom's grave in memory of both mothers.
Was it wrong to do this? My roommate is fine with the idea, but others disagree. Abby, what's your take on this? Any other ideas for me to honor my mom? -- MOURNING MY MOM
DEAR MOURNING: If placing flowers on your roommate's mother's grave brought you comfort, then it was exactly the right thing to do. That someone told you there was anything wrong with the way you chose to ease your sense of loss was the height of nerve. If you wish to continue doing it, then you should.
As to other ways to honor your mom, consider making a donation in her memory to a cause that was dear to her or a school she attended. I'm sure both would be appreciated.
DEAR ABBY: My husband, his father, grandfather and great-grandfather all share the same first name, which is "Andrew." We hope to carry on the tradition if we are blessed with a baby boy.
My husband's first cousin and his wife have just announced they are having a baby boy and will be using Andrew as a middle name. My husband isn't upset about it, but I am. My husband's cousin claims he simply wanted to name his son after his great-grandfather, but I feel like Andrew isn't his name to use. Am I overreacting? I don't feel right about using the name now if we are blessed to have a son. Am I being selfish? -- IRKED WIFE IN NORTH CAROLINA
DEAR IRKED WIFE: Not only is your attitude selfish, it's also unrealistic. Nobody "owns" the name Andrew. If your husband's cousin and his wife want to honor their great-grandfather (or his memory) in this way, they are free to do so, and it should have no impact on what you name your next male child. (If it's a girl, consider naming her "Andrea.")
DEAR ABBY: My sister has three kids whom I love. However, she and her husband seem to need a baby sitter every single day for one thing or another. In my opinion, if you decide to have three kids, you should be able to incorporate them into your lifestyle. But they use sitters to watch two of them, while they take one to soccer practice or go to the grocery store, etc.
I get annoyed because all this baby-sitting falls on my parents, or sometimes me. I had one -- and only one -- kid for a reason. I resent having to still be in baby mode. Am I wrong to feel we are being ... USED IN LOUISIANA?
DEAR USED: No.