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by Abigail Van Buren

Empty Nester Drawn to the Ocean Feels Guilty Leaving Mom Behind

DEAR ABBY: I was born in the mountains of western North Carolina, but I have been obsessed with the beach since I was a toddler. I am an empty nester and retired. Soon my husband and I would like to move to Florida for the warmer climate and to ease our ocean-obsessed souls. The problem is, I am heartbroken to leave my mother. She's getting older, and we are very close.

She has given me her blessing, as she knows the winters here make me miserable physically and mentally. The thing is, I will miss her terribly. We can video chat and visit often, but I can't shake my guilt over leaving her.

My brother lives close by and will take care of her if she needs anything (she lives independently) and keep her company, and she does have a friend she spends time with also. Am I being unreasonable? Or am I being completely selfish? It just feels wrong to leave her. -- TORTURED DAUGHTER IN THE SOUTH

DEAR TORTURED: Your mother has given you her blessing to move. Take her up on it with a light heart. And during the winter months, invite her to come and stay with you if she wishes. That way you won't have to feel guilty, and she might enjoy the warmer weather.

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