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DEAR ABBY: I'm close to 70 and have three grown children. I've been a widow for 15 years. My oldest son, age 45, has pretty much cut himself off from our fairly close family. His reason: Two years ago, after I had surgery for lung cancer, he claims I told him I wished I had never had children. This couldn't be further from the truth. All three of mine were planned.

My other children decided the hospital was overmedicating me and that most of what I was babbling was nonsense. I only remember bits and pieces and have no idea whether my recollections are accurate.

I have no problem dealing with my son's attitude; I'm a realist. The problem is the way it's affecting my 90-year-old mother, who lives with me. She feels he has cut her out of his life, too, because of me, and it appears she's right.

How can we convince him he's ripping his grandmother's heart out when he won't talk to either of us? She doesn't deserve such treatment, and he has no right to hurt her this way. -- BEWILDERED IN FLORIDA

DEAR BEWILDERED: If this is the only reason for the estrangement from your son -- which I doubt -- have his siblings talk to him and point out that: (1) You were so drugged up after your surgery you were not in your right mind, therefore you shouldn't be punished or held responsible for any gibberish that came out of your mouth during that period, and (2) it is wrong to punish Granny in such a heartless fashion for something that has nothing to do with her. Perhaps they will be able to get through to him where you cannot.

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