DEAR ABBY: I just hung up after calling our former son-in-law to wish him happiness and good luck on his wedding day tomorrow. Oh, how it hurts! We love him, and have loved him, since he came into our family almost 30 years ago. Our daughter has never wanted us to hate him. She doesn't. They had a friendly divorce (sometimes the hardest kind to understand), so we were not betraying her by calling him.
Abby, I just wanted to write to you to put in a good word for loving in-laws. I know that children are the victims of divorce, and that they must learn to accept the decisions of their parents. But on the other hand, we, as parents, must accept the decisions of our children, and silently mourn the loss of someone we love and years of family memories. We, too, are victims. Thank you for listening. -- HEALING TOO SLOWLY IN ILLINOIS
DEAR HEALING: You appear to be a caring and sensitive woman. Perhaps it will speed your healing to keep uppermost in mind that neither your daughter nor your former son-in-law seems to regret the decision to go their separate ways.
I am reminded of the famous line from Reinhold Niebuhr's "The Serenity Prayer": "God, give us grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, courage to change the things which should be changed, and the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other."