DEAR ABBY: My husband and I separated last summer. My daughter was living with me, and my son went to live with his father. For months I tried to work things out with my husband in hopes of saving our 22-year marriage. It was impossible.
At Christmas, my son and his father vacationed together, and my daughter and I spent the holiday at home. Two months later, just after my birthday, my 17-year-old son ran away from his father's apartment. It happened the same day he received his report card. I'm not sure if he left because of our divorce, his poor grades, problems with his father or a combination of things.
I pray my son is reading your column today and sees this letter. I want him to know that the divorce is final and I was granted custody of him. To my son and all other runaways: Please call home. Let your parents know you are OK. Whatever problems there are can be worked out. Life is too short to stay away from those who love you. Please make that phone call today.
Thank you, Abby, for printing this letter. I hope all parents in my shoes hear from their children today. -- MOM MISSING HER SON
DEAR MOM: I'm printing your letter in the hope that some of them will.
If you are a runaway, promise yourself that this is the day you will pick up the phone and let your family know that you are OK. If phoning home is too difficult, call the toll-free National Runaway Switchboard at (800) 621-4000. Your call will be kept confidential, and it could save your life.