DEAR ABBY: When I heard that my 83-year-old mother was on life support, I caught the first plane to California to be with her. I am listed as the executor of her estate, and last year she had told me where I would find all the necessary papers I would need when the "time comes." Upon my arrival at the hospital, the doctor told my sister and me that Mama had a very slim chance of survival.
When I left the hospital to spend the night at Mama's house, I located the papers, figuring I'd need them after her impending death. I opened the box and found a handwritten letter on top of the stack of papers. It had been written by Mama exactly two months before. It was her last wishes for her funeral.
Unknown to anyone, she had changed her mind and decided she wanted no memorial at a church, only a graveside service. Shocked to read her last wishes, I felt it would be better to inform the family before she died rather than wait until we'd be even more distraught.
Well, the doctor was wrong. Mama survived a heart valve replacement and is doing well. My sister feels I was wrong to share that information while Mama was still alive. Should I have waited? -- SECOND-GUESSED IN OHIO
DEAR SECOND-GUESSED: Your sister is entitled to her opinion, but in mine you did the right thing -- and for the reason you stated. I'm pleased your mother survived the procedure and is doing well. Now everyone can discuss her last wishes with her, and if there are any bones to be picked, they can pick them with her.