DEAR ABBY: Our kids have decided not to have kids. Although we have no choice but to accept it, and would never express our disappointment or lay a guilt trip on them, we still have feelings about it. It's our biggest sadness.
All the people we know have grandchildren. At holidays they have toys to buy, cookies to bake, dinners to plan. Our friends and relatives tell us that because we won't have grandkids we can buy ourselves something extra-special. It doesn't make us feel any better.
An entire chapter of our lives will be missing. No one will call us "Grandma" or "Grandpa." Are our feelings legitimate, or are we whining about nothing? -- NOBODY'S GRANDMA
DEAR NOBODY'S GRANDMA: You are whining about something. However, if you feel left out because you won't be buying toys at holiday time, baking cookies and being called "Grandma" and "Grandpa," I have a suggestion for you. "Adopt" a needy family with small children and assume that role. You need only look as far as your nearest homeless shelter, program for abused women, or ask someone in Social Services to find one for you. I guarantee you'll be greeted with open arms and open hearts.