DEAR ABBY: A friend of 40 years got mad at me after the last presidential election. I told her I didn't want to talk politics, since we voted for different candidates. She then emailed me saying she thought we should take a break from our long-distance phone calls. We had been calling each other every two weeks to catch up.
Because it has now been more than a year, I emailed her, texted her and finally left a message on her answering machine asking if she was still mad. (I did this over a period of a week.) Then I got worried, since she's in her 80s. I finally called her daughter and was told she was in the hospital recovering from heart surgery. When her daughter told her I was trying to get in touch, I received a text that read, "Not mad. Just don't want to talk."
I hate to give up on a long friendship. Her birthday is coming up. Should I send her a birthday card, or respect her wishes and give up? -- OLD FRIEND IN FLORIDA
DEAR OLD FRIEND: Please don't jump to conclusions. People in the early stages of recovery from major surgery may not feel up to long discussions until they are stronger. By all means, send your friend a birthday card and include in it that you treasure your friendship and wish her a speedy and complication-free recovery. After that, the ball is in her court.