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Lessons from past still ring true

DEAR ABBY: Years ago, I sat over lunch, reading your mom’s “Definition of Maturity.” It was shortly after my dad died, and reading it made me realize how lucky I had been. Those were all lessons I learned at home from my parents.

Perhaps this item is in your booklet. But could you print it in your column again for other readers to see? It’s an important reminder of what to strive for. – Mary H. in Iowa

DEAR MARY: I am doing that with pleasure. I agree that Mama’s definition of maturity is a timely reminder – and perhaps something that people (of all ages) can learn from today.


Maturity is:

The ability to stick with a job until it’s finished.

The ability to do a job without being supervised.

The ability to carry money without spending it.

And the ability to bear an injustice without wanting

To get even.

You were correct when you guessed that her definition of maturity is part of the “Keepers” booklet. “Keepers” is a collection of articles that readers suggested be put together in booklet form, many of which readers had hung onto until they were worn and yellowed with age. What resulted was a booklet that contains clever observations and items about diverse subjects, including parenting, children, aging, animals, forgiveness and more. It can be ordered by sending your name and address plus a check or money order for $8 to Dear Abby Keepers Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

Both witty and philosophical, the “Keepers” booklet is an inexpensive, welcome gift for newly married couples, pet lovers or anyone recovering from an illness and filled with down-to-earth nuggets of wisdom.

DEAR ABBY: In the past, my husband of 22 years traveled often for work. He had an emotional affair with a co-worker he met on one of those trips. He never saw her again. After that, he became distant and sometimes rude toward me. We went to marriage therapy, which helped.

I was recovering when one day a friend of mine told me my husband had called her and said, “I think about you.” She called me immediately afterward. I am very hurt. Now it’s hard for me to believe him and trust him. He had a problem in the past with pornography, but he is not doing it anymore, and he has changed jobs. Is there hope for our marriage? Can I trust him again? – Heartbroken in Virginia

DEAR HEARTBROKEN: There may be hope, if the two of you are able to get to the root of why your husband may be looking for something outside your marriage. This should be done with the help of a licensed marriage and family counselor. However, you should not trust him again unless you are certain he is truly penitent.