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Mom deals with fallout from past decision

DEAR ABBY: Fifteen years ago, I “ran away from home” to get away from my adult children, and I finally made a life for myself. They were able to stay in the house because I continued to pay the mortgage. Their dad – my ex – and his family all lived nearby.

Now, none of my children wants anything to do with me or my family, and they don’t want any communication from me. I suspect they feel abandoned because I was the parent they could always count on. Is there anything I can do to repair our relationship? – Runaway Mom in Pennsylvania

DEAR MOM: Yes, tell your children you are selling the house, which, I assume, you now own outright. I’m quite sure they’ll begin “communicating” with you as soon as word reaches them. You were more than generous by keeping up those house payments so they would have a roof over their heads. If you had to “run away” from their bottomless pit of need, you did the right thing. Please don’t allow yourself to be used any further. You saved yourself, and you shouldn’t feel sad or guilty for having done it.

DEAR ABBY: I recently started talking to this guy from my past. I really like him. We’ve been off and on for a year now because we both had things in our lives that needed attention first (i.e., my bipolar depression and seeking counseling).

Anyway, my best friend has threatened to remove me from her life if I pursue a relationship with him. On one hand, this guy makes me feel like I’m on fire – in a good way, of course. But, on the other hand, I don’t want to lose my best friend. What do I do? – Hard Choice in Illinois

DEAR HARD CHOICE: You omitted something important from your letter. Why does your best friend object to this guy so strongly? Is she jealous? Could it have something to do with his issues? The last time you were with him, did it end badly? How badly? Your best friend may be attempting to save you, but she’s going about it clumsily. Talk to her.

DEAR ABBY: Recently, a friend came to my home. I offered coffee and cake, which I had already sliced and placed on plates. She responded that she wasn’t hungry right then and would take it home for later, and asked me for wrapping or a container to put it in. Of course, I complied, but I have never heard of such a thing, although diners often take home uneaten food from a restaurant. Am I out of step here, or have I got a right to be as shocked as I was? – Surprised Hostess

DEAR SURPRISED: If you were “shocked” by what she did, you must be sensitive indeed. Your friend was honest with you. Give her credit for it. She may love the cake you offered, but is watching her weight and thought she’d pop it in the freezer to enjoy another time. I know of no rule of etiquette that dictates a person must eat a pastry in the presence of the hostess.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.