DEAR ABBY: My husband and I recently celebrated our first anniversary and have decided we're ready to start a family. Our first month of trying has not been successful. My newly engaged cousin has just announced her wedding date. If our second month of trying is successful, my due date will fall just two days prior to their wedding.
I'm extremely close with my family, especially this particular cousin because we are so close in age. The thought of missing out on such a special day for them makes me upset. Plus, if I should go into labor the day of the wedding, not only would my husband and I be unable to attend but neither would my parents or sister because they would want to be by my side. That seems unfair to my cousin. Although I know she would understand, I would feel guilty.
When I brought up the idea of taking the month off from trying so the dates don't overlap, I knew my husband would be upset. But he wasn't just upset, he was furious! He told me I was being completely unreasonable and that it was the most absurd thing he's ever heard. (Mind you, he can be a little dramatic when he's upset.)
All I want to do is start trying again the next month so I would be due the month after the wedding. I never said I didn't want a baby, just that I want the opportunity to share in the joy of my cousin's big day. Am I being insensitive? — TIMING IT RIGHT IN PENNSYLVANIA
DEAR TIMING: I don't think you are being insensitive. I do think you are overthinking this. Most people do not conceive on their first try. Sometimes it takes several tries — or more. Pregnant women do not always deliver on schedule. So please, rather than worry about your cousin's wedding, let things progress in their own time. If you do, you will have less drama in your life to contend with.
DEAR ABBY: My husband passed away in early 2014. I haven't been able to get rid of or give away any of his stuff. He was a successful structural engineer with licenses in 12 states. He liked to go hiking every weekend "to clear his head." He has a collection of souvenir small metal buildings and ashtrays of civil or structural significance.
Abby, I'm just not sure how to start to move on. Granted, I'm no spring chicken — I just turned 70 — but it would be sweet to find another partner. To do that, I know I've got to lose the stuff. Maybe writing to you is helping me to sort it out. I would appreciate knowing your thoughts on the subject. — SORTING THINGS OUT IN FLORIDA
DEAR SORTING THINGS OUT: Please accept my sympathy for the loss of your husband. No one can dictate when a widow or widower should start donating their deceased spouse's belongings. Grieving is an individual process, and the timing isn't the same for everyone. This project doesn't have to be done all at once.
Now that you are ready, contact a thrift store and ask what items they would welcome. The collection of souvenirs may or may not be valuable. An appraiser could help you to determine that. If your husband belonged to any organizations affiliated with his career, contact them to see if any of the members would be interested in acquiring it.
As to finding another partner, the solution is to make it your business to mingle, be social and scope out dating sites for seniors. If you need help, have a single friend or relative help you put together a profile and show you the ropes so you can do it safely.
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.
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