Lost dream of grand­par­ent­hood leaves hole in woman’s heart

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - YOUR DAILY BREAK - Dear Abby

DEAR ABBY >> I have two won­der­ful chil­dren (28 and 30). Both are mar­ried and have great spouses.

Ever since I was a girl, I have dreamed of be­ing a mother and a grand­mother. My heart­break is that nei­ther of my chil­dren wants kids. Ev­ery time I hear that my sis­ter or brother is be­com­ing a grand­par­ent again, my heart aches so bad I sit down and cry.

My hus­band says I need to accept it and move on. I have tried, but I’m so de­pressed right now I don’t know what to do. I’m thank­ful my chil­dren found their soul mates and are do­ing very well. I just don’t know how to get past this miss­ing part of me. — Un­happy in Colorado

DEAR UN­HAPPY >> Have you con­sid­ered go­ing on­line and re­search­ing vol­un­teer op­por­tu­ni­ties to work with chil­dren or teens? While they wouldn’t be re­lated to you, it would give you an op­por­tu­nity to make a sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ence in a child’s life.

One or­ga­ni­za­tion that comes to mind is Big Broth­ers Big Sis­ters of Amer­ica, which would give you the chance to be a men­tor. Another pro­gram you might en­joy is Fos­ter Grand­par­ents, which is spon­sored by the Cor­po­ra­tion for Na­tional and Com­mu­nity Ser­vice.

Or call the hos­pi­tals in your area and ask if they need some­one to come in on a reg­u­lar ba­sis to hold and rock pre­ma­ture in­fants and new­borns. If you con­tact CASA for Chil­dren (casaforchil­dren.org), you could be­come a court-ap­pointed ad­vo­cate for abused and ne­glected chil­dren and teens, which may pro­vide the emo­tional sat­is­fac­tion you need.

I hope my sug­ges­tions will help you. How­ever, if they don’t, then you must accept that plans we make for our­selves when we are young don’t al­ways work out as we wish they would, and let them go.

DEAR ABBY >> My hus­band and I have been to­gether for more than 30 years. It has been a very lonely mar­riage. I raised the kids alone while he worked and vol­un­teered at the church and teen club.

I spent the first 10 years of our mar­riage nag­ging him to spend time with me and the kids, but he was al­ways too busy “do­ing good.” I tried a cou­ple of times to par­tic­i­pate in his life by camp­ing with him and the teens, but the girls gossiping un­til 1 a.m. and the boys stick sword fight­ing at 5 a.m. left me ex­hausted and ir­ri­ta­ble. Plus, it didn’t ac­com­plish any­thing be­cause he didn’t spend any time with me and the kids, anyway. I fi­nally gave up nag­ging and just con­cen­trated on rais­ing our three kids.

Our kids are now grown, al­though one still lives at home and at­tends col­lege. I feel stuck be­cause I don’t have Bib­li­cal grounds for di­vorce. I’m only 50, so I’m look­ing at 30 more years of lone­li­ness.

A cou­ple of years ago, I found a re­ally fun sport — scuba div­ing. I’ve made some great friends, but this isn’t some­thing I’ll be able to do for the next 30 years. Do you have any sug­ges­tions? — Lonely in the West

DEAR LONELY >> Not know­ing to which re­li­gious de­nom­i­na­tion you be­long, the best ad­vice I can of­fer is for you to talk to your cler­gyper­son about pos­si­ble grounds for di­vorce within your re­li­gion. That you have been ef­fec­tively emo­tion­ally de­serted for decades by your hus­band might qual­ify. You have my sym­pa­thy. 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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