Mom sees dan­ger ev­ery­where as daugh­ter leaves for school

The Western Star - - LIFE - Abi­gail Van Buren 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 or P.O. Box 69440, Los An­ge­les, CA 90069.

DEAR ABBY: I’m the proud mom of a won­der­ful 21-year-old daugh­ter whom I find my­self wor­ry­ing about more and more lately. She just grad­u­ated from our lo­cal col­lege and is head­ing to med­i­cal school in an­other state six hours away.

Rationally, I know she’ll be fine and can take care of her­self, but I am ter­ri­fied that some­thing will hap­pen to her and I won’t be there. My hus­band and daugh­ter keep telling me noth­ing will hap­pen and I need to calm down.

My ques­tion is, how do I go about stay­ing calm when there is dan­ger ev­ery­where? She’s our only child. Aren’t my fears jus­ti­fied? Or am I over­re­act­ing like they keep telling me? – WOR­RIED MOM IN ALABAMA

DEAR WOR­RIED MOM: You are over­re­act­ing. Many par­ents ex­pe­ri­ence the fears you are hav­ing to some de­gree when their child leaves home. For many of them, it hap­pens when the child boards the school bus at the age of 6. For oth­ers it hap­pens when their young adult leaves for col­lege.

While tragedies do some­times oc­cur, they can hap­pen when a par­ent is present as well as when their child is ab­sent. These in­ci­dents are mag­ni­fied when they dom­i­nate the news cy­cle. If you are un­able to con­trol your anx­i­ety, a li­censed ther­a­pist may be able to help you re­gain your bal­ance.

DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend, “Rus­sell,” and I have had a good re­la­tion­ship for five years. He’s black; I’m white. The prob­lem is, on ev­ery hol­i­day – Mother’s Day, Easter, Fa­ther’s Day, etc. – Rus­sell and his fam­ily go out to din­ner and I am not in­vited. I have a feel­ing it’s be­cause I’m white. His ex-girl­friend was black, and she was al­ways in­vited to fam­ily func­tions.

I love Rus­sell but don’t think our re­la­tion­ship will go any­where be­cause his fam­ily doesn’t ap­prove of me. My fam­ily to­tally accepts him, by the way.

What should I do? Should I stay in a re­la­tion­ship where I am shunned? He doesn’t think it’s that big a deal and says I shouldn’t let it bother me, but how can it not? His brother’s girl­friend is in­vited. She’s black, of course. Help, please. – EX­CLUDED IN DELAWARE

DEAR EX­CLUDED: You have been see­ing Rus­sell for five years? It is a big deal, and you would have to have a hide of Kevlar not to be both­ered by it. Have you asked him why you are con­sis­tently ex­cluded? Have you asked where he thinks your re­la­tion­ship is go­ing? If not, it’s time you did.

Not know­ing Rus­sell’s fam­ily, I don’t know whether they may have some other ob­jec­tion to you than the fact that you are white. Re­gret­fully, racism ex­ists in ev­ery com­mu­nity to some de­gree. With­out more in­for­ma­tion, I am re­luc­tant to la­bel them.

DEAR ABBY: Re­cently I’ve no­ticed more peo­ple say­ing “Ex­cuse you” in­stead of “Ex­cuse me” if some­one is in their way. I con­sider it very rude, since the per­son be­ing ad­dressed of­ten has no idea he or she is in the way be­fore some­thing is said. What’s an ap­pro­pri­ate re­sponse when some­one says “Ex­cuse you”? – EX­CUSE ME IN THE MID­WEST

DEAR EX­CUSE ME: This is what I would say: “Ex­cuse me? Ex­cuse YOU! If you need to get by, all you have to do is ask po­litely.”

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