Dear Abby: My son, "Glenn," and his girlfriend of two years, "Nancy," have started college at different universities. Nancy made the cheerleading squad, and now it has gone to her head.
Nancy was never popular in high school, but now that she is, she has decided she no longer wants anything to do with Glenn. She acts very spoiled and wants everything her way.
Nancy told my son she likes being away from her parents and him, so she can do what she wants, when she wants. Glenn is worried sick about her. He thinks she's going to get in over her head. His father and I tell him he needs to move on. I know he loves Nancy, so how can we get him to forget her?
- Worried in Kansas
Dear Worried: College is a time for growth, and in this case, the two young lovers have grown in different directions. Encourage your son to become more active at school, to study hard and to make a point of meeting new people. As much as he cares about Nancy, she has declared her independence. Since he can't protect her, he should concentrate his energies on taking care of himself. Time and distraction will heal what's ailing him.
Dear Abby: Ten years ago, my fiance, "Rick," and his then-wife, "Kim," lost their son shortly after birth. They had him cremated. Much to Rick's horror, Kim disposed of their baby's ashes in a dumpster. She said she never wanted the baby in the first place.
Rick was devastated, as was the entire family. Kim acted very shut off and cold, not only during this tragic event, but with their other children as well.
Every year on the anniversary of his son's death, Rick breaks down and I grieve beside him. Is there anything I can have made (or make myself) in honor of the child? I feel it would ease the minds of those who were truly bereaved and let the baby boy rest in peace.
- Wants to Help
Dear Wants: I'm unclear from your letter whether Rick's wife was distant during their entire marriage, or whether she might have been suffering from depression (and possibly psychosis) after the death of the baby. Because her behavior was bizarre, I can only hope she received medical and psychological care.
That you want to honor your fiance's child is commendable, but before doing anything, talk to Rick and ask what he would like. Planting a tree in a park with a small plaque would make a nice memorial - or perhaps a scholarship in the baby's name.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.