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DAUGHTER ON A ROCKY ROAD

Dear Abby: I'm at my wit's end with my daughter, "Fran." She excelled in school and had a chance to go to college, but she chose to be married instead. Fran is now 35 and on her fourth marriage. I have seen my daughter through one violent marriage, amphetamine addiction, and one episode where she overdosed on medication and I had to rush her to the hospital to have her stomach pumped.

Fran can't hold a job because she has trouble getting along with others. My deepest concern is that she will commit suicide. She has been verbally abusive to me, but I can't just write her off. Fran is my daughter, and there are grandchildren to consider.

She refuses counseling. She says all they do is talk, and they can't do anything. She also thinks she is smarter than the counselors are. The children's father is no help. He's an alcoholic. Can you help me?

-- Walking on Eggshells in the Midwest
Dear Walking on Eggshells: Your daughter's "overdose" on medication was an indication that she's a danger to herself, and she should have been held for psychiatric evaluation then. She appears to be very troubled, and very much in need of professional help. Your concern is that she might hurt herself. Mine is that she could harm the children. Since your daughter refuses to get help, I think you should involve Family Services. Perhaps that will wake her up.

Motorcade etiquette

Dear Abby: Because your column reaches so many households, you are in a position to share some much-needed tips about riding in funeral processions. Many automobile collisions occur on the way to cemeteries because mourners' vehicles travel through red lights, and other drivers unwittingly cut into the line of cars. Also, many cars get lost from the pack, causing the occupants to miss the remaining services.

I would like to offer some tips:

First, hazard lights should be used in addition to headlights, since daytime headlights are used in various parts of the country.

Second, a non-obstructing yellow paper with the word FUNERAL in large block letters should be hung in the window of each car to make the situation clear to motorists approaching from the sides.

Last, funeral directors should distribute photocopies of directions from the funeral home to the church and to the cemetery, so that people at the end of the line will not feel pressured into unsafe driving to avoid getting lost.

Thank you for printing this, Abby.

Widower Due to a Funeral Collision
Dear Widower: Please accept my deepest sympathy for the tragic loss of your wife. I hope your letter will avert another tragedy.

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.

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