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Annie Lane: Have an open heart

Dear Annie: For 25 years, a very close couple would get together with us for a nice meal. We did lots of things including trips and outings. Eighteen months ago, my friend suddenly died. Her husband is now dating a very lovely woman (I hear), and we are glad he is happy.

We expect them to travel to our area this summer, and possibly, we will go out for dinner. This feels very weird. Any suggestions on how to embrace this new person?

—Adjusting to the Change

Dear Adjusting: I am very sorry for your loss. Adjusting to the change, and the feelings of missing your friend, creates a special challenge. If she were alive today, she would want her husband to be happy and not alone. Try and see your friend’s new companion with an open heart and think about his happiness.

• • •

Dear Annie: Thank you for your expert advice and knowledge for caring for an elderly parent. I didn’t expect my letter to be published. I had hit rock bottom when I wrote that letter. Before my letter was published today, I stopped feeling sorry for myself and got help! Your headline “Draining My Battery to Support Others” was spot on. I was tapped out!

I did exactly what you mentioned in your reply as for getting home help or a nursing facility. A couple times a week, I have visiting nurses and an exercise therapist for my mother.

I am still confined, but I have some relief knowing that skilled people are doing a better job than I have done. It’s working out well. Of course, my duties are still numerous doctor appointments a month, emergency room trips, groceries and all the things necessary to make sure she is comfortable. At 91, I know my time is limited with her. I would like to make the most of it by spending quality time with her and not being so overwhelmed with all these extra duties.

Thank you again for your support.

—Tired and Worn Out

Dear Tired and Worn Out: Thank you for your letter. It filled me with joy to know that you took responsibility for your life and made positive changes to recharge your battery!

“Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie” is out now! Visit www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@creators.com.

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