DEAR JOHN: Last year at this time, I lost my Mom to cancer. I'm missing her even more with her birthday approaching. How can I get past this loss and move forward?
— Still Grieving in Auburn, Ala.
DEAR GRIEVING: I share in your pain. It's been many years since I lost my mom, but she is still with me in my thoughts.
It takes many years for us to move on from the pain of losing someone who is very close to us, and mothers especially are irreplaceable in their children's lives. As we mature, we better understand the gifts that our mothers give us through their patience, wisdom and sacrifice. At 18, we may not want to hear their advice, but by the time we reach 38, many of us are asking their counsel because we better understand that they may have life lessons to pass along to us.
Your grief, demonstrated in the pain and sorrow you feel for her loss, is perfectly understandable. Please realize that the love she had for you did not die with her. You can best honor her by living a joyous life, a life she would have wished for you. She would also have wanted you to give those you love the care, thought and devotion that she gave so fully to you. In that way, you will celebrate her memory and the joy of the gift of life that she gave to you.
DEAR JOHN: I'm 23 years old and have been with my boyfriend for three years. “Stan” recently joined a baseball team at his college. This is his dream come true, and he is completely obsessed with it. He is constantly late to pick me up if he's with “the guys,” and his attitude feels indifferent when he is with me. I figure he shouldn't be able to choose when to make me a priority. I should always be one, at least in his heart. I am at the end of my rope. I was supposed to marry this guy, but baseball season isn't over for another two months. Should I persist or move on?
— Out at Home in Manchester, N.H.
DEAR OUT: It's wonderful when the people we love find a passion, and we in turn support their love of that passion. That said, if you start showing resentment for his doing something he loves, believe me, this relationship is not going to last.
It sounds as if you are insecure about your role in his life. Don't be. Instead, when he's off playing baseball, take time to do something that makes you happy. That way, when you come back together after his games and your events, you'll have proof that absence really does make the heart grow fonder.
John Gray is the author of “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus.” Write John by email at www.marsvenus.com. All questions are kept anonymous and will be paraphrased.