DEAR ABBY: My 7-year-old granddaughter, "Hannah," is the light of my life. Her mother walked out on her when she was 2, and her mother's parents don't know she exists. Her mother hid her pregnancy and delivery, and the child has lived with us since birth.
Currently, my son and Hannah's mother share legal custody, but he has full physical custody. There has been no communication from her mother in at least five years.
Hannah is starting to ask questions about her mother, and we have always been truthful with her. It will not be long before she puts things together and realizes she has another set of grandparents. Should we inform them about their grandchild? -- HOLDING A SECRET IN THE EAST
DEAR HOLDING: Because your son has full physical custody of Hannah, tell him about your concerns. Hannah's maternal grandparents have been in the dark for so long, the news of her existence is bound to be a bombshell. There's a reason why their daughter didn't want them to know about her, and as you pointed out, there could be legal ramifications. Because Hannah is now asking questions about her mother, her father should prepare to answer them for her. However well-intentioned you may be, this matter is for your son to deal with, not you.
DEAR ABBY: I'm a teen girl. "Chloe" and I have been friends since first grade. Even though we went to different high schools and have made other friends, we still remained close, spending summer vacations with each other's family.
We are now juniors in high school. Last summer she told me she's a lesbian and shared all her feelings with me. I understand her, and we're still close friends, sharing each other's secrets. Her family knows and accepts her sexual orientation as I and my family do.
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Three months ago, she met a partner, and I was truly happy for her. Unfortunately, her partner must feel insecure about our friendship because she has turned Chloe against me. Chloe no longer returns my calls or texts.
I miss my friend and confidante badly and can't get over it. How can I get over my loss? I can't understand why we all can't be friends. I don't know what to do. -- MISSING MY BESTIE IN FLORIDA
DEAR MISSING: You can't "all be friends" because Chloe's girlfriend is threatened by the long-standing relationship you have had with her. This has nothing to do with you; it is a reflection of the girl's insecurity and possessiveness. If things don't work out with Chloe's girlfriend, there is a distinct possibility that she will be back in your life. Do not burn any bridges, but do continue to form relationships with other people. It will help to soothe the loneliness you are feeling.
DEAR ABBY: I would like to throw a 70th birthday party for myself, but I don't want the guests to think I'm doing it to get presents. What should I do? -- LOOKING TO HAVE FUN
DEAR LOOKING: Include with the invitations: "The only present I require is the gift of your presence."