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Dear Abby: I am an only child who has lived at home all her life – 44 years. My father recently passed away, so now it is just Mom and me. She has become extremely clingy. She is jealous of my friends and feels I must be with her for almost everything. What can I do? SQI think I should move out, but she will take it badly. Also, I’m concerned about her health. She’s 71, diabetic and has a heart condition. Is this a lost cause or is there hope?

Hoping in Florida

Dear Hoping: I agree that you should move. It would have been better had you cut the umbilical cord while your father was still alive, but better late than never.

Are there relatives or friends who can look in on your mother regularly? If there are, enlist their help. She should not be allowed to become isolated and solely dependent on one person. Look into grief support groups and other programs for seniors in your community.

If your mother needs a companion and your family finances allow it, hire someone to stay with her. It’s time you had a life of your own. Consider it the price of your freedom.

Dear Abby:: A few months ago, one of my best friends was dumped by his long-term boyfriend. I was shocked because everyone thought they were an ideal couple, and theirs was a relationship to model all of ours after.

A few days ago, my friend finally felt comfortable enough to confide that his ex had cheated on him with another friend of ours, which was another shock. Since then, I have been conflicted about how to act around the ex, whom I considered to be a good friend until this happened. I am tempted to lash out at him for hurting someone we care about, but I don’t want to add more drama.

We all are in undergrad together, so we see each other every day. It’s getting harder not to stick up for my friend at this point. How do I suppress my anger in order to be a friend to both of them, even if the ex may not deserve it?

Angry in the South

Dear Angry: A way to do that would be to remind yourself that there are usually two sides to a story. Bide your time and wait to see what happens. Whether you want to remain friends with the “cad” will become apparent with time. Remaining quiet may be the better choice, particularly if the “ideal couple” decides to reunite.

Dear Abby: I am a 60-year-old widow who wants to begin dating. I have some health problems, although they are neither fatal nor limit my energy. I have excellent insurance and the monetary resources for the needed treatment. I’m concerned that these conditions might scare off any suitors. How upfront must I be about them? I don’t intend to lie, but must I give an extensive medical disclosure on the first few dates?

Wants to be Upfront

Dear Wants: I don’t think your first conversations should include an “organ recital.” However, if a relationship appears to be blossoming into something more than social, the honest thing to do would be to disclose.

Dear Abby: At an amusement park recently, I was unable to win the woman I’m dating the oversized stuffed giraffe she desired. I tried valiantly. She forgave me, but I’m afraid she harbors more resentment than she let on. Since then her behavior has been peculiar. She emails me pictures of giraffes, stretches her neck to frightening lengths, and got a giraffe tattoo that extends from her wrist to her shoulder.

I know the ability to win a stuffed animal for a lover is a potent measure of a man’s worth. My failure has left my masculinity sagging. Is there anything I can do to reaffirm my manhood and salvage my relationship?

Prizeless in New York

Dear Prizeless: New York has several zoos; if you take your girlfriend to visit a real, live giraffe, it may raise your standing. I’m often asked if I can spot a fake letter. So I’m taking the opportunity to wish both of you an early happy April Fools’ Day! Your tale of woe is about as tall as the giraffe you didn’t win for your beloved.

To My Readers: A very Happy Easter to you all!

Love, Abby

Contact Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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