Dear Abby: Although I am not a mother - I am a son - last Mother's Day started as an average Sunday for me.
My mother and grandmother live about 900 miles away, so for the 10th consecutive year, we weren't together.I live in south Florida, and there are a lot of retired senior citizens living here.
I was having dinner at a famous Miami Beach deli when an elderly woman with a cane passed my table. I overheard her ask a waiter where the ladies' room was. He pointed to a very steep staircase and walked away. I knew this lady would need some assistance, so I asked my waiter to offer her mine. She accepted, and I invited her to join me for dinner.
Over the next 2 1/2 hours, I learned about her life of 92 years. She had been a widow for 25 years, and had four children and 12 grandchildren. Only two of those people had remembered her that day. My dinner with this truly grand woman left me feeling richer.
Abby, I am a 32-year-old man, living alone and HIV-positive; therefore, it is quite probable that I will not have the opportunity to share the next 60 years with my mother on her very special day.
I want my mother to know that I appreciate the life and unconditional love she has given me over the last 32 years. If she sees this, she will know that every day is Mother's Day to me.
- Florida Son
Dear Florida Son: What a sweetheart you are. On the off chance that your mother doesn't see this, why don't you clip it and mail it to her? It would be a shame for her to miss this loving message.
Dear Abby: About a year ago, my mother and I went out to dinner with a friend (I'll call her Carol). Our husbands were away on a hunting trip. Carol was depressed because of her husband "Bob's" drinking and going to bars. She said she had tried to get him help for his drinking. He would be good for a while - but then he'd go right back to the bars.
Abby, my mother's husband, "Sam," is a good friend of Bob's. Sam is 50 and very smart. He told Mom that for years Bob has been sleeping with women he meets in the bars, and brags about it. He even asked Sam to join him! Sam said no, he wasn't going - and warned Bob that he could get AIDS. Bob laughed and said, "No, not me!"
Abby, Carol and Bob have two adorable little girls. Carol is completely in the dark because she thinks Bob's problem is drinking, when the problem is really other women.
I asked Mother why she didn't tell Carol what she knew, and she told me that she had read an article of yours years ago that said a friend should never tell a friend; that the friend would not believe it and would end the friendship. Wouldn't the friendship end anyway, if she died from AIDS? And who would take care of those little girls? The friend who kept her mouth shut to avoid "making waves"? Do you have an updated answer in this day and age?
- Anonymous Good Friend
Dear Friend: AIDS is now a very realistic factor in the decision of whether or not to disclose infidelity. Bob should be told that if he doesn't tell his wife what has been going on, you will. Also, they should both be tested for AIDS.
But don't dismiss the link with alcohol so quickly. Alcohol impairs judgment, and abuse of alcohol can play a major role in the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases by causing people to do things on impulse that they might not otherwise do.
Abby shares more of her favorite, easy-to-prepare recipes. To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, More Favorite Recipes, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)