DEAR ABBY: I am an old man, married to a wonderful woman who does everything for me. I’m in poor health and don’t expect to live much longer. My wife is a youthful 80. She’s trim, pretty, active, hardworking, loving and sexy. She enjoys skiing, fishing, gardening, board games, puzzles etc. She is the most organized person I have ever known. She likes to cook and entertain and is excellent at both.
Although she has quite a few friends — widowed and otherwise — we don’t know any men who would be acceptable as a future mate after I’m gone. She’s financially independent and meticulous about keeping track of expenses. Neither of us is formally religious.
To be blunt, I can’t imagine a better wife for someone special. I would like us to meet a man, probably in his 70s, preferably widowed, physically active, romantically inclined, energetic, capable with tools and household projects, not addicted to drugs or alcohol, financially independent and preferably politically conservative who would be a potential mate for her after I am gone.
We have discussed this to a limited extent, but she has expressed little interest in the subject. I can’t imagine she won’t experience a renaissance after this albatross is off of her neck. She has more than earned it. If you have any suggestions, I would appreciate them. — THANKFUL IN WASHINGTON
DEAR THANKFUL: You are clearly a caring and protective husband who is deeply in love with and concerned for his wife. However, as much as you would like to screen the applicants to fill the vacancy that your death would create, there are some things a person must do for themself. When you pass on, your wife may not feel ready to move on according to your timetable. Please let her make this decision for herself when the time is right.
P.S. I am sorry you are not in better health, because it seems you and your wife have a strong and loving relationship that will not be easy to replace.
DEAR ABBY: My grandson is in a relationship with a girl who manipulates him and abuses him emotionally. I told my grandson what she is doing, but he doesn’t see it. Because of that, neither one of them is speaking to me. My grandson was a caring, happy person until he met her. Now he’s withdrawn. He is working, but she is not. They are struggling to make a life for themselves. When I ask how he’s doing, he just says OK and nothing more. Is there anything I can do to make him see what she is doing to him? — IT’S OBVIOUS IN IOWA
DEAR OBVIOUS: No. You have done everything you can by trying to enlighten your grandson, who, it appears, “love” has blinded. Now it’s time for you to accept that nothing will change until he wakes up and smells the coffee.
DEAR ABBY: My oldest daughter is getting married and has asked my former father-in-law to walk her down the aisle. I have been there for her her whole life. My wife and I were divorced during her senior year of high school. Should I go, stay at home, sit on the groom’s side of the aisle or something else? — FATHER OF THE BRIDE
DEAR FATHER: Have you been invited to this wedding? If the answer is yes, talk to your daughter and ask her what she plans to do about the seating arrangements. Take your cue from what she tells you. You should not be seated on the groom’s side of the aisle. As the father of the bride you should be with the bride’s family, and ideally, you and your ex-wife should bury the hatchet if only for one day.