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"Grandparents' can be made, not born

Dear Lois: I don't know if you'll print my letter, since I'm not a grandparent. I'm a 26-year-old mother of four, but I would like to answer "Fed Up in Florida," who regrets having no grandchildren although her friends do.

I suggest she volunteer her time at a school, children's hospital or even get to know parents and children in her own neighborhood.

My mother was 44 when I was born. Three of my grandparents had already died and the fourth was in a soldier's home, so I grew up without biological grandparents. But I "adopted" a grandmother who lived down the street who was so kind to me.

She even tricked me into eating squash pie, and I'm glad she did!

Adopting a grandchild is not only a blessing for the adoptive grandparent, but it is a blessing for children who have no grandparents or whose families live too far to visit often. _ Janice Hatt, St. Petersburg.

Dear Janice: What a treat to hear from a young mother who knows firsthand how lonesome a boy or girl can feel if there are no grandparents.

You've sent another important reminder to readers. We can solve a lot of problems in our lives if we train ourselves to look out at others as much as we look in at ourselves.

Thank you for your letter. And to you grandparents (real or wannabes) who don't have a child to care for, check with local schools or houses of worship, and see if they can help you find a family who needs a little extra love.

Widow finds rough going

Dear Lois: I never knew my friends could be so cruel. My husband died three months ago (he is the first of the spouses in our group of friends to die) and although everyone invited me at first to join them, I am no longer included in their get-togethers. I cry myself to sleep.

I know you can't do anything about this, but maybe someone will read this and take the hint. _ Depressed in Detroit

Dear D