Dear Ann:

My wife, age 52, was diagnosed with kidney cancer three years ago, and had a kidney surgically removed. Thankfully, doctors managed to get it in time, and "Mildred" recovered beautifully.

When Mildred returned home from the hospital, she began to see a psychologist who recommended she contact a man in our town who had had a similar operation and could act as a mentor. My wife called "Harry," and invited him to our home. He was 48, divorced, warm and outgoing, and owned a prosperous business. Harry visited Mildred occasionally, and they discussed how best to cope with kidney disease, whether vitamins were helpful, and so on.

A few weeks later, Mildred purchased a cell phone, and had the monthly bill forwarded to her place at work. I never heard her phone conversations, nor did I see the bills, but I did question her about having the bills forwarded to her office. When she confessed that she did not want me to see her personal calls, I decided to investigate. I learned that Mildred made 120 calls to Harry on her cell phone. She called him morning, noon and night, every day of the week. Three calls were made from out of state while she was visiting our son.

When I confronted Mildred about all these calls, she said, "Harry is my friend. I needed him. He saved my life. His voice gives me strength." Later, I found a note, written in her shorthand. I asked her to read it to me, but she refused, so I had the note translated by a professional. It said, "I can't see you anymore. I have a husband. You knew that from the beginning."

What do you make of this?

East-Coaster

No mystery here. Harry and Mildred have been getting together. Mildred telling Harry that she can't see him anymore indicates that she is ending the relationship. Her statement, "You knew I had a husband from the beginning" is interesting. She knew it, too, so there is plenty of blame to go around.

Apparently, whatever was going on is over, so forgive and forget.

Dear Ann:

Do you remember the old saying, "April showers bring May flowers?" Well, the true story I am about to relate is a takeoff on that adage:

There was a man in our town named August Flowers. He married a woman named May. She then became May Flowers. In time, they had a baby girl, and named her April. One day, friends came over to meet the newcomer. When the mother brought her out, after all the "ooohs and aaahs," she sat the baby on her lap for more admiring comments.

Suddenly, the mother looked stricken. It seems the baby had wet all over her lap. The mother then good-naturedly said, "Well, it's true. April Flowers brings May showers."

J.P. in Gilroy, Calif.

I wonder if that good-natured mother ever heard of plastic pants that go over cloth diapers. I recommend them.

Dear Ann:

I think I have a Gem of the Day for you. I found it in the Zero Population Growth Reporter. Here it is:

When Elvis Presley died in 1977, there were 48 professional Elvis impersonators. In 1996, there were 7,328. If this rate of growth continues, by the year 2012, one person in every four will be an Elvis impersonator.

Chicago Fan

No thanks for that chilling statistic, if your numbers are correct. By 2012, maybe there will be passenger flights to the moon, and we can then send some of the Elvis impersonators there.

To find out more about Ann Landers and read her past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.