Dear Abby:

My 56-year-old mother passed away suddenly six months ago. It happened two days before my daughter's fifth birthday. I didn't know what to do when Mom died -- cancel or let my daughter have the party Mom and I had planned. Well, I opted to go on with the celebration.

My dad just couldn't face it. He left the house. I know in my heart that Mom would not have wanted us to cancel her granddaughter's party. I loved my mom dearly and would never have done anything disrespectful to her memory. I miss her very much. She was my best friend, and it's hard going through life without her. Did I do the right thing?

Missing My Mom in Maine

You did the right thing in going ahead with the party. I see no reason why a child of 5 should be forced to associate her special day with death and mourning if it's avoidable.

Dear Abby:

My ex-husband and I have four children together. We have been divorced for two years, but we have never stopped seeing each other. I have tried dating, and I'm sure he has too, but we always find our way back to each other.

We were married for 12 years, and the divorce was very painful.

Is it possible for two people who fear being hurt or disappointed again to make it the second time -- since we can't seem to stay away from each other?

Divorced But Still in Love

Some couples have made a go of it the second time around, but in order for it to work, you and your husband must be willing to confront the issues that destroyed your marriage on the first go-round, and resolve them before tying the knot again. This can be accomplished with marriage counseling. I wish you well.

Dear Abby:

I work with a man named James. We have become friends over the past few weeks, and it's obvious there is an attraction between us. I would never want to break up a marriage, and I don't want to change our relationship. Is simply flirting with a married man -- who flirts back -- okay if neither of you has any intentions?

Likes the Attention in Norton, Mass.

You say the two of you are "obviously" attracted to each other. That's how office romances begin. You are playing with fire. Listen to your gut (and nothing below) and you won't be sorry.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips. Write Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, Calif. 90069.

(c)2004, Universal Press Syndicate