Dear Abby: Relative’s well-wishes have become burdensome

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DEAR ABBY: I am blessed to have a wonderfully supportive family, which includes my and my husband’s siblings.

I was recently scheduled for major abdominal surgery. For the weeks leading up to it, I quietly went about preparing the house and putting systems in place so I could be absent, but otherwise tried not to dwell on the upcoming unpleasantness.

Most of my support people checked in occasionally to see how I was doing or if I needed anything. One sister-in-law, however, has been over-the-top. She sends cards, texts, flowers and calls. I appreciate her support, but it’s too much. The cards always say the same thing — “heal gently” and “these are the good old days of medicine.” In the weeks leading up to surgery and afterward, I have received nearly a dozen cards, plus her texts, etc.

Is there a nice way to let her know it is too much and I’m tired? My body reminds me every day that I’m healing, but slowly. I don’t want the attention and the reminder that I’m not yet where I’d like to be.

Please let me know if there’s a polite, graceful way to make it STOP! — PROGRESSING IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR PROGRESSING: A “nice” way to phrase it might be to say, “Honey, I am grateful for all the support you’ve been giving me, but the surgery is behind me now, and I am slowly regaining my strength. Please don’t send me any more get-well cards — the dozen you have sent have already worked their magic.”

DEAR ABBY: I am writing because I’m concerned about my husband’s drinking. We have been married 35 years and we love each other very much. We are both retired. He drinks at least a six-pack a day.

Although he doesn’t appear to be intoxicated, I know this has to mean he is an alcoholic. Because he doesn’t drink and drive, he thinks this is fine. Besides being unhealthy and giving him a huge beer gut, it’s expensive. Your thoughts, please. — CONCERNED WIFE IN GEORGIA

DEAR WIFE: Schedule your and your husband’s “annual medical checkups,” regardless of how long they may have been delayed. Before you go in, the doctor should be informed that your beloved hubby imbibes a six-pack per day — at the very least. Whether this will motivate the doctor to encourage him to quit or cut back is anybody’s guess, but I am hopeful.

You could benefit from attending some Al-Anon meetings. Al-Anon is an offshoot of Alcoholics Anonymous that helps the families and friends of individuals who have an alcohol problem. I am sure if you do, you will not only find it enlightening, but also beneficial for the practical advice and emotional support it offers. Go to al-anon.org/info for more information.

DEAR READERS: This is my annual reminder for all of you who live where daylight saving time is observed: Don’t forget to turn your clocks forward one hour tonight at bedtime.

Daylight saving time begins at 2 a.m. tomorrow. I love this ritual because it signals the coming of spring and with it longer, brighter days and warmer weather. For me, it’s a mood elevator and an energizer. May spring bring good things your way! — LOVE, ABBY

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