DEAR ABBY: I am an active widower with five grown children. Although three of them live in the same city and two live in a city nearby, I haven't heard from or seen them as often over the past few years as I would like. I realized recently that I miss their company and I'd like them to call or see me more often.
I understand they have their own lives, but I don't think I'm asking too much. I'd like them to understand that a "pill" won't cure me of loneliness, as they suggest when I tell them I am slowing down. Their answer is to tell me to see a doctor.
I can't talk to them about increasing our visits and communication because I was raised with the idea that you automatically respect your elders and parents shouldn't have to ask their children to visit them or call to ask how they are doing more than every few months. I thought perhaps reading this in your column might remind them not to wait until it is too late. Have you any suggestions on how to encourage my children to involve me more in their lives? -- LONELY IN COLORADO
DEAR LONELY: You don't have a communication problem. Your "children" have gotten the message. Rid yourself of the idea that your children should call you out of obligation. If you want more contact, pick up the phone and call them. Also, you should be socializing with contemporaries. Your problem may be too much time on your hands. If you are able-bodied, fill some of that time by volunteering in your community. It's a terrific way to meet people who may be more than willing to include you in their activities.