DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend, “Larry,” and I have been together four years. Two years ago, his mother moved into the same apartment complex.

Every weekend, Larry’s mother walks over to our apartment and bangs on the door. If we don’t answer, she peeks in the windows. If she spots a light on in our apartment, she goes back to hers and starts calling nonstop.

We are trapped! Weekends are our quiet time, and Larry has asked his mother to call before coming over. She ignores his request.

I like to sleep late on Saturday and Sunday. I’m tempted to say something to her the next time she pounds on our door uninvited and wakes us, but I need to be sure she will listen and know I am serious. Any suggestions? – TRAPPED IN MELBOURNE, FLA.

Your boyfriend’s mother has the hide of a rhino. She sees her son as an extension of herself, so according to her logic, why should she be shut out?

Your best bet would be to move to a security building where this woman will not have the kind of access to you that she does now. Make it “Larry’s idea,” because if his mother gets the impression that you’re standing between her and her “cub,” she’ll try to devour you.

DEAR ABBY: I would like to take this opportunity to thank the unnamed heroes who provide hospice care. They are well aware that, in spite of the many gestures of compassion and the kindness they bestow, the patient to whom they have become attached is eventually going to die. Yet that never stops hospice workers from being there for their patients and their patients’ families.

Hospice workers make sure the patient doesn’t experience pain, is emotionally supported, and that the caregivers have time to run errands and take much-needed breaks.

When the patient passes away, it’s the hospice workers who comfort family members and friends. My own family was blessed with three wonderful ladies and a priest who were there to the end for my grandmother. I will always be grateful for their emotional and spiritual support.

I hope my letter will encourage other families facing the terminal illness of a loved one to grant him or her quality of life by allowing that person to die with the dignity that hospice care provides. Sign me … GRATEFUL IN OKLAHOMA

Please accept my deepest sympathy for the loss of your beloved grandmother.

I have long been a supporter of hospice care. It provides physician services, nurses, home health aides, social workers, clergy, specially trained volunteers and bereavement counselors. As long as a patient is eligible, hospice is covered by Medicare, most private insurers and, in most states, Medicaid.

For more information about hospice care, contact one of your local hospice programs. You physician can refer you. In addition, call the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) toll-free: (800) 658-8898, or visit the Web site,, for information about and referrals to local hospice programs.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order “How to Have a Lovely Wedding.” Send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447.

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