DEAR ABBY: When I heard that my 83-year-old mother was on life support, I caught the first plane to California to be with her. I am listed as the executor of her estate, and last year she had told me where I would find all the necessary papers I would need when the “time comes.” Upon my arrival at the hospital, the doctor told my sister and me that Mama had a very slim chance of survival.

When I left the hospital to spend the night at Mama’s house, I located the papers, figuring I’d need them after her impending death. I opened the box and found a handwritten letter on top of the stack of papers. It had been written by Mama exactly two months before. It was her last wishes for her funeral.

Unknown to anyone, she had changed her mind and decided she wanted no memorial at a church, only a graveside service.

Shocked to read her last wishes, I felt it would be better to inform the family before she died rather than wait until we’d be even more distraught.

Well, the doctor was wrong. Mama survived a heart valve replacement and is doing well. My sister feels I was wrong to share that information while Mama was still alive. Should I have waited? – SECOND-GUESSED IN OHIO

Your sister is entitled to her opinion, but in mine you did the right thing – and for the reason you stated. I’m pleased your mother survived the procedure and is doing well. Now everyone can discuss her last wishes with her, and if there are any bones to be picked, they can pick them with her.

DEAR ABBY: I just got out of college and have a part-time job in my field.

The hours are horrible, but my job has been pretty easy and laid-back, so I had no problems.

Well, my job just got “upgraded,” which means more responsibilities but no pay raise, and I am now being assigned more tasks than I can handle that early in the morning.

I keep nodding off because no matter how much sleep I get, I just can’t function that early.

There are other shifts that are open later in the day, and I have been thinking about asking my boss if he could put me on those, but my parents say it would be a huge mistake, and it will get me fired.

I want to keep my job, but I am just not a morning person (for the record, I tried doing the extra-caffeine thing for a while, and it literally made me sick and bedridden for two days). Any advice? – TOO TIRED IN PARKVILLE, MO.

When it comes to biorhythms, not everyone is created alike.

Some people are “larks” who spring out of bed fully alert in the morning, and that’s the part of the day they are at their best. Others are “robins” who function best during the afternoon and evening. The rest are “owls.”

A lot of people in the entertainment business and those who work swing shifts fall into this latter category.

Because you are obviously not a lark, it seems you have two choices.

The first is to approach your boss and explain that you could do a far more efficient and effective job if you were assigned to a later shift. The alternative would be to change jobs or find another field of endeavor entirely.

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.

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