DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I awoke with a start last night, and looked out the window by my bed. I saw a man going through the gate -- my former husband. He had left our wedding photographs inside my back door at 3 a.m. Do I owe it to him to respond in any way? Was it bait or a generous impulse? He was never kind or generous before. I hear he's dropped his girlfriend now and might be lonely. -- Out-Of-Love Ex-Wife
Dear Out: You don't owe it to your ex to say anything. His action at 3 a.m. is invasive and creepy. It may have been his hope that he'd get you to talk to him by bringing over photos that'd hit you in the heart -- bait. And, he might also have been planning to knock on the door to make a bid for booty, and then lost his nerve. The point is you have no sentiment left for this guy. Put the album in a box in the basement to show it to the kids, if they ask. That's enough.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: Thank you for your response to the letter from the person with FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder). I hope it has some effect on potential mothers. I adopted a daughter who has brain damage from the alcohol her bio-mother drank, lead poisoning she was exposed to as an infant and shaken-baby syndrome. She's now 25 and functions at a seven-year-old mental level. She's beautiful, sweet and impulsive. She has an agency that works with her, pays her bills, gets her cheques and gives her a life coach. She's married a dear young man who is also delayed and has FASD. Thank God they're not having children. I live in a nursing home with my own health problems but am in daily contact with my daughter. She was the youngest of nine children born to an FASD woman of 21 who had her first baby at 13, the result of a rape by one of her mother's drunken boyfriends. Only five of the children lived past the first three months because of neglect; they were placed in foster care. That's how I got my daughter. She was several months old and weighed seven pounds when I was able to take her home. She'd had a broken collarbone, a concussion, dehydration and malnutrition. She is my gift from God and I adopted her at 21. A true blessing. She's the only one of her four siblings who has not reproduced, and those siblings were also not able to care for their children. So, it is a very detrimental cycle. -- A Mother Who Knows, Winnipeg
Dear Mother Who Knows: There are some very beautiful people living in this city and you are one of them. Your lesson to all of us is that you love and appreciate your daughter the way she is. The saddest thing about fetal alcohol syndrome, lead poisoning and shaken-baby syndrome is all that damage was preventable IF the mother hadn't been damaged by alcohol and violence herself. I'm sure you had many days in the past when you were very angry about what had been done to your little one, and broken-hearted at what she had to go through. But, you seem to be at peace with her life now. An innocent child shouldn't be born with all those problems! But your daughter was lucky in one important way -- she got an angel like you to love her.
Questions or comments? Write Miss Lonelyhearts c/o Winnipeg Free Press 1355 Mountain Ave. Wpg R2X 3B6 or email firstname.lastname@example.org