DR. WALLACE: My boyfriend and I are in the 12th grade and will graduate soon. Two weeks ago, I got the shock of my life. I discovered that I'm three months along with a child. We told both sets of our parents. His parents told us to think things over and then do what we feel is best for the two of us. My parents didn't see it that way. They want me to get an abortion immediately. They feel that I am too young to be a mother and that financially, I would have a difficult time supporting a child and myself.
I talked everything over with my boyfriend, and this is our decision: We will get married a week after we graduate. His family owns an apartment building, and we could live there rent-free until we become financially independent. My boyfriend has a part-time job working as a sales associate for his grandfather's car business, and he will be employed there full time after graduation.
I told our plan to my parents, and they didn't like it one bit. A lot of this is because they don't like my boyfriend, seeing as he never planned to go to college. Both of my parents are college graduates, and I do plan to attend our local community college to start working on my educational goals. I plan on eventually getting my degree at a four-year university after I transfer two years' worth of credits from the community college.
I have given this decision much thought, and my heart tells me I'm doing the right thing. I would appreciate your comments about whether you support or disagree with our decision, and if possible, please let me know your reasoning. — Young and In Love, Oklahoma City
YOUNG: You and your boyfriend appear to have given this matter serious thought and are making levelheaded plans to meet the responsibilities of raising a child. I believe that over time, your parents will come to realize that you and your boyfriend made the best choice. My reasoning is based on the fact that you are willing to make a commitment to each other and are willing to lovingly raise your child together. My best wishes to your family for a happy and healthy future!
YOUR LETTER SAYS IT ALL
DR. WALLACE: Our grandson lost his life in California because of a fatal disease — drugs. He was a kind and gentle young man, but unfortunately, he took the wrong path in life. He thought that he would start a new life out west. He kept in touch with his family via letters and phone calls, but unfortunately, he couldn't conquer his addiction. He was in and out of rehab here in the Midwest several times, and I understand he was lined up for his first rehab stint in California when he passed because of circumstances of his own doing.
I guess he decided to have one last fling, and it cost him his life. He entered a drugstore and demanded drugs. The owner shot him four times, and he dropped dead on the floor. This was the path he chose, and his family knew that this terrible day was a possibility, but it doesn't make it any easier to lose him. Everyone dearly loved him in his big family. I still hurt so much from his death. Today in church, I tried to hum during a hymn, but it just brought tears. I just don't feel like singing yet.
Please use my letter to warn teens of the evils of drug addiction and tell them that it all starts with trying drugs for the very first time. — Grieving Grandmother, Elmhurst, Ill.
GRANDMOTHER: Your letter says it all. Thank you for having the fortitude to care about other young adults during your time of grief. Your message is powerful and ought to wise up any young person who thinks drugs are fun and consequence-free. Drug use very often leads to addiction, and an addict's life is one of pain, suffering and, all too often, early death. And in the end, the addict usually doesn't suffer nearly as long or as much in total as those who love him and miss him for every single day for the rest of their lives.
Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at [email protected] To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.