Posted: Tuesday, May 28, 2013 8:00 pm
Dear Annie: My bullheaded 50-year-old daughter has taken gossip from 32 years ago to make my life a living hell.
I have four grown children. My older daughter called everyone she could think of and told them I molested my son when he was 5. My daughter never checked to see whether it was true. I have never been arrested for this or had charges filed against me. She further told all the grandchildren and great-grandchildren that they should never stop at my home.
I am 74 years old, have trouble breathing and have cancer that is currently in remission. I want to see my family before it’s too late. My daughter called my sister-in-law and told her she will not go to my funeral when I die. I have been denied visits and phone calls from family members for three years. I desperately need my family to visit. — Sad and Lonely
Dear Sad: You say charges were never filed, nor were you arrested, but you haven’t said that you are innocent of the accusation. If the gossip is true, we completely understand why your daughter would want everyone to stay away. If it is not true, you need to make it clear to the rest of the family that your daughter is spreading lies. Please ask whether she would be willing to go with you for counseling to clear this up and to see whether there is any possibility of reconciling before it is too late.
Dear Annie: I’m one of two daughters. Both of us have two sons. Long story short, one of my sister’s sons has borrowed thousands of dollars from Grandma, received a nice car and has never paid any money back. The other three boys have never borrowed a penny.
I am the executor of Grandma’s estate and have power of attorney. When something happens to Grandma, I’m in charge. She’s not going to have a million dollars, but when her estate is eventually divided, I believe it would be perfectly fair to exclude the one grandson. What do you think? — Trouble in Hubbard
Dear Hubbard: It may be “fair,” but it could estrange you from your sister, not to mention your nephews. What does Grandma think? If she is of sound mind and wants all of her grandsons to receive equal shares, you have an obligation to follow her wishes. You could discuss with her the option of deducting the money her grandson has already borrowed from whatever is left of his share. You also could give the grandson an object of sentimental value in lieu of money, so he doesn’t believe his grandmother forgot about him. Whatever the final decision, please discuss it with your sister as a gesture of good faith and ask her opinion. She may or may not agree with your assessment, but at least she won’t be shocked and angry when the time comes.
Dear Annie: I have a couple of thoughts for “Want My Solitude Back,” who assumes these drop-in neighbors and relatives are simply intrusive. But they may believe you want company now and then. Most people do. I, too, enjoy solitude, but most of us want it balanced with caring relationships.
Recently, my uncle was found dead in his home. The coroner said he’d been dead at least 10 days. My uncle may have lain on the floor suffering because no one visited him. He had pushed everyone away.
If “Want My Solitude Back” truly wants to be alone, he can move to a sparsely inhabited rural area far from anyone who may intrude. Or he could stay where he is and stew and complain — that should get rid of any friends he might have. — Likes People Much of the Time
Dear Likes: There is a rather thick line between having no one ever visit and having uninvited guests drop by constantly, especially around mealtime. People need to be respectful of one another.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 Third St., Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
Published in The Messenger 5.28.13