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Dear Annie: Stop building that wall of resentment

Annie Lane

Dear Annie: My wife and I are in our late 70s. We have two grown daughters. Twenty years ago, we retired and moved a few states to be closer to our older daughter, “Melissa,” and her children. Our younger daughter, “Allie,” lives back in our hometown. (She chose not to have kids.) Now, our grandkids are married and starting their own families.

We have been generous through the years, remembering the grandkids’ birthdays and anniversaries with cards and checks. We never hear from the grandkids or Melissa.

Six months ago, we decided that it would be best to move back to our hometown to be near our younger daughter, who is concerned about our aging and wants us close. Then COVID-19 hit, and now my wife is undergoing chemo for stage II cancer. She needs to undergo numerous procedures that the doctors said will take nearly a year. So, we’re not moving anytime soon.

A few months ago, we gave Melissa $10,000. We never heard a peep from her about it.

We are struggling with what to do. My wife is in no condition to be around people during this pandemic, so Melissa and the grandkids can’t visit now, but they weren’t visiting before all this either.

My wife feels like she did something wrong raising our kids and is depressed for many reasons. Her 80th birthday came and went without so much as a phone call from Melissa or any of the grandkids.

I feel that we must concentrate on getting through the cancer treatments, surviving this pandemic and moving back to our hometown. We should stop putting so much effort into reaching out to Melissa when she never does so for us. We’ll be friendly if she thinks to make a call. And we’ll keep sending check-less occasion cards, maybe with lotto scratchers, just to show that we remembered. We’d love to hear your thoughts on this. — What to Do

Dear What to Do: Send occasion cards if you’d like. But don’t include cash. Don’t even include lotto scratchers. With the way you’re feeling now, every dollar you give Melissa will be another brick in a wall of resentment.

Let her know how much it means when she reaches out, and how much it hurt that she didn’t call on your wife’s 80th birthday. We’re never done growing, and she might surprise you yet.

Then shift your focus to ensuring that you and your wife stay as healthy as possible, especially while she’s undergoing chemo. And if you want proof that you two were (and are) good parents, just look at your younger daughter. She clearly cares deeply for you and wants to do what she can to help. You two brought that generous human being into this world. Be proud.

Wishing you and your wife the best through all of this. I’m so sorry to hear that she has cancer.

Dear Annie: This is in response to the column with the letter from “Live Profile.” A couple of years ago a friend passed away, leaving no children or spouse. His account remained active and was hacked afterward. I notified Facebook about this. Eventually, I think I provided enough proof in order for them to take down the account. While it might be nice to think of the person on their birthday, inactive accounts can be a hacker’s tool. — Gwen

Dear Gwen: You are absolutely right. Thank you for raising a very important aspect of this issue that I failed to address.

EDITOR’S NOTE: “Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie” is out now! Annie Lane’s debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@creators.com.

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