Annie's Mailbox: She wants family peace

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Dear Annie: When my widowed father required constant care, I tried repeatedly and without success to have him moved to my home, but was rejected by my siblings, as well as by my father, who wanted to stay in his home.

I live quite a distance away and was unable to share in his care, although I did visit periodically. The burden fell to my brother and sister, who hired a wonderful person to help.

I have had strained relations with my siblings for many years.

When Dad died, my brother had him cremated before I could say goodbye. My family was purposely left out of the memorial service, and my siblings blocked my attempts to speak at the eulogy. I was devastated and appalled.

I am successful, well-liked and respected in my community, and I’ve been married for 30 years to a wonderful woman.

Both my sister and my brother have endeavored to discredit me within the family.

Although the horrible lies they told were not believed by close relatives, doubts still linger with those who don’t know me well.The way my siblings have treated me makes me terribly angry, but they don’t think they’ve done anything wrong. In fact, they expect me to apologize to them. I tried this tactic once before and do not wish to made a fool of again.

I have come to realize that I must either make all the effort to maintain any semblance of a relationship, or remove them from my memories forever. Do you think reconciliation is possible?

—Needing Closure

Dear Needing: Anything is possible, but it will take all of you to achieve it. Ask your siblings whether they would be willing to go with you for professional counseling so you can work on improving your relationship.

It is truly the best way for each of you to air your differences under the guidance of an impartial observer, and is worth making the trip to their city or arranging it via phone or online therapy.

If they refuse, we hope you will get counseling for yourself in order to make peace with the situation. Our condolences.

Dear Annie: My husband has a problem with constant flatulence. He passes gas every 15 minutes, and it drives me crazy. Our two teenage daughters run away.

I have asked him to see a doctor because I fear there might be something medically wrong, but he refuses, saying it’s a natural bodily function. Please help.

—Indy

Dear Indy: According to the Mayo Clinic, it is normal to pass gas between 10 and 20 times a day. People who are lactose or gluten intolerant or eat a diet rich in fiber are more likely to have gas problems. Check to see if it’s worse after your husband eats specific foods.

You also can try over-the-counter remedies such as Beano, lactase supplements, medications like Gas-X and activated charcoal. If there is pain in the abdomen, however, it’s time to call the doctor.

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