Annie’s Mailbox: Woman worried about father
Dear Annie: Three years ago, my father had a big fight with his sister, my “Aunt Joan.”
Aunt Joan did some things that were truly selfish and hurtful, and all of the family agrees that her actions were inexcusable. She has since cut off all contact with the family.
The problem is, my father continues to stew over the incident.
Every time we see him, he talks about it. He has developed an ulcer and high blood pressure.
He will not be satisfied until my aunt admits she was in the wrong and apologizes. But no one believes that will ever happen.
We want our father to let it go before he stresses himself into a stroke. Aunt Joan is out of our lives and can do no further harm.
But as long as he obsesses over the argument, he is still letting her ruin his life and his health.
How can I help Dad leave this behind and find some peace? He reads your column faithfully, so your words will mean a lot to him.
— Sensitive Soul in Canada
Dear Canada: Part of the problem may be that your father still loves his sister and wants a reconciliation, but knows it can’t happen until Joan changes her ways, which doesn’t seem likely.
He’s angry and frustrated — and hurt. He needs to accept Joan as she is, which means the situation is not his fault and he cannot fix it.
Sad as it is, he needs to make a conscious effort to let this go, and it might help to talk about it with someone who can be sympathetic without riling him up.
Dear Annie: My husband and I have three daughters, and we also are foster parents.
This will be the first Christmas that we will have foster kids in our home during the holidays.
What is the etiquette for Christmas cards? Do I sign only the names of my immediate family, or do I include the names of the foster children? Should I mention them and their doings in our Christmas letter?
Both sets of grandparents are filing to adopt them, so it is unlikely that we will have them permanently, and this will be the only Christmas they will be with us.
I’m not sure what is appropriate.
— Oregon Foster Mom
Dear Oregon: We commend you for taking these children into your home.
Please include their names on your holiday cards, and by all means, mention them in your newsletter.
It will not only make the children feel part of the family’s achievements and activities during this time, but it will also explain the extra names on the Christmas cards.
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