Annie's Mailbox: Holding My Breath
Dear Annie: My dad was a proud veteran of WWII. When he died 20 years ago, he willed his medals to my brother "Jim" and the Bible he carried during the war to my brother "Ray." Eventually, Ray gave the Bible to Jim. My mother also gave other army memorabilia to Jim, thinking it should all be together.
Jim recently informed me that when he dies, he's passing on all of Dad's things to "Margret," his second wife. Margret met my father only once. Jim has no children, but the rest of us do. Several of my nieces and nephews have a keen interest in their ancestry and would love to own these war mementos.
I suggested to Jim that he consider passing on Dad's things to the next generation, but was forcefully told they were going to Margret. I realize that these items belong to Jim now, and he can do what he wishes with them, but I'm extremely upset that such precious memorabilia will end up being lost to us forever. I can't speak to Jim further about this. Margret was also shocked by Jim's reaction, but he has forbidden her to talk to us about it.
None of us lives nearby, and we cannot see Jim in person. I haven't shared this information with other family members yet and would hate to involve my mother, because it would upset her. I guess all I can do is hope that Margret will do the right thing and give these items to Dad's grandchildren when Jim dies. Do you have any other suggestions? -- The Oldest Sibling
Dear Sibling: Has Jim had a falling out with the family? Does he expect his nieces and nephews to contact him more often? Does he feel obligated or pressured to leave all of his belongings, including Dad's things, to Margret?
We would first suggest that the nieces and nephews get to know their uncle a bit better. Jim may feel estranged from or neglected by his family. A warmer, closer relationship would benefit everyone. You also should stay friendly with Margret, because she may well be the final arbiter of your father's things. We agree that it would be a shame for them to end up with strangers.
Dear Annie: I am married to an amazing man who is caring and supportive. The problem? His breath.
Our sex life isn't as good as it could be because I can barely kiss him. He complains that I'm not interested enough, but obviously, that's not the issue. He brushes his teeth, so it might be medical. I think he's terrified to look into it. How do I get him to see that this is something he needs to address? -- Holding My Breath
Dear Holding: Bad breath can come from a lack of dental hygiene, but also from gum disease, infections or even gastrointestinal problems. Most of these are things that can be treated. Tell your husband you are concerned about his health because of his terrible halitosis. Suggest that he see his dentist to check for underlying problems, and if that doesn't remedy things, that he talk to his doctor. You must be honest and explain that you want to kiss him more, but he first needs to deal with this. Dentists are more sensitive to patients' phobias these days and will take gentle care of him.
Dear Annie: Can I add one final word to the letter from "Traveling Man," whose husband has developed a phobia about car travel and they don't vacation together anymore?
I don't understand her thinking. Just because you are married doesn't mean you are attached at the hip. She should just go by herself. I was married to a wonderful man who didn't want to travel, so I went without him. He was very happy to stay home and was so glad to see me when I got back. -- Happy Wanderer
This Classic Annie's Mailbox column was originally published in 2015. To find out more about Classic Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Creators Syndicate at www.creators.com.