Life Advice



Elderly mother caught in a lie

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: My mother is 93 years old.

I found out a few years ago that she was pregnant with me when she and my father got married. I was looking through some papers (birth certificates and such), and I saw that their marriage license was in a sealed envelope. I thought it was kind of strange, but never said anything.

My mom gave me all of her important papers to put into my safe deposit box, so I opened the envelope and saw that my parents actually got married the year I was born, not the year before that, as they have always said.

I asked my mom about this, and the only thing she really said was that she was madly in love with my dad. She deflected any more conversation.

I think she should tell my sisters, since she was basically lying to us all these years.

She gave my youngest sister a terrible time when she got pregnant without getting married (of course my parents hated her boyfriend from the beginning, and this was devastating to my sister and her boyfriend).


So, Amy, don't you think my mother should tell us the truth? Should I encourage her to tell my sisters what has been hidden from our family?

-- Oldest Sister

Dear Sister: Yes, I think your parents should have told all of their children the truth, many years ago. If they had, maybe you'd be over it by now, instead of pecking at your elderly mother over something you cast as an important deep and dark secret -- but which shouldn't be considered a scandalous betrayal, all these years later.

There is an undercurrent of disrespect and anger here, and because of this you probably should not be handling your mother's important, private and personal business.


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