Life Advice



Ask Amy: Grandparents should lob softball over college choice

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

You say you want her to choose her own path, and yet you do actually have a specific course in mind for her – and in my opinion, your ideas are practical and, most importantly, respect her right to ultimately forge her own future.

I played a sport in college (field hockey) and I assure you – unless your granddaughter is exceptionally talented and enrolled in a powerhouse school, this hoped-for sports scholarship money will be nominal, if it arrives at all. (I did receive a small sports scholarship, and was grateful for it, but it was a drop in the bucket.)

A gap year would enable her to earn money to put toward her education.

I think you should share your very reasonable thoughts with your granddaughter and her parents.

You should NOT offer any value judgment about her options to pursue her sport, however. She (and her folks) has already made a tremendous investment over the years in her athletic pursuit. Playing a sport at the college level can be a wonderful and enriching experience – regardless of any possible scholarship money attached to it.

This should be her choice, not her folks (or yours).


Dear Amy: A relative ("Matt") was recently reunited with his wife and young daughter after three months in intensive care and a double lung transplant as a result of COVID-related complications. While his progress is certainly to be celebrated, Matt has gone from a healthy and strong man to a much frailer version of himself. The long-term survival rate for his condition is not good.

Through this ordeal, Matt’s wife has actively posted updates on social media, and one religious relative in particular has typically responded to any bit of hopeful news with some version of, "Wow, God is so good!" or "See? Prayer works!"

Amy, I find such comments to be in poor taste; for one, so many people have not been fortunate to survive this pandemic, despite, presumably, many of them and their families praying regularly. And two, if God is so good, then why would he let a devoted husband and father suffer so much?

I am tempted to write something to this effect in response, but as a non-believer I am not sure how (or if) to articulate this position.


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