Friend Is Family
Dear Annie: I am a female, 67 years old, living alone, no children, and my house is paid for. I live in Virginia.
My only sister (I have no other siblings), Mary, is 70, has a husband, and they have an adult son and adult daughter, all living in Florida. My best friend, Jane, 67, lives a mile from me, and I talk with her on the phone or visit at least once a week. She is a widow with no children.
Mary has invited me to live near them in Florida. Jane does not want me to move, as she has no relatives except a cousin, who she talks to maybe once a month. My old house needs repairs inside and out. There is a lot of yardwork, too, which I am not able to do very much of due to arthritis and other health problems.
I don't want to leave Jane, but I would like to move and downsize. What do you suggest? -- Thinking of Moving
Dear Thinking of Moving: Living near your sister sounds like a great idea. You will be close to family and be able to downsize. You can't please everyone all the time, and if Florida is the best decision for you and your life right now, then go for it. Being a good friend to Jane means having an honest conversation with her. Tell her how much you love your friendship and will miss your weekly visits.
They say that home is where the heart is. If you are one of her only loved ones, then maybe she could think about moving near you in Florida. If you don't want that, assure her that you will visit her and that she's welcome to come visit you.
Dear Annie: I have problems with two of my daughters. Each one has a very different political view. One of them had my first grandson, and he's everything to my husband and me. I love my girls so much, but their fighting and deleting each other from Facebook is breaking my heart.
I don't know what to do. I need to help them and don't want to be in the middle of all of it. -- Worried Mom
Dear Worried Mom: Sadly, this is all too common these days. The most important thing you can do as their mother is remind them they are not just political affiliations. They are sisters first and foremost and should respect each other's opinions. They could make a pact to not ever talk about politics.
You might also point out that you and your husband tried to instill independent thinking, which explains why they have different viewpoints, and they should be able to celebrate that, not fight about it.
"Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie" is out now! Annie Lane's debut book -- featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette -- is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to email@example.com.