Lonely and Mourning
Dear Annie: I had two brothers die within a year of each other. One was 53, and the other was 62. They were my only remaining siblings. They resided in Ohio, and I live in Arizona. I had to plan both funerals by myself and clean out and sell whatever I could of their homes and possessions.
At the same time, my mom was diagnosed with dementia and had to be put in a nursing home. Eventually, I brought her to live with me in Arizona. I had to clean and sell her house, and her belongings, too. I was in Ohio for four months getting everything straightened out. My husband of 12 years never came to help, nor did he come to the funerals. Am I wrong for resenting him for this? -- Alone at Funerals
Dear Alone: No, you are not wrong for resenting his absence. Marriage is a partnership, and when your partner is going through a difficult time, you should be at her side and not leaving her to carry the entire burden herself. However, resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.
Let's work on turning your resentment into a healing conversation. Does your husband know how it hurt your feelings and made you angry that he didn't attend the funerals or help relocating your mother? You have the power to express yourself and share, so do so. And listen to why he wasn't there to support you. If he is unconcerned or unapologetic, then I would suggest marriage counseling.
Dear Annie: We took in my son, his wife and her toddler son. Her son has struggles and is in the process of getting tested for autism. He is now 5 years old and supposed to be starting kindergarten this year; however, he's not completely potty trained, so the school system wants him to do a year of preschool first.
Our problem is that his mom is doing nothing -- no child care application, no preschool and no autism test. We're wondering if we should do what we think is best for the boy and turn her in to family services for neglect. We don't know how much more of his behaviorial issues we can take. -- At a Loss
Dear At a Loss: While you might be feeling at a loss, this poor child is the one suffering the most. Speak with your son about your concerns and tell him that you are thinking of calling social services regarding neglect. The child's well-being must come first, and if he is living under your roof, then you are correct to be concerned. This child needs support and love. As for the behavioral issues, consider learning more about supporting children and grandchildren with autism from resources such as the Autism Speaks website: https://www.autismspeaks.org/tool-kit/grandparents-guide-autism.
Dear Annie: I just wanted to remind your readers of another way to use up excess garden produce. Many urban gardens are in "food deserts." In our city, there is a "share shelf" in which people can share the excess bounty of their gardens with others who live in these food deserts. When I am going in that direction, I drop off my excess vegetables. This allows others who live near these "share shelves" to get healthy food for free. Please urge your readers to look into this option if they are near any of these types of gardens. -- Sharing Abundance
Dear Sharing Abundance: What a great tip. Thank you for the idea!
"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 firstname.lastname@example.org.