Dear Annie: Two years ago, my son’s fiancee recommended we rotate who hosts Christmas dinner. That year, she and my son went to her mom’s house, and last year they were supposed to come to mine. Instead, they went to her mom’s again and were upset that I didn’t want to tag along. Annie, at the time, my 73-year-old mother was in a rehab facility. There was no way I could bring her along for dinner, and I refused to leave her alone for the holiday.
A week before Christmas, my future daughter-in-law sent me a text asking me to reconsider. I again said no. She accidentally texted me instead of my son and said, “Your mom is a nasty liar.” I was dumbfounded. I immediately got another text saying, “I’m sorry, but my feelings are hurt.” I forwarded both of these to my son, who said he was at work and didn’t have time to deal with this.
Right after the holiday, my mother fell and broke her hip. She ended up needing two surgeries. She refused additional treatment, saying she’d had enough. She went into hospice care and died a few days later.
My son became angry with me, saying I deliberately shortened Mom’s life by putting her into hospice. My son’s fiancee still has not apologized for what she texted. I haven’t heard from either of them since.
I am hurt and upset. I not only lost my mother, but it seems I’ve lost my son, as well. How do I handle this mess? My husband and I are both losing sleep. — Hurt
Dear Hurt: Our condolences on the loss of your mother. Your son may be feeling guilty for pressuring you to abandon Grandma for his fiancee’s Christmas dinner, not realizing how short her time was. It is not uncommon to deflect that by blaming someone else. And his fiancee may be encouraging his anger toward you because it gets her off the hook entirely.
Please forgive them so you can work on your grieving process without this additional sadness. Keep the lines of communication open, and try to maintain a certain superficiality. We hope this will allow the relationship to move forward.
Dear Annie: We are getting tired of people telling us that the use of capital letters in our emails means we are “shouting” at them. This idea should be tossed out.
We are visually impaired and have friends who have glaucoma, eye cancer and developing cataracts or are post cataract surgery, and some of us have macular degeneration in various stages. We are blessed that we can still use our computers, but are unable to read the small print of most messages. We need and appreciate the larger capital letters.
Please tell your readers to think outside the box before criticizing those of us with limited vision. — Windows to the Soul
Dear Windows: We are sympathetic to your plight, but using all caps looks like shouting to most people. Of course, if that’s the only way you can see the type, by all means continue. However, please know that there are other ways to increase the type size. Try holding CTRL while pressing the plus sign or rolling your mouse wheel forward. Or hit “reply,” and then highlight the text and increase the font size. Your browser may offer other options in the manual or online.
Dear Annie: Please tell “No Name, No Location” to get in touch with a local Cub Scout or Boy Scout troop for help shoveling snow or cutting their grass. Both groups of scouts are required to perform community service. When I was a Cubmaster, we organized kids to rake leaves for some elderly residents. Paying it back by volunteering is a win-win. — Problem Solved
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 Third St., Hermosa Beach, CA 90254.