DEAR ABBY: Would it be wrong to reach out to my biological mother for financial help? I was adopted when I was just 2 months old. I was lucky to have wonderful parents, but they are in poor health, and it's affecting both of them physically. I'm going into debt helping them out financially. They are on a fixed income that barely covers their expenses. Would it be wrong of me to ask my birth mother for that help? We see each other occasionally. My birth mother sold her house and isn't hurting financially. I don't want to sound entitled. I just need some help, and I'm prepared for a no. -- ENTITLED TO ANYTHING?
DEAR ENTITLED: It isn't your birth mother's responsibility to support the couple who adopted you, particularly since the request for money would be ongoing. You stated that you see her only occasionally. (If you do what you are considering, you may be seeing her less often.) If your parents still have relatives, you might have some success if you approach them for the financial help you are seeking. If not, reach out to your local Area Agency on Aging for guidance.
DEAR ABBY: My husband, "Dan," and I separated for four months. We have now reunited. However, his son "Ryan" told me he never wants to see me again. I wrote him a letter, expressed my remorse and invited him to visit, but have received no response. Ryan shuns me now. My husband is going to invite him to visit, but I don't know how I will deal with it. I do not want to be his hostess. What should I do? -- BACK TOGETHER IN WEST VIRGINIA
DEAR BACK: IF Dan invites Ryan to visit, and IF Ryan agrees, put on a smile and become the most gracious hostess since Perle Mesta. (If you don't know who she was, look her up.) Your husband may be able to mediate a resumption of harmonious family relations. If his son regarded your leaving as a personal rejection, Dan may be able to disabuse him of that idea and patch things up.
DEAR ABBY: I was recently discharged from the hospital. Family members have told my husband to call if there's anything they can do to help. That makes one more thing for my husband to do -- make a phone call. I'd like to suggest a better way to help. Family members, please call and TELL my husband what specifically you would LIKE to do to help. Some examples: Bring a meal. Do an errand. Sit with me while my husband goes out to do errands, etc. I think the best thing anyone can do is bring a meal. It's one less thing for the caretaker to have to do. The food doesn't have to be homemade; it can be bought. Patient and caregiver still have to eat. Thank you, Abby, for letting me make this point. -- HAPPY TO BE HOME
DEAR HAPPY: Your point is well taken. You are right. It never hurts to volunteer what you could do to help someone recovering from a medical procedure. Some suggestions: Do some marketing or laundry or pick up their child from school and take them to the park to burn off some energy.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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Andrews McMeel Syndication