Dear Annie: I have three sons, and we always were close to my parents. When Dad died, we helped Mom a lot. Two years ago, Mom became upset with our son, "Ryan," because he didn't have time to help her with something. Ryan was then working full time and going to school. He asked Mom if she could find someone else to do the work. She became upset, and words were exchanged. For a while, the tension was awful, but I saw them hug at a family gathering and assumed things were settled. I was wrong.
Ryan is getting married soon, and Mom refuses to come to the wedding. I have asked her to reconsider and have prayed that she will change her mind, but it hasn't worked. I sent her a letter last week and offered to provide transportation and pay for her hotel room and meals, but I haven't heard back.
Mom attended all her other grandchildren's weddings, even the ones out of state. My nephew is getting married two weeks after Ryan, and I know she will be at that one. I'm just sick about this. I wake up at night depressed. I would get down on my knees to beg her, but I know it won't help. What can I do? — Hurting Mother
Dear Hurting: We have a hard time understanding grandparents who seem to go out of their way to hold grudges and build animosity. Here's a last-ditch effort: Ryan should visit his grandmother in person, if possible, and apologize for any unkind words he may have directed at her. He should then tell her he loves her and that it means a great deal to him to have her at his wedding. If she still cannot forgive him, there is nothing more you can do, but Grandma should understand that she is creating a rift that may never heal.
Dear Annie: Thank you for mentioning hospice. When my mother was dying, my sister and I were overwhelmed. Hospice gave us a book on the dying process, and when Mom died, they thought of everything, including the phone calls that needed to be made. We were not asked to give money, yet social workers, nurses and caregivers came to the house on a regular basis. I will never forget how reassuring it was to have professionals help us though that emotional time. I cannot say enough about this wonderful organization. — Thankful in California
Dear Thankful: Neither can we. Anyone facing the terminal illness of a loved one should contact the local hospice association for help and comfort.
Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to anniesmailboxcomcast.net, or write to: Annie's Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611. © Creators Syndicate Inc.