DEAR ABBY: Today was my high school reunion. I was the most notable student for all the wrong reasons. I was born with some birth defects and learning disabilities. I overcame them, but it was hard.
While working blue-collar jobs, I lived in my car for a few years. On a cold winter night several years ago, I met Dr. X in the emergency room. He was a former classmate of mine, and we pretended not to know one another. He discovered I was living in my car and heard some of my story. Then he arranged for me to be admitted to the hospital for a day so I could get warmed up and recover. When I left the hospital, I found a $100 bill in the gas tank door of my van. I’m sure it was from him.
I now have a home of my own and I’m doing OK, considering everything. When I sent my reservation and check to the reunion committee, it was returned uncashed with a $50 bill along with a note saying “Please don’t come.” The reunion was being held on the estate of Dr. X.
I guess my classmates are more closed-minded than I thought they would be. I was hoping age would mellow them. In addition to the reservation return, I have seen a few forwarded emails mocking my attempts to find out about the event.
I hope none of those people were blessed with a child with learning or physical issues. I guess people never change on some things. Thankfully, I have found nicer, caring people along my journey in life, and for that I’d like to thank all of the kind people in the world. — UNEXPECTED SUCCESS
DEAR UNEXPECTED SUCCESS: Your letter shocked me. I am glad to know how you are doing. Although people age, it’s apparent that not all of them mature.
In case you haven’t yet realized it, you weren’t the only student in your class with problems. People who would behave as you have described were obviously born without a heart. It is inexcusable for you to have been treated the way you were. In recognition of the challenges you have overcome, you should have been the guest of honor at the reunion.
DEAR ABBY: I’ve been seeing a man for 15 months. I know he has three sisters and a brother. All he has said is they are not close and he doesn’t keep in touch with them. There are no cards at holiday time, no phone calls or any mention of any of them (there are nieces and nephews, too), and no explanation about why they don’t talk.
Should I be concerned that he doesn’t share any of this with me? He has been very involved with my entire family, but I have never met a single relative of his. — KEPT IN THE DARK IN MASSACHUSETTS
DEAR KEPT IN THE DARK: After 15 months of dating, you should be able to discuss this with him and get some honest answers. There are probably good reasons why this man and his family are estranged. They may have been abusive to him, or he may be the black sheep of the family. But you will never know unless you ask directly.
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 http://www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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