DEAR ABBY: Recently, I kindly and lovingly gave my daughter some feedback on how she berates her husband in front of my 8-year-old grandson. I told her I didn’t want him to grow up thinking that’s how we treat the people we love. To make a long story short, she said that if I wanted to estrange myself from her, I had succeeded. I remained calm and loving and told her she could use the feedback if it was helpful, or ignore it if it wasn’t. She has now blocked me!
My daughter has had no compunction over the years about informing me about my shortcomings, but went into a rage when I spoke about her behavior. Although it breaks my heart that my daughter has cut me out of her life, my real concern is losing contact with my grandson. Fortunately, my son-in-law is still relaying messages to him, but what about when I want to visit my grandson? I have always stayed with my daughter and her family. — HEARTBROKEN IN ANOTHER STATE
DEAR HEARTBROKEN: You may have hit the nail on the head, but you must have also struck a nerve for your daughter to have reacted so strongly. Staying with her may be off the table until she cools off, but visits with your grandson may still be possible if her husband can arrange it. Not knowing your son-in-law, I can only guess that it may be just a matter of time until he tires of your daughter’s verbal abuse and exits the marriage, but if they separate, it may make access to your grandchild easier for you.
DEAR ABBY: Several of us lady friends get together periodically over coffee to catch up. We haven’t seen each other since the pandemic began, but I’m thinking of inviting them to my backyard for a socially distanced get-together.
One of them is very political and dominates the conversation with her opinions and observations. Because of it, I’m considering not including her. I don’t want to cause hard feelings, but I don’t know what to do — not have the gathering, lay out ground rules or put up with her political spewing? — MISSING MY FRIENDS IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR MISSING: Deal with it by leaving the choice of whether to attend up to this amateur pundit. Keep it alcohol-free and explain that you want the conversation to be “light” and strictly social, which is why you do not want the subject of politics to be mentioned. At all. It will then be up to her to decide which is more important: her soapbox or some much-needed relaxing conversation.
DEAR READERS: Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and no Thanksgiving would be complete without sharing the traditional prayer penned by my dear late mother:
Oh, Heavenly Father,
We thank Thee for food and remember the hungry.
We thank Thee for health and remember the sick.
We thank Thee for friends and remember the friendless.
We thank Thee for freedom and remember the enslaved.
May these remembrances stir us to service,
That Thy gifts to us may be used for others.
Have a safe, happy and socially distanced celebration, everyone! — Love, ABBY
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 www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in “What Every Teen Should Know.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)