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Helping out to gain time

Dear Annie: I am a 72-year-old woman who used to live with my daughter and her family. I moved out last January.

I was asked over to their home when my oldest grandson came home with my great-grandchild in June. Other than that, I have not talked to my daughter in months.

Am I being foolish to think that she could call once in a while to check up on me? When I call her, it’s as if she can’t be bothered. If I leave a message, she does not return my calls. — Missing My Daughter

Dear Missing My Daughter: It is understandable that you miss your daughter — the daughter you knew before her life got busy with her own family. My guess is that she is not snubbing you but rather is simply busy. Instead of demanding that she call you, ask her what she needs. How can you help her out? Sometimes, when we help others, we are actually helping ourselves. If all that doesn’t work, tell her how you feel and how much you love and miss her.

Dear Annie: I have to object to your language about how grandchildren “intuitively” love their grandparents in your note to “Family Scapegoat.”

Unless the grandparents are the children’s primary attachment, there is no reason for children to connect with them except as a reflection of the parent’s relationship with the grandparents. Saying otherwise is outdated and not in line with attachment theory.

Parents should be allowed to cut unhealthy and unsafe relationships out of their children’s lives — even if those relationships are familial. — Unimpressed by the Greatness

Dear Unimpressed: You are correct, and if a grandparent’s behavior is unhealthy or unsafe, they should be kept away from their grandchildren. But if the issue is not so black and white, and the behavior is more annoying than unsafe, then the parents should set boundaries for the interactions rather than cut them off altogether.

Dear Annie: I lost a loving soul mate to dementia several months ago. We were extremely close for over 57 years, but now she is a great memory. I am sad I lost her but grateful to have had the time to thank her for those years and physically demonstrate that my love for her was — and still is — real. In the end, I cut her food in bite-size pieces and, for a short while, had to place the food in her mouth. I bathed her, dressed her, combed her hair, etc., and will be forever thankful for the opportunity to support her.

We had worked together for some 50 years, and she went to the office with me right up until the last several days of her life. Each morning, while helping her from bed, I hugged her and reminded my life partner of my love and thanked her for being such a great wife. I might add here that I feel exceptionally blessed for having her in my life and being able to “pay back” a little bit for her years of dedicated love and support. — Loved Her Till the End

Dear Loved Her: Your letter brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful love story.

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