A Worthy Apology 30 Years in the Making Dear Annie: Thirty years ago, when I was 11, I got into an argument on the school bus with another kid my age. I was an insecure child, and I was losing the argument and feeling humiliated. In a move to try to regain some power, I called the other …Read more. A Father's Dying Wish Made Doubly Difficult Dear Annie: My father was in prison for my entire childhood. I am now 23 and have managed to build a good relationship with him since he was released two years ago. Recently, Dad became very ill and stopped breathing. He was on life support for a …Read more. Depressed and Dependent: A Moral Quagmire Dear Annie: My father recently passed away. Dad was helping to support my 43-year-old brother, "Ben," who suffers from depression and is on disability. Ben doesn't work and spends a great deal of time in bed or buying liquor and lottery tickets. He'…Read more. Pickers, Blowers and Other People You Don't Want To Eat With Dear Annie: My husband and I meet up with a group of family and close friends every week for lunch. One couple in this group (a close family member and her spouse) constantly blow their noses during our get-togethers. They use cloth handkerchiefs, …Read more.more articles
Hands Are Tied when a Messed-Up Child Is a Legal Adult
Dear Annie: My 20-year-old nephew has been a troubled youth, despite all the attempts of his family to help him, including counseling and rehab. When he was 18, he became involved with a messed-up 14-year-old girl who used drugs, alcohol and sex to get her way.
A year ago, my nephew's family moved out of state, but last fall he reconnected with the old girlfriend via Facebook. The girl's father bought my nephew a plane ticket to come visit. She is now a spoiled 17-year-old dropout who refuses to get a job. Worse yet, while visiting, my nephew also reconnected with all their former drug-using "friends."
My nephew is now back with his family, but the girl constantly texts and calls. It seems she is planning to run away and join him. His family is furious. They hadn't known about the plane ticket and never wanted him involved with this girl. They are trying to get him back into rehab, but he refuses to do anything to help himself. Any ideas? — Florida
Dear Florida: It is terribly sad when a child is so self-destructive that you can only sit and watch. But your nephew is a legal adult, and there isn't much the family can do to change his behavior. Please urge them to contact Families Anonymous (familiesanonymous.org) and Because I Love You (bily.org) for help, suggestions and emotional support.
Dear Annie: Several years ago, you printed an essay about a dog who had lived a long life and had become old and sickly and wanted his master to do him a favor and let him die. It was written from the dog's viewpoint, and I think of it often. Would it be possible to rerun it? — Rockford, Ill.
Dear Rockford: Thank you for asking.
A Dog's Plea by Beth Norman Harris
Treat me kindly, my beloved friend, for no heart in all the world is more grateful for kindness than the loving heart of me.
Do not break my spirit with a stick, for though I might lick your hand between blows, your patience and understanding will more quickly teach me the things you would have me learn.
Speak to me often, for your voice is the world's sweetest music, as you must know by the fierce wagging of my tail when the sound of your footstep falls upon my waiting ear.
Please take me inside when it is cold and wet, for I am a domesticated animal, no longer accustomed to bitter elements. I ask no greater glory than the privilege of sitting at your feet beside the hearth.
Keep my pan filled with fresh water, for I cannot tell you when I suffer thirst.
Feed me clean food that I might stay well, to romp and play and do your bidding, to walk by your side and stand ready, willing and able to protect you with my life, should your life be in danger.
And, my friend, when I am very old, and I no longer enjoy good health, hearing and sight, do not make heroic efforts to keep me going. I am not having any fun.
Please see that my trusting life is taken gently. I shall leave this Earth knowing with the last breath I draw that my fate was always safest in your hands.
Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie's Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. To find out more about Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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