Dear Annie: I am a 55-year-old woman, the youngest of three. When I married 30 years ago, we moved away for my husband's job. Over the years, we have returned for summer visits, especially since our daughters are close in age to their cousins.
We always have made it a priority to attend all important family events, often at great expense. Last year, we traveled to my niece's destination wedding. But I was hurt that my niece did not ask either of my daughters to be in her wedding party.
My brother and his wife (the parents of this bride) have ignored my younger daughter for the past couple of years. They don't send her birthday or Christmas cards or presents, and totally skipped her recent college graduation. It's not the money. They are quite wealthy and are generous with their own kids and friends. Meanwhile, I have given nice gifts to their children at every occasion.
I do not feel I can maintain a civil relationship with them any longer. My sister knows how self-absorbed my brother and his wife can be, but won't intercede. We are good, decent people, and I don't understand their behavior. They act like everything is fine and recently left a phone message for my birthday asking me to call them and let them know whether I'm coming to town. Should I speak my mind about this or let it go? — Frustrated and Furious
Dear Frustrated: The reason your brother acts like everything is fine is because he believes it is. He has no idea that he has hurt you. It is natural for you to be more sensitive to issues regarding your daughters than he is. This is not to excuse his lack of attention, only that we don't believe it is deliberate, which means forgiveness is easier. Please talk to him without becoming angry. Gently explain that you are hurt when he completely ignores your children's special occasions and makes you think he doesn't care about them. We hope he'll try harder.
Dear Annie: Twice in the past month, I witnessed an older woman tumble from the top of a moving escalator all the way to the bottom, as store employees raced to turn it off. In one incident, the shopper was accompanied by someone who could not stop her fall. In the other, the woman seemed confused before the accident, but refused to use the elevator. To complicate matters, her only identification was a receipt in her purse, so it took a while to find the man who had dropped her off.
If anyone has a balance problem, uses a cane or walker, has their arms full or is carrying a toddler, etc., please use the elevator instead of the escalator. The few extra minutes are well worth it in order to avoid a horrifying accident. And please be sure to carry proper identification, including names and numbers to call in case of an emergency. — Stunned Shopper in Shreveport, La.
Dear Stunned: Too many people don't realize (or won't admit) they have a problem until something happens, and then, of course, it's too late. People need to be able to hold onto the railing of an escalator and watch their step getting on and off. If you aren't sure you can do this, please take the elevator. Better safe than sorry.
Dear Annie: My husband could have written the letter from "Heartbroken," whose wife never had time for him when they were younger, and now he's not interested.
I was a busy wife and mother and worked outside the home. I put everything before our relationship. We drifted apart and desperately needed couples counseling. We found the best therapist in our area, and she put us back on track. We just took a cross-country trip in an RV and have developed the most loving relationship we've had in 40 years. I hope they give it a shot. — J
This Classic Annie's Mailbox column was originally published in 2014. To find out more about Classic Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Creators Syndicate at www.creators.com.