Dear Annie: I am a 20-year-old male who currently lives with my parents. I just started my first year of college.
Both of my parents have prescriptions to Xanax. When I was 15, I took a few from my dad's bottle. My parents labeled me a thief and an addict. I knew it was wrong and haven't done it since. I thought we had moved on from that incident, but my mother called me at work and asked whether I had taken 60 of her Xanax. I had no idea what she was talking about and said I hadn't touched her pills. She insisted that I stole them and sold them, and wouldn't hear anything other than an admission of guilt.
I honestly have no idea what happened to her pills, but I feel terrible that my mother believes I stole from her. No matter how many times I proclaim my innocence, they assume I'm guilty. What else can I say? — Guilty by Accusation
Dear Guilty: Nothing, really. You said you didn't do it, and unless evidence surfaces that someone else took the pills (or they were misplaced), your parents will think you are the guilty party. We suggest you sincerely apologize for giving them cause to mistrust you because of your past behavior. But understand that it may not convince them of your innocence. Once trust is broken, it is difficult to regain. It will take a great deal of time for your parents to see you as a responsible, trustworthy person. Consider this a goal for the long haul. It's worth it.
Dear Annie: Many years ago, you published my piece, "Hold Fast the Summer," that I wrote when my son went off to college. Now a third grandchild is going off to college. Could you print it again for all the parents who are sending kids to places of higher learning? — Mary W. Abel
Dear Mary Abel: With pleasure. Here it is:
"Hold Fast the Summer" by Mary W. Abel
Hold fast the summer. It is the beauty of the day and all it contains.
The laughter and work and finally the sleep. The quiet.
Oh September, do not put your weight upon my mind.
For I know he will be going.
This son of mine who is now a man — he must go.
Time will lace my thoughts with joyous years.
The walls will echo his "Hello." His caring will be around each corner.
His tears will be tucked into our memory book.
Life calls him beyond our reach — to different walls.
New faces, shiny halls, shy smiles, many places.
Greater learning — he must go.
But wait, before he leaves, be sure he knows you love him.
Hide the lump in your throat as you hug him.
He will soon be home again — but he will be different.
The little boy will have disappeared.
How I wished I could take September and shake it, for it came too soon.
I must look to the beauty of each new day, and silently give thanks.
Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of This Classic Annie's Mailbox column was originally published in 2015. 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.