Dear Annie: Before my father died, my husband and I promised him we would bring my mother to live with us after he was gone. Our home situation was perfect, although we needed to make a few renovations so Mom would be comfortable. Dad asked to approve the renovation plans, which he did, and then he said he'd give us $15,000 so we could fix the house. Unfortunately, we never put this in writing.
After Dad died, we brought Mom to our home. We borrowed an additional $6,000 from her with the intent to pay her back. She paid us "rent" every month — an amount less than half of what she had been paying at the assisted-living facility where she and Dad lived.
Eight years later, Mom died. My sister and I each inherited half of Mom's estate. My sister thinks her share is $21,000. I told her that because most of Mom's money went into the house, she will get paid when the house is sold. (It's on the market.)
Am I obligated to give my sister $21,000 when $15,000 of this money was a gift to us to fix the house? Her husband has stopped speaking to us and has badmouthed us to family and friends. I don't know what to do, but it doesn't seem fair to give her more than we end up with. — We Took Care of Mom
Dear Took Care: What are the terms of the will? You cannot change them simply because they may be unfair. If the will says your sister gets half of everything, that's what she gets. If it is unclear, consult the attorney who drew it up. And please decide whether the money is more important than your relationship with your sister, because that is what it boils down to. You sound like a caring and kind daughter, but you have illustrated why it is so important to put these arrangements in writing.
Dear Annie: Years ago, I read about a cure for seasickness. It said to put an aspirin in your belly button and Scotch tape over it. Some said the cure worked even without the aspirin. I've tried it both ways and haven't been seasick in 20 years. I even started using duct tape because when I sweat, the Scotch tape comes off. It works great. Before this, I had tried pills, bracelets and a patch, and nothing worked.
My wife never had a problem with seasickness, so she wouldn't try this. On our last cruise, the seas were very rough. At breakfast, she was sick as a dog and had to go back to bed. I, with my duct tape over my navel, was perfectly fine.
The problem is, nobody believes me. They think I'm playing a joke on them. Would it be possible for you to find out? It could help a lot of people enjoy the water. — J.
Dear J.: We cannot verify whether this home remedy works, although a quick internet search turned up a great many people who think it does. It doesn't seem to be harmful, so if it works for you, great. (We're sure our readers have plenty of other suggestions.)
Dear Annie: This is for "Wondering," who cheated on his wife and now she asks questions that he finds "annoying." Let me fill him in a little on the other side.
I was in your wife's shoes, and I forgave my husband but wanted some questions answered. His refusal to do so was the only major issue we fought about. I can no longer get the answers because he died suddenly a few years ago. And it's the one thing that still sits in the back of my mind and mars my memories of him.
So, "Wondering," please find a way to answer your wife's questions so the cheating can truly recede into the background. You never know when it will be too late. — Been There
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.