Don't Forget to Call!

By Annie Lane

February 4, 2020 4 min read

Dear Annie: Every Sunday, my family and I go over to my mother's house for dinner. My father passed away a few years ago, and the dinners are a way to help her not feel so lonely. We usually have a lovely time during dinner, and she adores spending time with her grandchildren. The problem is when I leave. She asks me to call her to make sure I got home safely. We live roughly 10 miles from her house. And the nagging starts before we even leave the house. The last 20 minutes of our visit are filled with pleas to not forget to call her. It is really starting to bother me. I know at some level that she worries, but I find her nagging so annoying. Am I wrong to feel frustrated? — Confused

Dear Confused: I'm not sure if you are right or wrong to feel frustrated, but the fact remains that you are frustrated. The only way to alleviate some of this frustration is to tell her exactly what you said in your letter.

Before you do so, take a deep breath. Sometimes people "nag" because they are anxious. She says she wants to make sure that you got home safe, and the thought of you getting lost or something bad happening makes her very nervous.

Try and cut her a little slack. Next Sunday night, give her a quick call when you get home and reassure her that you all made it safe. It's a small gesture for your mother's sanity.

Dear Annie: I am a 95-year-old man whose wife of 65 years died two years ago after a long illness. I am still self-sufficient; cook my own meals; drive and shop for myself.

But I am ever so lonely most of the time.

I am sure that there are women who have similar situations. But how does a 95-year-old man find a woman, maybe 80-85, who would enjoy being with someone? — Lonely

Dear Lonely: I am very sorry for the loss of your wife of 65 years, and it sounds like you are trying to take time to properly grieve for her. At this point, I would suggest that you look for support groups and other friends who have had similar experiences.

Perhaps in sharing your grief with others, you will find more connections, and, who knows, you might just meet a new woman.

Dear Annie: I appreciated your response to the parents struggling with a grown child with mental illness. I wanted to add one thing. In many states, the Department of Mental Health is an incredibly important resource. I don't know where my son (with personality disorder and schizoaffective) would be without his DMH worker. — Grateful

Dear Grateful: Thank you for your suggestion. I am printing your letter in hopes that it helps other families dealing with similar situations.

"Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie" is out now! Annie Lane's debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to [email protected]

Photo credit: GustavoWandalen at Pixabay

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