Q: Our loving and caring father is 79 and not in good health. Last week he asked us to take him to visit our mother's gravesite. Mom passed three years ago and is buried in our hometown, which is a three-hour drive from where we live.
Dad is still suffering from the loss. It emotionally drains him every day.
My sister and I disagree about whether he is physically healthy enough to handle the drive to Mom's gravesite because he is in such frail health. I believe he can do it, but she does not. What's best for him?
A: My best advice would be to discuss you father's health with his doctor and agree to accept the doctor's decision. Obviously your dad wants to make the journey. It may be his last opportunity to spend a time at your mother's gravesite.
If the doctor OKs the visit, make a plan to go. If the doctor says it's risky, tell your dad that his doctor advised against the drive. If that's the case and your dad demands to go and you cannot convince him otherwise, you also have the option of ignoring the doctor's call and taking your chances.
These decisions are emotionally driven and not easy to make. However, because of your love for your dad, whatever you decide, assure yourselves you are making the right decision for him. — Doug
Q: I recently found out that my grandson will be living in Germany for the next year. He's always lived close to me, so it will be a big change not to have him around.
I want to treasure the time I have with him before he leaves and keep in touch with him while he's abroad. I know it's much easier to keep in contact now than it was when I was his age, but I'm not familiar with a lot of the new technology.
What do you recommend I do so I can stay close to my grandson while he's gone?
A: You're definitely right that it's easier today than ever before to communicate with people all over the world. There are many different ways to reach people, messaging systems are more reliable and some forms of communication are real-time!
Although there are many ways to keep in touch, most people find that some methods work better than others, so it's best to find a few that work for you.
The best thing you can do before your grandson leaves is talk to him about his travel plans. Ask him how he plans to keep in contact with his friends and family, and see if you'll be able to use some of those forms of communication. Popular methods include Skype, Whatsapp, iMessage, email, or even occasional postcards and letters.
Settle on a method that works for both of you, and be consistent. And don't forget to keep the time difference in mind. Best of luck to you both! — Emma, Doug's granddaughter
Doug Mayberry makes the most of life in a Southern California retirement community. Contact him at [email protected] Emma, Doug's granddaughter, helps write this column. To find out more about Doug Mayberry and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.