DEAR ABBY: I love my grandson dearly. He lived with us off and on growing up because there were problems in his birth family. Our relationship was always close and loving. I confess that we spoiled him out of fear that at any moment his mother would stop us from seeing him.
When he grew up he joined the military and met a girl on the opposite side of the country who he’s planning to marry. The problem is, she’s insecure and doesn’t want him to have any contact with his family or friends.
To say our hearts are broken doesn’t describe our feelings of abandonment and sorrow. While we think he’s making a mistake by marrying such a controlling person, we realize it’s his decision to make. We wouldn’t dream of interfering, and we wish them happiness.
Please help me deal with all this hurt. How do we cope with our feelings of betrayal and rejection from someone we love so dearly? We have done nothing to deserve being treated this way. – Cast Aside
DEAR CAST ASIDE: Your grandson may have joined the armed forces, but where his love life is concerned, the stronger partner is his fiancée. The situation you have described is sad, but not as unusual as you may think. I have heard from heartbroken parents whose sons turned their backs on them after the wedding because their wives’ parents took precedence.
How they cope with their hurt and disappointment varies. Some of them talk to their religious advisers, others to therapists. The healthy ones keep their eyes forward and go on with their lives, and that’s what I am hoping you eventually decide to do. You have my sympathy, believe me.
DEAR ABBY: My neighbor, “Sandy,” gave me a “thank-you pie” she had baked, saying it was a family recipe. I am aware that I have reactions to the standard allergens of life, bee stings and poison ivy, but after one bite of her pumpkin pie, I felt an intense burning sensation in my mouth and my throat swelled up. I always keep medication with me so I was able to check the reaction and stay out of the emergency room.
Sandy has called twice and left messages asking if I liked her pie. I haven’t responded because I’m not sure what to say to her. I’d really like to know what was in that recipe so I can avoid it in the future. – No More Pie, Please
DEAR No More Pie: Apologize to Sandy for not returning her call sooner and explain that you didn’t because you had a serious allergic reaction to one of the ingredients in her thank-you pie. Tell her you were fortunate to have had medication with you or you would have wound up in the emergency room. Then ask her what ingredients in the pie might have caused the reaction so you can avoid them in the future. It’s a legitimate question, and if Sandy is a friend as well as a good neighbor, she will tell you.