Reaching out to the lonely isn’t only a holiday act
Dear Annie: I read your column every day. Of course, lately, the issues revolve around COVID-19 and the problem of being unable to gather for significant events, especially holidays. People seem to be going the extra mile to find alternative ways to “gather.”
I would appreciate it if you could remind your readers that there are those who are alone on all the holidays, not just during this pandemic. I’ve been alone for many years on these holidays and have learned to make the best of it, stay busy and positive. I find ways to perhaps make others less lonely, which has helped me in return.
However, there is always a bit of underlying sadness. I know I would love it if someone would reach out to me with a phone call to say happy holidays or that they were thinking of me. I do have distant family and friends, but everyone gets busy and doesn’t seem to understand how important that 10-minute conversation would be to anyone who is alone.
For that matter, it doesn’t even need to be a holiday or birthday call. Please take 10 minutes of your time and make someone’s day brighter. Whenever someone takes the time to say they are thinking of me, I smile all day. — Appreciating Kindness
Dear Appreciating Kindness: Your letter touched my heart, and I can just picture you smiling all day because someone took the time to call you. The holiday season is a wonderful reminder of how we can all help each other, especially people we know who are alone. That really is the spirit of Christmas.
Dear Annie: My husband and I have adult children, ages 20 and 29, both of whom are girls. He refuses to make them grow up.
The older one asks him to make calls to places such as the airport to check on parking or to arrange appointments. He goes to her house to help her make plane reservations and has always done her taxes.
The younger one is living at home, and he calls her “the baby” all the time. He follows behind her, picking up after her, checking her school assignments, grades and school email, telling her what is due. I tell him we need to teach them to be independent, but he says he wants to help them as much as possible before he dies. He is 68. How do I deal with this? — Fed up with the Babying
Dear Fed Up: Sadly, your husband is not doing his children any favors by continuing to make them dependent on him. The goal of parents should be to give their children good roots when they are young. Teaching them how to care for themselves and be polite and responsible members of society, with wings to fly away from the nest and create their own lives separate from their parents.
Give a man a fish and he has one meal; teach him how to fish and he can feed himself for life. That is what your husband needs to do, and you know it. Sit him down and share the impact of his babying. Ask him about his concerns about trying to help them before he dies. If he still does not get it or if there are some deep-rooted fears present, then it might be time to go to family counseling.
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“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 http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to email@example.com.