DEAR ABBY: My sister faced various life-threatening illnesses. She always said, Never put off telling the people you love how you feel about them because you might not have a tomorrow. She practiced what she preached, and we all knew that she loved us. When she passed away eight years ago, it was a painful loss, especially for our mother.
By JEANNE PHILLIPS
Last week Mom finally succeeded in talking Dad into opening a stuck drawer in a cabinet. Inside she found a letter from my sister that had been put away and forgotten years ago. In the letter my sister wrote how blessed she felt she was to have a mother like ours, how all the sacrifices Mom made for her had been appreciated and how much she loved her.
That long-forgotten letter is now my mothers most prized possession. Please remind your readers not to take tomorrow for granted and to tell those they love how they feel TODAY. Julies Sister in Louisville, Ky.
DEAR SISTER: The loving message your sister wrote has conveyed her feelings from beyond the grave, and it is understandable that it is even more meaningful now than when it was written. Im glad to remind readers to verbalize their affection for each other. But the written word is something that can be savored over and over.
Brother is a bully
DEAR ABBY: My brother mocks everything I do, the friends I spend time with and my politics. When were together, he is often condescending and confrontational. Im tired of arguing when I go to his home and he asks me whats going on. I have started to answer, Nothing. So now he tells me how boring I am, in addition to his other criticisms.
Abby, his comments are hurtful, and I try to stay away from him, but I love my little nieces and want to be around them as they grow up. I dont have problems with anyone but him. Our other brother stopped talking to him years ago, but I dont think I can do anything that extreme.
How can I change the dynamic in our relationship? It doesnt seem to have progressed since we were kids. Under Attack in New Jersey
DEAR UNDER ATTACK: The dynamic in your relationship hasnt changed since you were kids because your brother never stopped being a bully. He calls you boring when you dont take the bait because he considers belittling you to be a form of entertainment. You cant change him. If you point out what hes doing, he will deny it and blame you for being too sensitive.
You can, however, understand his childish motivation. Ignore him as much as possible and focus your attention on your nieces since thats your only reason for going over there anyway.
Partner, not daughter
DEAR ABBY: I have been with my partner for six years. She is 14 years older than I am. We get along great and have a wonderful relationship.
Marsha and I live in a small Southern city. She is well-known and politically active. While everyone knows she is gay, they rarely realize Im her partner because I look much younger. We are often approached with, Oh, is this your daughter?
How are we supposed to respond? Marsha and I work in the same place, so it happens there, too. Its awkward. Any ideas? Aint My Mama
DEAR AINT: Because Marsha is a public person and its no secret shes gay, when the two of you are asked if you are mother and daughter, Marsha should reply, No, she is my partner. (And ask them to spread the word.)
TO MY CHRISTIAN READERS: I wish each and every one of you a very merry and meaningful Christmas.
© Universal Uclick 12/25
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