Dear Readers - A borrowed thought to share with everyone: “Smile through the mask.”
That’s advice from a street-crossing guard known as “Hi-Five Paul” for his upbeat pre-Covid greetings to youngsters at a school crossing.
Recently interviewed on CBC’s Metro Morning, and despite currently-closed schools, Paul’s still smiling to connect to people even while distanced.
Every day that each of us awakens is a fresh start. We can see a grey wintry sky outside and get gloomy, or we can brighten up and face whatever’s ahead. Let’s all try Paul’s upbeat prescription for getting through this pandemic safely.
Last year before Covid hit, my niece was planning her wedding. A bridal shower was planned for a day that I was obligated to babysit my three-year-old grandson.
I asked the person throwing the shower if I could bring my grandson. She told me that would be ok. However, my niece called and told me that no boys were allowed to attend.
I said a few nasty words to her, she said some nasty words back. My niece also told me that I was then off the guest list. Months later, there was a party for the couple and my sister asked why I wasn’t planning on going. I told her that the reason was her daughter took me off the guest list.
Then COVID-19 hit and all festivities were cancelled. The couple still got married in June. In September, I apologized and bought my niece a bridal gift and a wedding gift. I wished her and her husband all the best.
By last December, my niece and my sister were still angry. They blame me for all the problems that occurred. I’m so frustrated and ready to move away, in order to not bother with them. I tried to make amends and apologized. I don't know what else to do.
So sad. But we have to look at the common triggers that get activated during wedding preparations. A bride gets uptight about wanting her event to be perfect... to the point of preventing a toddler from attending a shower because he’s “a boy.” A grandmother, feeling protective and with a responsibility to babysit, feels hurt and overreacts.
And a mother-of-the-bride gets involved, aligning with her daughter’s decision to keep the event free of a small boy.
Perhaps a plan could’ve been made for someone else to babysit the child. Perhaps the bride could’ve found it cute to have the youngster present. Perhaps the two older sisters who were head of their households could’ve smoothed this over rather than let it become a wedge between them.
Apologize again. You’re not at some terrible fault here, but you did overreact with “nasty” words.
Do not move away. You were generous with gifts, now be generous with wisdom and understanding. Tell both your sister and her daughter that you deeply regret the incident and, in this time of much more serious issues to face, you want to repair the situation and strengthen the family bond.
FEEDBACK Regarding the recently widowed woman struggling with grief and despair (January 19):
Reader – “Author Yvonne Heath, a long-time nurse, wrote Love Your Life to Death. She believes that “if we learn about grief before the grief, if we talk about death and dying before the diagnosis, before someone is dying, we will suffer less, and our families will suffer less.”
“Our death-denying culture makes us greatly unprepared for the death of loved ones.”
Reader #2 – “The grieving widow’s comment that most caught my attention was, “I know I must go on, but right now, I’m facing a lonely, unimaginable life.”
“As someone who suffers anxiety/depression, I’m sensing that she’s feeling guilty for having trouble coping.
“The phrase, “It’s Okay to not feel Okay,” gets me through the minutes. Counselling and family help in the long term.”
Reader’s Commentary Regarding your column about male erectile dysfunction (January 18):
“Spouses or partners may not be aware of one medical problem that some men face after age 40 - Enlarged Prostrate. Some may even face this physical condition before 40.
“With Enlarged Prostrate men suffer difficulties for satisfying sex, along with urination, erection, and frustrations with sexual activities. This is a medical problem, related to middle age.
“So, wives and partners should be considerate and encourage their men to consult a physician and eventually a urologist.”
Tip of the day:
If you care about family, don’t give up without trying all reasonable means to repair a rift.