Years ago, I was diagnosed with a serious liver disease (non-alcohol type), told I only had 18 months to live without a liver transplant. I had to travel four hours for appointments, tests, scans, consultations, etc. My husband and I stayed in a hotel for three-night-stays for over a year.
I informed my two sons that I needed a transplant. Both were very worried about me.
Two weeks later, one asked for a "loan," having “borrowed” from me before.
I explained that we faced many new expenses. I called an agency helping people with financial problems and was advised that if I kept giving, he'd keep taking.
I called my son, said I’d discreetly sought financial advice for him (and his wife), and two places were suggested.
When he realized I wasn’t providing money, he hung up! It was our last conversation, eight years ago. Two weeks later, the couple spent a week at a five-star resort.
They have two young teenagers to whom I send cards/gifts on special occasions. I miss them dearly.
My youngest son had offered to go with his brother to the hospital to see me, before and after my 10-hour surgery. The reply was "no"!
I do love both my sons and always will! Where should I go from here?
Your son pulled away on his own and is highly likely to remain angry, unforgiving and distant whatever you do.
Privately, update your will. Assure that your grandchildren from both sons inherit equally, for their future education. Check all decisions with a lawyer, explaining past circumstances.
Assign all property and other items owned by you and your husband to be inherited first by the remaining spouse.
Finally, think long and hard about what you leave your sons. It must be equal, or the older one might even contest the will. If you have any extra funds that you can leave to a charitable cause you care about, make that gesture. It’s time your older son learned that others have more valid needs than his.
Reader’s Commentary Regarding a woman determined to keep her own surname (January 18):
“Although my husband was the love of my life and my soul mate, we almost called off our wedding due to our name dispute.
“He couldn’t understand why I couldn’t and wouldn’t give up my name. To him it was a rejection of a part of him and his family. To me, I’d be giving up my identity.
“Eventually we settled on a compromise neither of us liked. I hyphenated my name.
“But our society doesn’t make life comfortable or easy for those with hyphenated names. Computer forms often don’t accept them, people ignore the hyphen and address you incorrectly, letters and packages go undelivered. One tactful way to explain the importance of your name is to first explore what names mean in all cultures, especially our indigenous cultures. Canadians are learning to address our Indigenous Peoples by the names they call themselves, not by names others assigned them.
“Some black families descended from slaves have abandoned names inherited from slave-owners of their ancestors and have taken African or Afrocentric names.
“For many people, especially the disenfranchised (which has included women) their name is their identity.
“I lived to see the day when my husband was miffed that his daughter readily ceded her name on marriage. Her husband then yielded to her keeping her name. Men with daughters can learn to be staunch champions of their rights!”
FEEDBACK Regarding How “The Other Half” Has Lived, from a Reader:
“Please tell people so anxious to get on with their lives, that we older ones figured out many things we’ll never get to share. But our experiences are still relevant regarding human nature, which doesn't change.
“Are there wise words for “folks like us?” We have arthritic fingers and scratchy voices. Yet we volunteer even during Covid-19.
“I’ve not experienced war directly, hadn’t many tragic losses, did nothing “spectacular.” But I saw more than a middle-class upbringing would have you believe, had more education than in university.
“What can we do with this treasury? Our memories have clouded out. Yet, a blank look could be covering an emotion we cannot at that moment share.
“For those who think asking many rapid questions is equal to a “visit:” Thank you for stopping by.”
Ellie - Touching insight.
Tip of the day:
Parents should teach teenagers financial realities and state clear limits on adult children asking for “loans.”