Dear Ann Landers: For the last 30 years, my family has lived 1,500 miles from my mother. She lives alone and seems to like it that way. I visit her whenever I can afford it, which is every two or three years, and I call often. She has visited my husband and family twice - the last time was 28 years ago.
Mom is in good health, and we get along fine. Every time I talk to her, I invite her to come see us, but she always says she has no interest in visiting us here.
Our daughter is getting married soon. I wrote Mother, telling her how much it would mean to us if she would attend the wedding. Our daughter has also called her grandmother about this. I have offered to pay for the trip, even though she can afford it. Mom has no problem leaving her house for a few days or going places involving long drives. She never actually responded to the invitation, but she did tell a relative that she isn’t planning to come to the wedding because she “doesn’t want to.”
Why would a mother be like this? How should I handle it? - Hurt Feelings in San Diego
Dear Hurt: Your mother may have a fear of flying. Is there perhaps someone who could travel with her? Explore all the options - bus, train, car - with other family members. I hope it can be worked out. To live long enough to see a grandchild marry is a special blessing. It would be a shame to miss it.
Dear Ann Landers: You have educated millions of people on various topics over the years. Please continue to do so by printing my letter.
As you undoubtedly know, there has been an explosion of multiple births in the last decade. Thanks to new fertility drugs, births of triplets and quads are more common than ever.
I am the mother of 2-year-old triplets and a 6-month-old baby. To see me approaching with a stroller built for four must be quite a jolt. But it is still amazing to me how many stupid, rude and unbelievably impertinent comments are made by perfect strangers.
Here is my advice to those who find my family so interesting: We are not an exhibit at the zoo, so please don’t videotape us. And please don’t tell me how sorry you feel for me. Actually, I feel very fortunate to have had four healthy children in less than two years. And why in the world would you think my sex life is any of your business? Does the fact that my triplets resulted from in vitro fertilization make you feel safer?
My husband and I feel as if we have hit the baby lottery. We love our children more than I can express in words. But I will admit it has not been easy. I had an extremely difficult pregnancy and three premature babies, not to mention that getting by on two hours of sleep a night can be exhausting. Four children in 18 months has drained us financially and physically but I wouldn’t change a thing.
While I was out with my children the other day, a woman stopped me and said in a pitying tone, “God bless you!” My reply was “He already has.” - Lafayette, Ind.
Dear Lafayette: Your letter is sure to bring in a variety of comments. Meanwhile, I thank you for enclosing a photograph of your four children. They are simply gorgeous. You have been truly blessed.
Gem of the Day: “To do is to be.” - Descartes “To be is to do.” - Sartre “Do be do be do.” - Frank Sinatra