DEAR ABBY: Throughout my three grandchildren’s lives, I have picked them up from school, and attended school functions, games and activities in which they have participated. Their parents work, and I was helping out.
I have given them money for camps, clothes for all changes of season, and anything they especially needed or wanted. I baby-sat after school and on weekends while my daughter-in-law, “Kathy,” went to “memory book classes” and special scrapbooking lessons. I’m always at her beck and call. I do anything I am asked, even if I must rearrange my own schedule.
The oldest grandchild graduated this year, and Kathy had photos out and memory books displayed for everyone to see. As I glanced through, I noticed there were no pictures of me with the kids nor any from our side of the family. My son (their father) was barely in any of them, either. There were plenty of photos with Kathy, her mom and her siblings. Although Kathy has a nice camera and has snapped pictures of us, none made it into the memory books.
I am truly hurt. When the children look back in years to come, it will be as if we were never in their lives. They will see only one side of their family tree. They have other cousins, aunts and uncles they will not remember. Am I wrong to feel hurt that we were left out of the children’s memory book family? – GRANDMA ON THE WRONG SIDE
DEAR GRANDMA: No, I don’t think you’re wrong. And I think you should tell your daughter-in-law how you feel, because there is nothing I can do to rectify it. If Kathy is unwilling or unable to amend her memory books, consider getting ahold of some of the more accurate – and inclusive – “rejects” that should have been included and creating a few photo albums of your own.
And another thought: Please don’t think your grandchildren will forget you because you don’t appear in their mother’s memory books. You have been such a constant, loving, supportive and important presence in their lives that such a thing would be impossible. While their mom is capturing the memories, you are creating them.
DEAR ABBY: I recently married “Ron,” a widower. His wife “Marianne” died three years ago. They had a solid, happy marriage. Ron’s father had a heart attack and died at their wedding reception.
Ron had a tattoo put on his arm – “E.R.M.” and the date. The letters stand for his father (“Erwin”), Ron and Marianne. The date is their wedding date. Ron says that on that day the three of them were eternally bound. I don’t like the tattoo, but Ron adamantly refuses to have it removed.
I’m mostly unhappy about Ron’s feeling that there’s an eternal bond between him, his late wife and his father. Am I unreasonable for wanting him to remove it? – INKED OUT WEST
DEAR INKED: Yes! It’s a huge mistake to compete with dead people. It is understandable that your husband would feel love for his deceased wife and father. That love is part of why he’s the person he is today – the man you fell in love with. The sooner you learn to appreciate him for all the love in his heart, the healthier your marriage will be.
Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.