I don’t want to be emer­gency con­tact for my sis­ter’s kid

Chicago Sun-Times - - ENTERTAINM­ENT - Con­tact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los An­ge­les, CA 90069.

Dear Abby: Dur­ing my sis­ter’s preg­nancy, she made very clear that the only peo­ple she wanted to trans­port her child would be her, her hus­band and our mother. I dis­agreed, but be­cause of her preg­nancy, I kept silent and abided by her wish that I not pur­chase my own car seat in the event of an emer­gency. (I don’t have any chil­dren of my own.)

Now that the child is in day care, I found out through a third party that my sis­ter has listed me as an emer­gency con­tact. The first ques­tion that came to mind was “Why?” but all I could do was ac­knowl­edge the in­for­ma­tion.

Would it be out of line for me to ask her about this, and if she con­firms it, to re­move my info from her emer­gency con­tact? Or should I just hope that I never get called? I don’t want to be un­pre­pared, but I know that emer­gen­cies do hap­pen.

Taken Aback in the East

Dear Taken Aback: Emer­gen­cies DO hap­pen. Lives can be changed in only a mo­ment. Be­fore list­ing you as an emer­gency con­tact, your sis­ter should have asked for per­mis­sion and dis­cussed it with you. It would not be out of line to tell her you have just been in­formed about it and ask why she did it with­out telling you.

While you’re at it, ask if the child has any med­i­cal con­di­tions you’re not aware of and EX­ACTLY what she wants done in an emer­gency sit­u­a­tion. If you de­cide to fol­low through with this, you should know the name of her doc­tor, what — if any — med­i­ca­tions the child is tak­ing, and what hospi­tal the am­bu­lance should de­liver the kid to if it becomes nec­es­sary, since you don’t have a child seat in your ve­hi­cle and don’t want to risk be­ing cited should you be stopped on the way.

Dear Abby: “Dar­lene” and I have been friends for 40 years. She moved to Ari­zona with me in the ’80s from Michi­gan. Her boyfriend drove out and con­vinced her to re­turn to Michi­gan and get mar­ried, which she did, but she’s al­ways hated Michi­gan. She raised two girls. I was al­ways called “Aunt” and was con­sid­ered close.

Years passed and the mar­riage was strug­gling. I in­vited Dar­lene to come and visit to get away for a bit. She fell right back in love with Ari­zona. She ex­pressed her un­hap­pi­ness in the mar­riage, and I told her that if she ever needed a place to stay, she could live with me. She came out for an­other visit, found a job and de­cided to stay.

Her girls, now in their early 20s, were shocked and hurt by their mom’s de­ci­sion to di­vorce their fa­ther. One of them blames me, blocked me on Face­book and no longer talks to me. It has been three years, and when Dar­lene’s daugh­ter comes to visit, I have to stay away. Dar­lene re­fuses to talk to the daugh­ter to smooth things out be­tween us. I think she should do some­thing to de­fend me. Am I wrong?

Wrongly Blamed in the West

Dear Wrongly Blamed: No, you are not wrong. You did Dar­lene a fa­vor by wel­com­ing her to Ari­zona, but you were not re­spon­si­ble for her di­vorce. It ap­pears no good deed goes un­pun­ished. She should not be let­ting you take the heat for the fact she left her hus­band.

Dar­lene should have ex­plained to her daugh­ter the mar­riage was an un­happy one for a long time, and re­gard­less of where she chose to live af­ter­ward, it wouldn’t have been near their fa­ther. Dar­lene and her daugh­ter owe you an apol­ogy. Be­cause you are re­quired to stay away when Daugh­ter vis­its, per­haps it would be bet­ter if Dar­lene found an­other place to live rather than your home.


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