Wit­ness to fail­ure

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - YOUR DAILY BREAK - An­nie Lane Edited by Rich Nor­ris and Joyce Ni­chols Lewis By Gail Grabowski and Bruce Ven­zke ©2016 Tri­bune Con­tent Agency, LLC

For years, I’ve been frus­trated with my wife’s fam­ily and wished I could see her rel­a­tives change for the bet­ter. Count me among mil­lions more, I sup­pose. But I fear this fam­ily, with three gen­er­a­tions in the same house­hold, is mak­ing some re­ally bad de­ci­sions that will soon de­stroy the fam­ily for good. Af­ter years of not be­ing able to pay for their home, her rel­a­tives lost it, and that same year, they had to bor­row a lot of money from us for med­i­cal ex­penses. Then my sis­terin-law quit her steady job and jumped into a re­ally dicey busi­ness scheme. They have bought a larger home (I don’t know how) and still en­joy promis­ing my chil­dren ex­pen­sive toys.

An­nie, it’s not just that I’ve had to raise my chil­dren not to count on empty prom­ises. (I should thank these rel­a­tives for that.) What I’m afraid of is that they’re on the road to ruin, and I’m too an­gry and frus­trated to keep stand­ing on the side­lines. These are in­tel­li­gent, ca­pa­ble peo­ple, but I’m not even sure they do such ba­sic things as see doc­tors reg­u­larly.

There’s a lovely young girl in the fam­ily who I just started to sus­pect has a se­ri­ous speech de­lay. (I’m a pro­fes­sor of neu­rolin­guis­tics.) The last straw was when I asked my wife what the pe­di­a­tri­cian says about it. My wife says this child is seen in their home by a fam­ily friend who’s a nurse. An­nie, my wife and I know it’s hard. She had the same up­bring­ing as her sib­lings, af­ter all, but she has fought to be in­de­pen­dent of some re­ally self­de­struc­tive habits. They may never be able to say the same. It’s im­pos­si­ble for us to keep watch­ing. Is there any way to help them (money is out of the ques­tion at this point), or should we just cut ties be­fore their ship sinks?

— Can’t Watch Any­more Though you can’t stop their ship from sink­ing, you could at least throw them a cou­ple of life­savers. The first would be re­gard­ing the girl’s speech. See­ing as you’re a pro­fes­sor of neu­rolin­guis­tics, you have good rea­son to raise the is­sue with them. Let them know that based on your ex­pe­ri­ence, you think the girl’s de­layed speech may be cause for con­cern.

The se­cond is­sue, re­lated to the first, is that of the child’s gen­eral well­be­ing. Im­plore your wife to talk to the child’s par­ents about see­ing a pe­di­a­tri­cian for well­ness check­ups. Al­though it doesn’t sound that ex­treme from what you’ve told me, if you ever start to sus­pect ne­glect, then visit the Child Wel­fare In­for­ma­tion Gate­way’s web­site, at https://www.child­wel­fare. gov, for re­sources.

As far as all the other leaks their ship has sprung — the house they seem­ingly can’t af­ford, busi­ness schemes and the like — let it go. For bet­ter or worse, they are in con­trol of their own lives. You’re not the cap­tain here.

It is that time of year to be bom­barded by char­i­ties seek­ing do­na­tions. Is there a web­site that lists them and the per­cent­ages that ac­tu­ally go to the re­cip­i­ents? I couldn’t use all these re­turn ad­dress stick­ers in mul­ti­ple life­times. I want to be cer­tain that I give re­spon­si­bly. It seems that the more I give the more so­lic­i­ta­tions I re­ceive.

— Carol From Louisiana

Char­i­ty­Watch, Char­ity Nav­i­ga­tor and GuideStar all of­fer com­pre­hen­sive data­bases with analy­ses and rat­ings of how char­i­ties use their do­na­tions. Happy giv­ing!

ACROSS

1 “Han­dle __ care” 5 Burns with hot

liq­uid 11 Ex-Florida

gover­nor Bush 14 “__ Ben Ad­hem” 15 Re­acts fa­cially to

a bad joke, say 16 Chop­ping tool 17 What snow­birds

seek in win­ter 19 “Mamma __!” 20 Mecca’s

penin­sula 21 Heat in a

mi­crowave 22 Indy ser­vice

ar­eas 23 “Do __ oth­ers ... ” 25 Most doubt­ful 27 Ready-to-send

cor­re­spon­dence 31 Net­work with reg­u­lar pledge drives 32 D-Day French

city 33 Steak or­ders 37 Calm un­der

pressure 39 Since Jan. 1, in

ac­count­ing 41 Folksy ac­count 42 “Be­witched” witch 45 Buster Brown’s

dog 48 Ja­maican mu­sic

genre 49 Liqueur holder 52 Last word of a ver­bally cited pas­sage 55 “Doc­tor Zhivago”

hero­ine 56 Pot­pie veg­gies 57 Hy­dro­elec­tric

fa­cil­ity 59 Quik maker 63 Dad, to grandpa 64 Ideal party thrower de­scribed by the first words of 17-, 27- and 49Across 66 Cut­off point 67 C to C, in mu­sic 68 Richard of “A

Sum­mer Place” 69 Org. with a PreCheck Pro­gram 70 Sets free 71 Facts and

fig­ures

DOWN

1 Elec­tric gui­tar

ef­fect 2 Let­ter-shaped

beam 3 __ Bora: Afghan

re­gion 4 Scrooge’s

“Non­sense!” 5 Worry about some­thing, slangily 6 Cloak-anddag­ger org. 7 Animated bug film 8 Bar mitz­vah toast 9 What fries are

fried in 10 Ukr. or Lith., once 11 Ac­tor Foxx 12 Free­way of­framps 13 Savage sort 18 Tip­plers 22 Cock­pit fig­ure 24 “I’m __ hu­man” 26 Lit­tle lie 27 First fairy tale

word 28 Se­cond fairy tale

word 29 Tram­pled (on) 30 ’80s-’90s crime

boss John 34 Mis­sion Con­trol

org. 35 Benev­o­lent 51 As­sailed ver­bally,

fra­ter­nal group with “out” 36 Salty ex­panses 52 Sur­prise win 38 Cen­ter of power 53 Bright signs 40 By­gone phone 54 Press con­fer­ence

fea­ture for­mat, briefly 43 Pal of Piglet 58 Degs. for 44 Ra­dio City Mu­sic chore­og­ra­phers

Hall de­sign style 60 Old Ro­man robe 46 Cur­sory looks 61 Fu­ture D.A.’s exam 47 Long-legged 62 Si­cil­ian vol­cano

wader 64 D.C. big shot 50 “... near and __ 65 Morn’s

my heart” coun­ter­part ANSWER TO PRE­VI­OUS PUZ­ZLE: xworded­i­tor@aol.com

Though you can’t stop their ship from sink­ing, you could at least throw them a cou­ple of life­savers.

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