Man vac­il­lates over invit­ing late wife’s mom to wedding

Imperial Valley Press - - NEWS | WEATHER - JEANNE PHILLIPS

DEAR ABBY: My wife passed away two years ago at age 40 after a long bout with can­cer. We had three chil­dren, ages 7 to 12. I am 44 and en­gaged now to a won­der­ful woman. We are plan­ning to have a small wedding with fewer than 50 guests.

While the kids and I are do­ing well, my late wife’s mother, “Karen,” is still griev­ing. She has a force­ful per­son­al­ity and can be quite pushy. She lives nearby.

We have not fi­nal­ized the ar­range­ments or sent out in­vi­ta­tions. Karen has been ask­ing if she and my for­mer fa­ther-in-law are in­vited, but we haven’t an­swered her yet. She says she’s hurt be­cause she feels we don’t want her there.

Is it proper eti­quette to in­vite the par­ents of a de­ceased spouse to a re­mar­riage? The only peo­ple she would know aside from us would be my par­ents, who need to bond with my fi­ancee’s fam­ily who are com­ing from out of town. The kids seem to not care ei­ther way. If it were me, I’d feel awk­ward be­ing there. Help! -- LOOK­ING TO THE FUTURE IN ILLI­NOIS

DEAR LOOK­ING: Although your late wife is gone, her par­ents are still your chil­dren’s grand­par­ents and there­fore should be treated as part of your fam­ily. While you might feel awk­ward if you were in their po­si­tion, con­sider how hurt they will be if they are not in­cluded on the guest list. The de­ci­sion whether to at­tend should be theirs to make.

Wel­come them and treat them with kind­ness. A wife can be “re­placed,” but a daugh­ter can­not, which is why Karen is still griev­ing even though you have gone on with your life. DEAR ABBY: I need ad­vice on how to deal with a friend/neigh­bor’s messy, un­kempt back­yard. We are get­ting ready to put our house on the mar­ket, and I’m con­cerned their yard may be a de­ter­rent to po­ten­tial buy­ers. Their pool looks like a swamp, and var­i­ous pieces of lawn fur­ni­ture are strewn about the yard. Ta­bles are turned up­side down and ran­dom items are thrown about.

They are friends of ours, but I have no clue how to broach such a sen­si­tive topic with­out up­set­ting them. Please help. -- LIV­ING NEXT TO A SWAMP

DEAR LIV­ING: Be­cause those neigh­bors are friends, I as­sume they are aware that you are sell­ing your home. If you live in an area that’s prone to any dan­ger­ous mos­quito-borne viruses, you would be do­ing them a fa­vor to point out that their pool equip­ment needs fix­ing be­cause still wa­ter makes an excellent breed­ing place for mos­qui­toes.

As to the state of their yard, your real es­tate agent may have some sug­ges­tions about how to han­dle that. If you and your spouse vol­un­teer to help your neigh­bors make it more at­trac­tive, they might be re­cep­tive. How­ever, if they refuse and you live in a com­mu­nity with a neigh­bor­hood as­so­ci­a­tion that reg­u­lates how prop­er­ties must look in or­der to pre­serve their value, con­sider bring­ing this to its at­ten­tion. Dear Abby is writ­ten by Abi­gail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Con­tact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los An­ge­les, CA 90069.

Abby shares more than 100 of her fa­vorite recipes in two book­lets: “Abby’s Fa­vorite Recipes” and “More Fa­vorite Recipes by Dear Abby.” Send your name and mail­ing ad­dress, plus check or money or­der for $14 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Cook­book­let Set, P.O. Box 447, Mount Mor­ris, IL 61054-0447.

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