Cruis­ing for a tense va­ca­tion

Lodi News-Sentinel - - Local / Nation - AN­NIE LANE

Dear An­nie: Re­cently, my hus­band and I made plans to go on a cruise along with three other cou­ples. It was up to each cou­ple to make their own travel plans for get­ting to the port. My hus­band and I didn’t want to drive into the ma­jor city from which the cruise is de­part­ing, so we de­cided we would drive to a nearby town from which a shut­tle to the cruise is of­fered. The shut­tle ride takes a cou­ple of hours, but we felt it would be worth it.

One of the other cou­ples, “Tom” and “Judy,” whom we don’t know very well, ended up want­ing to ride with us. This would have been fine if they just wanted to ride along with us to our orig­i­nal des­ti­na­tion, but they ex­pected us to drive them right to the cruise ship! When I told them what our plans were, they kept ask­ing whether it would be too late to change them. When I stood firm, they said they’d ride with our other friends.

I think that their ask­ing us to change our plans to ac­com­mo­date them was re­ally un­rea­son­able. What do you think? — Con­fused Cruiser

Dear Con­fused: I think these two must have started in on the mai tais a lit­tle early. You are their ac­quain­tances, not their chauf­feurs, and I’m glad you didn’t change your plans to suit them.

Dear An­nie: My ques­tion has to do with end-of-life care. I have been be­side my fa­ther, my mother and my hus­band as they died. Hospice was used in all three cases.

My ques­tion is this: Does any­body still get to go and die at the hos­pi­tal any­more, or is that a thing of the past? When the obit­u­ar­ies say the per­son died sur­rounded by fam­ily, did that per­son have a choice?

I adore my fam­ily, but I do not want them tak­ing care of me when I am dy­ing. I would much rather have a stranger do it. I do not want to die in my own house, and I cer­tainly don’t want any­one around me. Has in­sur­ance made it so that no­body can do this any­more? I want to die with dig­nity. Can this still hap­pen? — Death With Dig­nity My Way

Dear Death With Dig­nity: This is a com­plex, sen­si­tive is­sue, and I want to be sure you’re given all the in­for­ma­tion you need.

I would rec­om­mend calling the Na­tional In­sti­tute on Ag­ing at 800-222-2225. The NIA can mail you a copy of its guide ti­tled “End of Life: Help­ing with Com­fort and Care,” which out­lines op­tions for end-of-life care and lists dozens of ad­di­tional re­sources.

Be sure to com­mu­ni­cate your de­ci­sion to your fam­ily mem­bers ahead of time so they have time to process, ac­cept and re­spect your wishes.

Dear An­nie: Your re­sponse to “Frus­trated Mom,” who ex­pressed her con­cerned that her 35-year-old daugh­ter is still un­mar­ried, was fine as far as it went, but I have some more thoughts to add.

I was 28 and go­ing through the same un­at­tached phase, go­ing from one bad re­la­tion­ship to the next, when my mother said, “See a coun­selor.”

With the help of this ther­a­pist, I dis­cov­ered that with all the men I was dat­ing, I was re­peat­ing the pat­tern I’d seen at home. My fa­ther’s com­forts al­ways seemed to be of fore­most im­por­tance, so my mother catered to him. I was do­ing this with the men I dated, too, never stand­ing up for what I wanted.

I learned that men don’t re­ally like a per­son they can walk all over. With the next man I dated, I stood up to him — and that was the man I mar­ried and have been ec­stat­i­cally happy with for 44 years. — Hap­pily Ever Af­ter

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