Dear Annie: The doctor I have gone to for years recently took a five-month medical leave of absence. His office would not tell me anything, which I understand. I had been extremely distraught not knowing if he was all right. There was even gossip that he had passed away.
Turned out he had pneumonia. He once told me that if I ever moved out of state, we could still communicate and be long-distance friends. It is for that reason that I thought I would get some message from him saying he would return and would be OK. But I received nothing from him. My feelings are hurt. I see him next week. What do you think? -Hurt Patient
Dear Hurt: I think that you should celebrate the fact that your doctor is doing better and feeling well enough to go back to work. If you feel that he is your friend and your doctor, then be a friend to him and allow him to take the space and time he needed to heal from pneumonia. His not responding to you about his absence didn’t have anything to do with you and everything to do with him and his trying to get better. Please cut him some slack and be grateful that he made a full recovery.
Dear Annie: I am estranged from my son, his ex-wife and my grandchildren. I still have occasional contact with the other grandparents.
I have been wanting to know what, if anything, can be done about a wrongful death or elder abuse charge against my son. His actions kept my husband and me apart deliberately, believing he’d inherit his money. My husband left no will. There was real estate and cash in his account. His brother claimed next of kin status and took all cash and property.
I understand the statute of limitations has passed in order to file wrongful death charges against my son. It’s the reason for the estrangement.
I have been awarded my husband’s Social Security benefits. His brothers have used legal action to prevent any contact between them and me. But I want to tell them of my son’s actions and how those actions led to their brother’s untimely death.
I have tried to discuss this subject with an attorney. Once he learned that I was divorced, he stopped the interview and said that I had no case. This attorney knew nothing about the actions my son took while my husband was alive.
Is there anything I can do? I would like to remain in contact with the other grandparents in order to keep up with the grandchildren. -- Estranged
Dear Estranged: What you can do is seek the opinion of another lawyer. But how about shifting your focus away from the money and toward repairing the relationship between you and your grandchildren? Your letter is confusing because you said you are receiving your husband’s Social Security benefits but later you said you were divorced.
Your son and grandchildren are the only family you have left, and instead of trying to repair any relationships, you are trying to fight and blame them. Ask yourself where you want to put your time, money and energy. Getting closer to your grandchildren might bring you more joy and happiness in the long run than getting closer to another lawyer and trying to prove something in court.
“How Can I Forgive My Cheating Partner?” is out now! Annie Lane’s second anthology -featuring favorite columns on marriage, infidelity, communication and reconciliation -- is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing. com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to email@example.com.