Generous gift isn’t enough for mom who asks for more

Published 8:21 am Tuesday, April 16, 2024

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DEAR ABBY: I’m a professional, well-educated adult who moved back home because of concerns about my father’s health as well as having landed a much better job. As an extra perk, I’ve been able to save money to pay toward my student loans, as well as spoil my parents a bit as they grow older. 

I recently gifted my parents (for the second time) their dream vacation. They loved it the first time and never imagined they’d be able to do it twice. Because my parents still have a minor child who cannot remain alone, I am choosing, as I did last time, to use my personal vacation time to babysit. My mother has been planning the details of her upcoming trip and has now asked me to take more time off work so they can have a road trip after their vacation. 

Abby, I am already draining every bit of my time off for their weeklong vacation and will not be able to have a vacation myself until later in the year when I accrue more time. I know she’s requesting this to make the trip more fun for my father. Although I am a generous and patient person, this has left me feeling almost speechless, a bit unappreciated and frustrated. Am I overreacting? Should I find a way to extend their trip? – LIMITED IN OHIO

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DEAR LIMITED: The answer to both of your questions is NO. Your mother apparently doesn’t appreciate how generous you have been in providing these vacations for her and your father. If she wants to extend their holiday, she should make her own arrangements for your sibling to be supervised if she and your dad won’t be available to do it themselves. Shame on her for trying to foist that responsibility onto you.


DEAR ABBY: I lost my darling wife recently. Her death was a shock to everyone. She was placed on life support for a short period while the medical staff performed tests to determine the extent of her injuries. When it became apparent that she would spend the rest of her life in a vegetative state, no decisions had to be made by her family or by me. 

My wife had an advance directive in place stating she did not want to remain living in this condition. I was extremely fortunate in that no one in her family wanted to contest the document. As hard as it was for me to discontinue life support, I knew it was what she wanted. She passed peacefully, quietly and quickly. 

Abby, please encourage your readers to make the time and make the effort to have an advance directive drawn up, whatever their desires may be. It was my wife’s last gift to me, and I will be forever grateful for it. – REMEMBERING HER IN ARIZONA


DEAR REMEMBERING HER: Please accept my sympathy for the loss of your wife. I appreciate you taking the time to share this important information with my readers and me. Your letter serves as a reminder that all end-of-life documents should be reviewed regularly to be sure they reflect one’s current thinking.


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.


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