Dear Annie: I am a widow who lives alone. I have three children, a son and two daughters. They are grown, married and have their own children. I am seeking your opinion and advice.
My children and I have always been close. My youngest daughter has four children — one still at home. She is divorced due to her ex-husband’s infidelity. She lives 2½ hours away from me. In the past, she would come often. She is seeing someone, a divorced man. I have met him, and he appears to be a very nice person.
We dealt with COVID-19 and were pretty much confined. Last year, I had hip replacement surgery. My two oldest children were present for my surgery. My youngest daughter had started work at a new job and could not be there.
Last year, I saw her once for a two-hour visit. It was stressful. I saw her today for a two-hour visit. We had lunch, and they left shortly thereafter.
I talked to her today. I asked if I had offended her in any way. She said no; she was just so busy. She’s a business manager at a college. She spends her weekends doing household chores and going places with her friend.
I am hurt that I am not seeing her very much. I normally would have not been so verbal, but I did tell her that I truly missed seeing her. I told her I was really disappointed in that she was choosing to see her friend rather than me.
In the past, I could drive to visit her, but now I don’t feel it is safe for me to make the trip by myself. I am having mobility issues and have to use a walker.
At the risk of sounding mercenary, I have been very generous with her, buying furniture and appliances when she was divorced. In fact, I paid for her divorce and am glad I could do so.
But now I feel very cast aside and not appreciated. If she has a need that is not something she can afford, such as having a crown on a tooth, I have paid for it. I did tell her I was very hurt by her not coming to see me. A weekend would be nice.
I am 82 years old. My son is very good and calls me every day. He will drop by and pick up something for us to eat occasionally. He was the person I called on when I had surgery.
How can I handle this?
— Wanting More
Dear Wanting More: The best way to handle this is to accept your daughter for who she is and what her capacity is to give, and to love, you.
It sounds like she is juggling a lot, and my guess is that she is doing the best she can. Appreciate the time that you do get to spend with her, and don’t try to ask for more. It will only lead to disappointment.
How great that your son is so attentive. Many people would give anything to have that.
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— A native Californian, Annie Lane writes her Dear Annie advice columns from her home outside New York City, where she lives with her husband, two kids and two dogs. Her latest anthology, How Can I Forgive My Cheating Partner?, features favorite columns on marriage, infidelity, communication and reconciliation, and is available as a paperback and e-book. Email your Dear Annie questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.