Reach out to sister to help repair rift

I am a recently divorced and remarried 46-year-old male. I was always very close to my sister, but these past few years, she only thinks of herself.

Dear Annie: I am a recently divorced and remarried 46-year-old male. I was always very close to my sister, but these past few years, she only thinks of herself.

My mother passed away a year ago, and my sister handled her memorial service. I was extremely grateful to her because I was a wreck. However, on a bulletin board outside of the chapel, my sister posted several photographs, including wedding pictures from my first marriage. I didn’t understand why — Mom wasn’t in any of these photographs. At the time, I was separated from my ex-wife and going through a divorce. My then-fiancee attended the service with me, and it was humiliating and hurtful.

A week later, I called my sister and explained how upsetting it was for us to see those photographs. My sister told me to “grow up.” After that phone conversation, I cut off all contact with her.

For some unknown reason, my sister doesn’t like my new wife. Did I handle it appropriately by cutting off all contact with her? — C.J.

Dear C.J.: We understand that you are angry with your sister, and we agree that those photographs had no place at the memorial service. Nonetheless, your decision to cut off all contact was extreme. Divorced couples often don’t realize that parents and siblings might also grieve the end of their relationship. Instead of repairing the problem, you burned the bridge.

If you want to reconnect with your sister, you will need to reach out to her gently. Don’t rehash the memorial service. Simply say that you miss her, that you feel hurt when she rejects your wife, and that you hope they will get along better someday.

Ask how to improve things. We hope she will be equally willing.

Dear Annie: My wife and I have the best neighbours anyone could ever have. They shovel snow off of my steps, clean off my car, bring up the morning paper and numerous other things.

We have given them gifts as a way to say “thank you,” but I’m afraid if we continue with that practice, they will feel obligated to keep doing things for us, and we certainly don’t intend that. Any suggestions? — Stumped

Dear Stumped: Your neighbors understand that the gifts are a way to thank them, and if they are encouraged to continue, so be it. They would probably keep doing these things regardless. We suggest you invite them for a casual meal — perhaps a backyard barbecue when the weather warms up. You also could offer to return the favour any time they travel or otherwise need assistance. And be sure to tell them in person that you think they are the best neighbours in the world. They will appreciate that.

Dear Annie: You printed several responses to the essay “Dead at Seven” about older drivers. I thought you and your readers might be interested to know that a study of senior drivers is being conducted in Canada.

It is the Canadian Driving Research Initiative for Vehicular Safety in the Elderly (CANDRIVE), dedicated to improving the safety of older drivers. Volunteers (which I am) are evaluated mentally and physically at least once a year.

One of the goals is to extend the length of time that older drivers can safely drive through retraining programs and customized or restricted licensing. CANDRIVE is also working to develop a screening tool to identify unsafe older drivers. Early identification will protect the public, as well as the rights of the majority of older drivers who are still capable.

As a final evaluation, I am being asked to drive to two of my regular sites. I will have cameras installed in my car and will be followed by another car that will observe my reactions. Those interested can check candrive.ca. — P.J., age 83, No Tickets, No Accidents (Knock Wood)

Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to anniesmailbox@comcast.net, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney speaks during a news conference in Edmonton on Feb. 24, 2020. It’s budget day in the province, and Kenney’s United Conservative government is promising more help in the fight against COVID, but more red ink on the bottom line. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta’s budget promises more help for COVID-19 with a hard deficit

EDMONTON — Alberta’s COVID-19-era budget made a hard landing Thursday with an… Continue reading

The expansion of the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre has been discussed for over a decade. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Red Deer hospital expansion gets about $6 million in 2021 provincial budget

According to the government’s three-year plan, the project will get $59 million by 2024.

The Town of Sylvan Lake has launched a new contest to attract a new business. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Sylvan Lake offering rent-free storefront space to lure new businesses

Winning business proposal will get a storefront space rent-free for a year

Red Deer Rebels forward Josh Tarzwell is hoping to pick up where he left off last season as the 2020-21 WHL season kicks off Friday in Red Deer against the Medicine Hat Tigers. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Rebels set to host Tigers in WHL season opener

24-game WHL Alberta only season kicks off night Friday at the Centrium

An arrest by Red Deer RCMP is facing online scrutiny. No charges have been laid and the incident is still under investigation. (Screenshot of YouTube video)
Red Deer RCMP investigating violent arrest caught on video

Police say officer ‘acted within the scope of his duties’

Calgary Flames defenceman Mark Giordano tries to help goaltender David Rittich stop a shot from Ottawa Senators right wing Drake Batherson during first-period NHL action Thursday, February 25, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Colin White scores two goals to lead Ottawa Senators to a 6-1 win over Calgary Flames

Colin White scores two goals to lead Ottawa Senators to a 6-1 win over Calgary Flames

Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy Vice-Admiral Art McDonald is seen during an interview with The Canadian Press in Ottawa, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Military reeling as new defence chief steps aside amid allegations of misconduct

Military reeling as new defence chief steps aside amid allegations of misconduct

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney speaks during a news conference in Edmonton on Feb. 24, 2020. It’s budget day in the province, and Kenney’s United Conservative government is promising more help in the fight against COVID, but more red ink on the bottom line. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta’s budget promises more help for COVID-19 with a hard deficit

Alberta’s budget promises more help for COVID-19 with a hard deficit

‘Black box’ in Woods SUV could yield clues to cause of wreck

‘Black box’ in Woods SUV could yield clues to cause of wreck

Team Saskatchewan skip Sherry Anderson reacts to her shot against Team Quebec at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Peterson’s wild-card team edges N.W.T. skip Galusha to qualify for championship pool

Peterson’s wild-card team edges N.W.T. skip Galusha to qualify for championship pool

No-size-fits-all residence approach a reality for Canadian Hockey League teams

No-size-fits-all residence approach a reality for Canadian Hockey League teams

FILE - New York Rangers' Henrik Lundqvist reacts after a save during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Philadelphia Flyers in New York, in this Sunday, March 1, 2020, file photo. The Flyers defeated the Rangers 5-3. Star goalie Henrik Lundqvist will sit out the upcoming NHL season because of a heart condition, announcing the news a little more than two months after joining the Washington Capitals. Lundqvist posted a written statement and a videotaped one on social media Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020, saying it was a "pretty tough and emotional day." The 38-year-old from Sweden was bought out by the New York Rangers after 15 seasons and signed a $1.5 million, one-year deal with Washington in October. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
Lundqvist back on ice, ‘months’ away from deciding future

Lundqvist back on ice, ‘months’ away from deciding future

Kiiwetinoong MPP Sol Mamakwa holds up water collected from Neskantaga First Nation, where residents were evacuated over tainted water in October, during a rally at Queen's Park in Toronto on Friday, Nov. 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio
Feds didn’t supply enough resources to end water advisories on First Nations: auditor

Feds didn’t supply enough resources to end water advisories on First Nations: auditor

Most Read