Posted: Wednesday, November 12, 2008 9:28 pm
Dear Annie: My 34-year-old nephew brought his computer to a shop to be fixed. On the hard drive, the repairman found three videos and 15 pictures of child pornography. My nephew was arrested and is facing jail time. He has asked numerous people to send letters to the judge attesting to his good character.
Annie, his character is NOT good. He could never hold down a job and is angry at the world. His other aunt is on a mission to have all family members write a letter for him. I say, let him pay for what he has done and maybe he can get some help in jail and come out of this a better person. What do you say? — Grandmother of Two
Dear Grandmother: Unfortunately, prison doesn’t always translate to therapy, which is what your nephew needs. However, you should not write a letter if you don’t believe in what you are saying. If your refusal will cause a rift, simply tell his other aunt that you will “do your best.” And apparently, your best is to decline. You don’t need to tell her, or anyone else, what choice you’ve made.
Dear Annie: My family has been through some rough times in the past five years. My stepson’s wife died of cardiac arrest at the age of 24, and in his grief, he went down the wrong path. His in-laws are raising the children, and we help out financially and physically. Last winter, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor that left me with minor disabilities and my husband had a heart attack.
Due to our medical problems, we had to downscale our jobs. My husband and I entered counseling for a brief time, and we finally seem to be handling all of this fairly well. Our marriage is great. We actually found our sense of humor again.
The problem is our friends. One by one, the people we thought cared about us have dropped away. It is like we have a disease they are afraid of catching. One of our friends actually told us to call them when we “get back to normal.”
At first I was angry because we have no immediate family in the area and good friends would have been helpful. But now I am just sad. I could call several of them back now, but frankly I don’t want them.
Annie, you can be the smartest, try the hardest, be the most careful, but no one prepares you for times like these and they can happen to anyone. How do you find great friends who will stand by you? — Doing Without Them
Dear Doing Without: There is no magic formula that will make one friend see you through thick and thin, while another runs away and hides. We’re terribly sorry your life has been so tumultuous, but we hope you won’t give up on finding people who know the meaning of true friendship. If you belong to a church, consider becoming involved in some social groups there.
Dear Annie: This is for “Not Really Married,” who hasn’t had sex with his wife for the last 20 of their 50 years together.
You were right when you said, “Sex is only one aspect of a relationship.” I have been married for over 54 years to the girl I love. I’d do it again even though it has been well over 20 years since we’ve had sex. She had a hysterectomy, which later caused her some discomfort during sex. Since that happened, I stopped initiating it, even though she made herself available. If she couldn’t enjoy it, neither could I. We are still very close, and at this stage, sex is not needed.
She gave me two healthy children (we lost two) and then four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren with whom we are very close. What more could I ask? We still have plenty of close physical contact in other ways.
I feel sorry for “Not Really Married.” He is missing so much due to his faulty attitude. — Really Married
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to email@example.com, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
Published in The Messenger 11.12.08