Dear Annie: For the past 30 years, my wife and I have enjoyed a friendship with another couple who are childless. They had no family nearby, so they were fixtures at our table for all of the major holidays. We genuinely liked their company. We vacationed together on several occasions, and we came to treat them like family.
We hadn’t heard from them in a while, so I decided to phone. Imagine my shock when they casually mentioned that they had left Seattle and moved to Florida without a word of goodbye. Their coolness on the phone made it clear that they no longer have any interest in being in our lives.
I am deeply hurt by their behavior and am at a loss to understand what on Earth we could have done to deserve this callous treatment. I will not attempt to rekindle this relationship, but I still find it distressing and unfathomable. What is your take on this?
— Upset in Seattle
Dear Seattle: We agree that this behavior is both surprising and unkind, but consider yourself well rid of a couple who obviously did not value the friendship as much as you did. Moving away without informing you means you are not very high up on the list of people they care about. Sorry.
Dear Annie: I hope this may be of some help to senior citizens.
My brother’s wife died last year, and he has been lost ever since. He started calling me to ask what the date is. I came up with the idea of giving him an extra cellphone and charger that I didn’t need. I showed him how to plug it in to charge every Sunday night.
Now when he can’t remember the date, all he has to do is open the phone. It also helps in case of emergency, because the phone allows him to call 911. He can’t make any other calls on it, but he feels much more secure, and the phone does not need to be activated.
Dear Cadyville: Some readers may ask how this is different from a calendar and a landline, but we think it’s a great idea because your brother can take the phone with him wherever he goes. (When calling 911 from a deactivated phone, however, the operator will not be able to determine your location without your giving it.)
Dear Annie: I would like to commend “Newbury Park,” on his success in turning his life around by taking responsibility for his health and making the necessary changes for his weight loss.
Having been an operating room nurse since 1979, I have seen the results of our obesity epidemic. The health problems caused by obesity and smoking are debilitating to the person and extremely sad to see. Kidney disease, vascular insufficiency and cardiac disease are serious health problems that lead to myriad treatments with varying degrees of success.
The best thing a person can do for themselves is exactly what Newbury Park and his wife did, which is take responsibility for their own health. I can only imagine how difficult it was for them to lose so much weight and change their eating and exercise habits, but the results speak for themselves.
If more people were willing to take charge of their own health and help reverse the large amount of money spent dealing with these preventable diseases, we might help bridge the regrettable divide in our country caused in part by the issue of health care.
— RN, CNOR, CRNFA
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. 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.
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