Ask Gabby Gayle

Dear Gabby Gayle: My mother is so difficult. She is now in her 90s and is continuing a lifetime of what I call a mean streak. She resides in a facility and I have to say I feel sorry for the staff. She treats us so nasty it is hard to visit her. Some days I think it would serve her right if none of us kids would visit her. I know I am supposed to honor my mother, but my patience is running thin. Do you have a suggestion? Thank you. SOS

Dear SOS: I realize it is difficult to be nice, kind, honorable to a parent who has not always been kind, nice, and honorable to you. A few years ago a woman wrote a letter to me about difficulties with her mother. I thought it was so good I filed it to use again. Here is her advice: “… Aging is not easy and the elder are not children but rather adults who held jobs, responsibilities, raised children, fought in wars, and made their own decisions and life mistakes. As adult children of our aging parents, we must find ways to respect, understand, and negotiate their life stage transition.” This was from a daughter VM. I thank her again for her wisdom. I would like to add this: Learn to let a few things go. Even if you totally disagree with her, you do not need to turn it into an argument. A friend of mine said she turned around negative visits with her mom by telling her about their friends who were having a hard time. Then they would say prayers for them. It was a form of distraction that worked. And remember, every time you leave her, it could be the last, so act accordingly! Blessings and good luck. GG

Dear Gabby Gayle: I have been a widow for two years after a wonderful marriage of 30 years. I am now 60. I did all the right things to grieve, I think. I went to a grief support program and cried my nights away and then through my faith I was able to begin again. The most unexpected thing has happened. I met a man at church. We got to know each other through socials at church. He asked me out to dinner and we have been going out for a few weeks. I really like this guy and I am totally surprised that I could possibly feel this way again. When my husband died I just knew I would never love again. I shared this information with a close friend and she told me she thought it was too soon and I may mistake companionship for love. She said I am a sitting duck. What do you think? Signed, Confused

Dear Confused: I’m sure your friend means well, but only you know how you feel. You strike me as a person who has it together. As we grow older, we realize how short life is. As long as you don’t hurry to the alter, I say enjoy your new found love. I believe God works in mysterious ways and time will tell if it is the real thing.

Sometimes love comes when you least expect it. It happened to me! GG

Dear Gabby Gayle: My neighbor is driving me crazy with talking, she catches me when I am bringing my groceries in and sometimes when I am working in the yard. I don’t want to be rude or unkind, but she can talk nonstop about her illnesses and her family. She will sometimes follow me into the house. I find myself wanting to shout, “Enough Already!” What is a good way to handle this? Fed Up

Dear Fed Up: This is a hard one. Some older folks talk out of loneliness from no one to talk to. I think you should give her the time out signal and say “Sorry I do not have time for this right now. I will invite you over for coffee and then you can talk.” Then it is up to you whether to go through with that! Good luck, GG

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