When I was 11, my first niece was born. Her name is Jolie, and she has always been the light of my life.
My sister was 19 and stupid. She wasn’t ready to grow up, so Jolie came to live with us. My mom was the one that took care of Jolie. My sister was out partying and being wild.
I bonded with Jolie. I took her where ever I went. We were inseparable.
When I was a senior in high school, and she was 7, we were still very close. Even with balancing the demands of my senior year, socially and academically, I still found the time to take her out for ice cream or a kid’s movie.
My sister came back for Jolie shortly after my senior year, which was two years ago. I was heartbroken to see her leave us, but glad that my sister was finally going to be a real mom to Jolie.
I was so wrong. My sister ruined her life with drugs, an abusive relationship and pure irresponsibility.
Due to lots of complications, Jolie now lives with her paternal grandparents. They live 2.5 hours away.
Since I’m working, and going to college, I don’t have much time to breathe, let alone see Jolie.
I am scared that she is going to forget how much I love her. What can I do to show her that I love her, and think of her every day?
Signed, Jolie’s Auntie
Dear Jolie’s Auntie,
What a sad situation this has been for Jolie. She probably misses you very much, as well.
The first thing you should do is to try to establish a relationship with Jolie’s paternal grandparents. Let them know about your history together, and how much you love and miss Jolie.
Hopefully, they will allow you to continue your relationship with her. If they do, then by all means do what you can do stay in her life.
You should call her and speak to her as frequently as you can. Find out about her life, and let her know all about yours.
Try and see her when you can. Even if it is just a few times a year, I’m sure that will mean a lot to both of you.
Also, find out if she has a computer yet. If so, you can send each other emails and stay in touch that way.
Above all, do everything you can to stay in close contact with her. She has been abandoned so much in her young life. The more that you can do to help her know that she is loved, the better it will be for her.
My wife’s parents are coming to town for the week of the 4th of July. My mother-in-law and I don’t have a great relationship, and I would like to work on getting on her good side while she is here.
I think she thinks I’m not “good enough” for her daughter. My wife and I are crazy about each other, and my wife does stand up to her mom in my defense whenever her mom starts to be critical of me.
My mother-in-law has recently started on a diet. We were planning on having a barbeque, and having burgers and hot dogs and bratwurst.
But, now that we know of the diet, my wife and I are wondering what we should serve. Do you have any ideas for us?
One way to approach it would be to simply ask her what she would like to have for the 4’th. Then, if she has a preference, you can have whatever she requests.
If she says that anything is fine, then go ahead and have what you had planned. If possible, add some skinless chicken to the barbeque.
Also have plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables on hand.
It is very kind of you to be attempting to prepare what she would like to have. If she doesn’t appreciate it, she is being foolish.
Good luck, and I hope that you have a nice time.
Dear Readers, please send your questions to: Dear Marilyn, c/o Garden Grove Journal, 12866 Main St. Garden Grove, Ca. 92840. Or, send an email to email@example.com.