Ask Gabby Gayle: Advice column for the over-50 crowd

By Gayle Lagman-Creswick

Dear Gabby Gayle: The headline on your recent column really caught my attention. “Do I need to go to church?”

I thought I would add my two cents’ worth because I qualify at age 83! Years ago, someone asked me if I were a Christian. Of course, I responded, “I go to church.”

Their answer has stayed with me for well over 50 years! “If you go to your garage, does that make you a car?” You were right to differentiate between spirituality and religion. Yes, we have a choice: We can put our car in the garage (church), safe from the elements, or we can leave it in the driveway, beaten on by the wind and rain, and baked in the sun. Which one do you think would weather the storms of life?

So, you see, AH (whose letter was in a recent column) has been given an invitation to go to the garage, not go by the rules set by man but to find a safe haven until that day.  Signed, ML

Dear ML: I loved your analogy! I apologize for having to shorten your beautiful letter. I have never thought of church in that way, but I like it!

A place of refuge, of learning, of strengthening, of becoming! Thank you for writing.  Signed, GG

Dear Gabby Gayle: Dating sucks! I am 47.5. I am so sad and lonely. I broke the law when I was 23. I was just a kid, and now I have lost a lot of rights, but none of the dating sites want anything to do with me. Plus, I feel no one would want to date a felon. It has been over 20 years, but I am still paying for it. What do I do?  Signed, VL

Dear VL: I know it is really tough for felons post-prison. I went on Google and found several groups who help people like yourself.

So, that is my first suggestion. Try Google. My second suggestion is to find a singles group that does things you may enjoy, such as biking, hiking, going to events together, dancing, etc. My third suggestion maybe should have been my first suggestion: Find yourself a church and get involved — feed the poor, help with church events, live this good person that you are. 

When your life becomes whole, you will find people who want to date you. Also, there are situations where your rights can be restored. Do a little studying on this issue. Good luck!  Signed, GG

Dear Gabby Gayle: I received a beautiful invitation in the mail from my granddaughter, who is getting married for the first time at age 35.

I know there has been some talk among family members that she might be gay, but there was nothing official until I received this invitation with a snapshot of them. I thought I was going to be sick. I only have two grandchildren, and now one of them is pulling this. Maybe I have lived too long? What do you say?  Signed, JJ

Dear JJ:  You are not going to like what I have to say. I’m going to say you haven’t fully identified your job description. I believe your job as grandmother is to love, accept, understand and set an example. It is not to judge, try to change or to disown. I’m sorry you are missing out on the joy of seeing your granddaughter happy and being who she is meant to be. I wish you a change of heart. An old dog can learn new tricks!  Good luck, GG

Dear Gabby Gayle: Our grandson is getting married to a lovely girl. We all love her, but we also know she comes from a family with limited means. Would it be appropriate for his grandfather and I to offer financial help to them for the wedding festivities?  Signed, BR

Dear BR:  That could be a sticky situation. You don’t want to insult her or her family. It might even upset your grandson’s parents.  Perhaps, it might be better to give the couple an early wedding present that they can use however they see fit.

Good luck, GG