By Gayle Lagman-Creswick
Dear readers: It is with a heavy heart that I say farewell. This will be my last advice column. I have had two strokes, and it has become increasingly difficult for me to write the column as well as I would like. I have so enjoyed writing every column. It was the highlight of every month for me. At the suggestion of my publisher in Colorado, I have begun to write a book about my columns. I have columns going back to the year 2004 in my computer, so I believe I have been doing this for 17 years. Thank you for all your letters and comments. Even though we’ve never met, I feel as if I know you.
Dear Gabby Gayle: I am so mad at my son that I find it hard to speak to him. He is married to the most wonderful woman, and he has asked her for a divorce. She is devastated, as I am. When I asked him why, he said I wouldn’t understand. He is right. I don’t understand. What can I do?
Signed, Worried Mom
Dear Mom: I hate to tell you this, but outside of being there for them, there is very little you can do. This decision has nothing to do with you. It is between the two of them. No one knows what goes on behind closed doors. You may never understand. You don’t need to.
When kids become adults, they are not automatically wise. They make mistakes like we used to do! We can only hope they learn from them. There will be times when we’d like to give them a whack on the side of the head, but we can’t. They are out of our jurisdiction! She may be a wonderful woman, but obviously their marriage was not. I say suck it up and let go of it! You should remain as neutral as possible. Don’t bear a grudge. Be a good and positive mother. Divorce is painful at its best. Don’t become part of the problem.
Signed, Gabby Gayle
Dear Gabby Gayle: In a recent column, you wrote about a person in assisted living who wanted nail polish and couldn’t get it. As a nurse who works with dementia patients, I would like to remind your readers that oftentimes, dementia patients can’t have things like nail polish because they may drink it or otherwise use it incorrectly. It is always good to check with the charge nurse to see what a patient may receive.
Dear Gabby Gayle: In a recent column you took up the subject of spirituality versus religion. I agreed with everything you said, but I have a question. My son said he does not believe in God, but I believe he’s about as good a person as you could find. He helps the poor, he gives money to his family when they’re in need, he’s kind, but I have trouble believing that he would not go to heaven, even though he says he doesn’t believe in God. What do you think?
Dear SW: It seems to me there are a lot of people out there who say they don’t believe in God. I would venture to say that God still believes in them. If they are living the life you describe, the God in them is showing up in their daily lives. Also, one can never know what is in another person’s heart. We may hear their words, yet we can only see their actions and we are not here to judge them. If you recall in that same column that you’re referring to, a woman wrote in saying that going to church does not make you a Christian any more than standing in your garage can make you into a car. I subscribe to that philosophy. We can pray for them, we can set a good example, we can lead them to the water, but we can’t make them drink. We can be proud of them and let God decide what happens to their souls. I have to believe that God has experienced the resistance many times and he has a way of bringing people to their knees.
Blessings to you, GG