Dear Ann Landers, In a recent case, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that parents alone make the decision whether or not grandparents may see their grandchildren.
I am a pastor and counselor in Florida. For years, I have been privy to the horror stories of seniors whose grandchildren are used as bargaining chips in an effort to control wealth and influence relationships. Since nothing is more precious to seniors than their grandchildren, the threat goes like this: "If you don't agree to do this or that, you will never see your grandchildren again." If the grandparents don't cave in, the result is often total abandonment.
Florida is filled with happy retirees with good relationships, but there are also hundreds of seniors, who are forgotten and warehoused in nursing homes or trailer parks. Their only connection to family members is the outdated pictures of grandkids whom they never get to know. This is a tragedy. Everybody loses. -- Dr. R.S., Ridge Manor, Fla.
Dear Dr. R.S., Thanks for the words of wisdom. I hope the children who are neglecting their elderly parents will ask themselves, "Could this be me?" The answer is "Probably."
Hi! It's Margo here. I'd love to know what you think of the letters -- and the answers!
Also, any additional thoughts you might have. Thanks!
Momma Reyes's Comment
Dear Pastor R.S., such a sad story to reveal. So many lonely, elderly people abandoned by their family. I wonder if you could encourage local churches to form ministries that regularly visit and pray for these forgotten family members. As you may know, a visit from a friendly person would make their day! [email protected]
Ronice Harrison's Comment
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Our Reader to Reader Question of the Week:
Dear Readers, , My x-girlfriend who lived with my son and I for 16 years died of cancer. Prior before we knew she had cancer-she moved out because of an addiction problem. We did stay very close before she died. Her x-husband an attorney took over her finances and the burial arrangements. I being financially set was okay with that, whatever they needed I provided. What really hurt my son and I the most was the obituary - we were not mentioned at all. Our friends (mine and hers) were appalled. I was embarrassed and upset for not just me, but for my son-who loved her also. I never been so upset. Her x-husband put his wife and kids and their grandchildren in the obituary, who my girlfriend barely knew. They live an hour away from us. I know its silly to be mad over a little section of the newspaper, but it still hurts. Will time let this devastating loss of her and this article ever go away? I am so angry at this whole situation, its not like we can go and rewrite an obituary notice.