Dear Amy: I moved away from my home city 18 years ago. For many years I would go back and visit all my friends and family once or twice a year.
Now, many of my friends (and my parents) have also moved away.
I find balancing travel to see my friends, family and my partner’s parents more challenging as time goes on.
One of my oldest friends has visited me only once in the past 18 years, even though I have gone out of my way to visit her and get to know her partner and child.
In the past two years I have invited her to come and visit me more than a few times.
I have a nice home and guest room, live in a desirable city with fun things for adults and children to do. There are easy and affordable flights between our cities.
My friend has the summers off.
She has a young child, now 5, who seems to be her excuse, but I notice she has managed to travel to other places.
Basically, all of my partner’s friends and family have stayed with us, but it seems that no old friends or family members care to visit me or get to share in my adult life.
I ignored this for years, but it’s been 18 years now — come on!
How do I get over this building resentment and just realize it may never happen? I don’t want to believe that no one cares.
— Want to Share my Life
Dear Want to Share: You’ve spent the last (almost) two decades visiting your hometown. When you do so, you’ve been able to reconnect with multiple people at once. Your friends and family have had less of an incentive to visit you because of this.
Your partner’s friends and family might visit you more often because your partner doesn’t have a similar "one-stop shopping" dynamic with his hometown.
It might not sound like a big deal to you, but hopping on a plane with a 5-year-old for a multi-day visit is a big deal for a parent, especially when the ultimate motivation is to spend adult-time with an old friend. Your pal might make other trips with her child because they are visiting family members who also have children.
Personal visits are a great way to keep relationships alive, but they’re not the only way.
You might mitigate your resentment about this by altering your own travel commitments. Travel more for pleasure and less out of obligation. And stop issuing invitations to people who never accept them.
Dear Amy: Our sister has lived with my parents for almost her entire adult life. For a time, she paid a small amount for room and board, but it was mostly free.
As my parents aged, she became a caregiver to them until they passed away.
Now that our parents are gone my sister continues to live in the house that all three children inherited.
We would like to sell the house and distribute the money from the sale, just like we have already done with stocks and other monies.
The problem is that our sister does not want to move. She feels that she is entitled to stay in the home because she was the primary caregiver to our parents.
My brother and I are not sure how to handle this. We don’t want to fight with her, but would like to move forward and sell the house.
— Flummoxed Siblings
Dear Flummoxed: Do not handle this yourselves. See an estate lawyer.
Your sister’s caregiving of your parents has value, which might be equaled out by her years of free room and board. Find out.
It seems to me that if she has already received money from the estate, she could possibly buy out the two of you and stay in the house.
In addition to giving you legal advice, a lawyer could help to mediate this between the three of you.
Dear Amy: My great uncle, Tony Jansen, lives in St. Peter, Minnesota. He is 87. He reads your column every day. He has created a game, where he reads the letter and then thinks about what advice he would give — and then he reads your advice to see how close he gets.
I live in Colorado and read you in the Denver Post. Given the distance between us, your column is a fun way for us to have conversations and to stay connected!
Dear Julia (and Tony): This makes me very happy. Thank you both!