DEAR ABBY: I have been living with a man for more than a year. We get along perfectly, and he says he loves me.
The problem is he will not make a commitment to get married. I do everything a wife would do to make a comfortable home for us. I am approaching middle age, and I want the security of marriage.
Should I wait for him, hoping he will change his mind, or should I move on and find someone who would like to make a commitment? Any help would be appreciated. -- DISAPPOINTED IN SEATTLE
DEAR DISAPPOINTED: Sometimes people don't realize how precious something is until it's gone. Tell your roommate he has had enough free samples, that it's marriage or nothing. If he loves you, you'll get your proposal. If he doesn't, you are better off without him.
P.S. A man who loves a woman wants her to have the security that comes with a marriage license.
DEAR ABBY: Do you think my mother's brother and his wife should be invited to my parents' 50th wedding anniversary dinner when, three years ago, they failed to acknowledge the death of my brother? My uncle claimed illness for not visiting the funeral home or attending the funeral. They never sent flowers or even a card. (And their granddaughter owns a card shop!)
They live nearby, and when we saw them later at other family functions, they never offered anyone in our immediate family their condolences. -- HURT AND ANGRY IN PENNSYLVANIA
DEAR HURT AND ANGRY: Please do not be so quick to judge. People grieve in their own way. Not everyone is comfortable attending funerals, and your uncle and his wife may have been afraid to bring up the subject of your brother's death for fear of causing you even more pain.
Unless your parents wish to single these relatives out for exclusion, they should be invited.
DEAR ABBY: My mother died recently. She was ill for five years and lived at home. Four of her adult children lived in the area. One of my sisters took it upon herself to set up Mom's medications and regularly take her to her many doctor's appointments. The rest of us did not ask her to do this, but it was a relief to know that she was able to do it for Mom.
Now that Mom has passed away, my sister has submitted a bill to the estate for $10,000 for "services rendered." Since the entire estate is worth only about $60,000, and the will states that everything is to be divided equally between all five children, the four of us feel her request is unreasonable.
How should we handle this? No matter what we decide, someone will be angry. -- MISSING MOM IN MINNEAPOLIS
DEAR MISSING MOM: Ask your sister how she came up with that figure. Investigate the current rates for home health-care workers in your area. You and your siblings should decide fairly among you how much your sister's efforts were worth, and reimburse her accordingly. (You may be surprised how reasonable her figure is!)
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