DEAR ABBY: I recently turned my brother "Paul" in to drug enforcement. Paul has been a drug user for years, and it is affecting the whole family.
My husband and I have been robbed twice, totaling about $10,000. My mother has depleted any money she has had by paying his expenses, and our family is always in turmoil. Aunts, uncles and grandparents have all agreed on tough love by cutting him off in every way we know how. My mother has not. She's still supporting him, paying for housing, utilities and food.
My husband and I agreed that our son is not allowed to spend time at my mother's house because Paul is still welcome there. She feels we are trying to punish her and she won't speak to me.
I had discovered Paul was selling drugs to children as young as 12 to support his habit. I couldn't have lived with myself if I hadn't turned him in. This could have been my child he was selling to.
My family, with the exception of my husband, son and Paul's wife, feels that I should have handled it differently -- that what I did was excessive. Paul's wife has thanked me because he had started to become violent with her and their children. The rest of the family is extremely upset with me, and some no longer talk to me.
Did I do the wrong thing? If you print this, please don't reveal my personal information. My family reads your column. -- HIS SISTER
DEAR SIS: Please do not accept the guilt trip your family is trying to lay on you. Your mother has allowed your brother to get away with his outrageous behavior because, on some level, she feels that she's to blame. Not only did you do the right thing, you may have saved a child's life by getting Paul off the streets. I commend you for having the courage to put a stop to him.
DEAR ABBY: I am the owner of Chez Josephine, a popular French bistro in the theater district of New York. I care about the well-being of my customers, particularly those who have disabilities.
However, again and again, the same difficult situation arises. Many times I am not informed when the reservation is made that someone in the party will be using a wheelchair, walker, wearing braces or walking with crutches. When I am informed in advance, I can reserve a table in the front section of my restaurant to facilitate their entrance and exit so they can avoid the discomfort and inconvenience of having to maneuver through a very crowded room. I can also reserve tables that provide extra space, since sometimes those with physical challenges cannot be moved from the wheelchair to a restaurant seat.
Abby, please urge your readers to inform the person who takes their reservation that they are bringing someone who has special needs. All restaurants, I assure you, respect those needs and are eager to make the dining experience as pleasant and enjoyable as possible. -- JEAN-CLAUDE BAKER, NEW YORK CITY
DEAR JEAN-CLAUDE: That's terrific advice from a restaurateur who knows his business and is conscientious about providing the smoothest service possible. All that's required is a little forethought before making the reservation.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: The difference between an optimist and a pessimist is that an optimist thinks this is the best possible world. A pessimist fears that this is true. (Submitted by David Broome)
Dear Abby is written by Pauline Phillips and daughter Jeanne Phillips.
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