DEAR ABBY: Twenty-three years ago my husband and I lost our firstborn son. As my husband was active duty military, we could have buried him anywhere in the United States. At the time, we were in a place where my sister swore to me she would always live, and she would always be there to take care of him. I knew with my husband's career we had many more moves ahead of us, and it helped to ease the loss knowing that he would be taken care of.
Well, that lasted all of three years. My husband and I are now at a point where we have settled down and we know where we should have buried our precious angel, instead of trusting my sister.
We want to have him exhumed, cremated and placed in a veterans cemetery, but my question is this: Do I have the right to ask my sister to pay part of the costs as she "broke" her promise to help care for my son? -- HEARTBROKEN MOTHER
DEAR HEARTBROKEN: Please accept my sympathy for the loss of your son. While it's clear that there are many hurt feelings about what happened after his original interment, I think it's time to forgive your sister.
It's a fact of life that sometimes unforeseen circumstances prevent people with the best of intentions from keeping promises they make. Forgive her if you can, but don't ask her for money. She may owe you an apology, but she does not owe you any money.
DEAR ABBY: I'm very close to my family. We visit each other's homes often. But for the past year or so, something has begun to bother me. It's cellphone chargers.
Whether people come for a week or just for dinner, out come the chargers! The kids all start plugging in their cellphones and tablets, and the adults follow suit with their cellphones and laptops.
I started asking around and it's not just happening to me. A lot of my friends have the same gripe. Lamps, toasters, pencil sharpeners -- you name it -- their cords are left dangling long after the guests have departed. After the last weekend, I installed a power strip in the TV room and will direct the traffic there in the future.
Would you please let people know how rude this is? Also mention that the host is not responsible for an electronic item plugged in on a kitchen counter, or anywhere for that matter. Example: "Aunt Sarah, who got my iPad wet?" (It was fine, but it had been plugged in on the most-used surface in the kitchen.) -- UNPLUGGED IN SALEM, N.Y.
DEAR UNPLUGGED: While the power strip you installed is the practical solution, the problem is that the people you have described are thoughtless. Polite guests leave their host's home in the same condition it was in when the guests arrived. In this instance, it means being considerate enough to plug in any appliances that the guests unplugged, so the host doesn't have to wonder why the darned thing isn't working after everyone has departed.
And as for electronic items foolishly left on a wet counter, if there was any damage, the fault would not be yours. Your niece/nephew was lucky.
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