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Little Can Be Done to Reverse Mom's Self-Imposed Travel Ban

DEAR ABBY: My parents and I live on opposite coasts of the United States. I have visited them many times over the years. I'd like them to visit me, but my mother refuses to travel. (She is healthy and not scared of flying or traveling.)

At first, she said she didn't have the money, so I offered to pay for the ticket and lodging here in California. Her next excuse was she didn't have the time off, so I suggested she request it months in advance, or travel during her company's annual two-week shutdown. She wouldn't consider it.

My sister, who lives in the South, has had the same problem with Mom. We have told her how it makes us feel and asked her why she won't travel to either of us. Mom just mumbles that she knows how we feel, but she will give us no reason. Even Dad has become fed up with Mom's inertia, so he came to visit me on one trip and my sister on another.

Can you offer any suggestions? -- PUZZLED IN PALO ALTO

DEAR PUZZLED: Yes. Accept that your mother may simply be most comfortable in her own environment, and stop personalizing her refusal to travel. Enjoy your father's visits when he is able to come.

You and your sister are good, caring children. But your mother has an idiosyncrasy, and you will have to accept it because you have done everything you can.

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