DEAR ABBY: My son just got a job in Europe and has invited me to visit when he and his family are settled. I have never traveled out of the country, and I'm excited to go. I suggested staying at least a month, and he and his wife agreed.
When I told my sister, she excitedly told me she'd like to come along. We would be very happy to have this time together because she lives across the country, and we don't see each other often.
We are in good health, but her husband has many health issues. He falls a lot and has had concussions while using his walker. He coughs almost constantly, uses CPAP at night, takes multiple medications throughout the day and needs to stop often to rest and catch his breath. He also needs frequent naps.
We are all around 70, and Sis and I want to go while we are still in good health. She has not told Hubby about the monthlong trip to Europe because she knows he will want to come. He would not be alone at home. Their two adult children and four grandchildren live in their large home and can assist him with food, doctor appointments, etc. We also have a brother who takes him out once a week.
I'm thinking the best way of letting him know the trip is out for him would be to have his doctor explain why it's not advisable. Any other suggestions would be most appreciated. -- EUROPE-BOUND
DEAR EUROPE-BOUND: If your sister truly plans to take a monthlong trip to Europe while her husband has one foot on a banana peel, then she should be the one to break the news to him. If she needs backup, I'm sure the doctor can explain to him why it would be too risky for him to tag along.
My questions would be, how do your son and his wife feel about you bringing along an extra guest (guests?) for a month, and if something terrible should happen to your sister's husband in her absence, could she live with the guilt?
DEAR ABBY: Years ago, when I was trying to get into a professional school, I took some classes to prepare for the entrance exam. It cost my dad money to put me through the training. A few of my classmates/friends asked me to share the training material with them. Because it was expensive and I was preparing for a competitive exam, which they were also taking, I refused.
Long story short, none of us passed the exam. We moved on and have all become successful in life, but that incident haunts me all these years (decades) later. I was living outside of the U.S. for a long time, so I didn't try to get in touch with them or discuss why I behaved the way I did. I am likely to meet them in the near future, and I don't know how to handle this if it comes up. What do you think I should do? -- REMEMBERING THE EARLY DAYS
DEAR REMEMBERING: It is entirely possible that these individuals will not remember the incident. If they raise the subject, apologize and explain to them the reasons you were reluctant to share the material. If they don't mention it, then let it lie.
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