DEAR ABBY: My husband and two sons had a family business. One son got married 13 years ago. Six years ago, the business split up. The business survived, thanks to my husband and older son.
Words were said at that time, and our younger son and his family have not visited us since. They live nearby, and I try to maintain contact. They have two children, 7 and 3. I was never asked to baby-sit even when the relationship was good, although I often did so for our other grandchildren. Our gifts of checks for Christmas and birthdays have never been cashed.
Our daughter was married three years ago, and our younger son and his wife never acknowledged the invitation, showed up or sent a gift.
Recently our daughter-in-law's mother passed on, and we sent flowers and cards, but to spare her feelings in an awkward situation, we did not attend the calling hours, for which we are being severely criticized. Should we have gone? -- HURTING IN NEW YORK
DEAR HURTING: No. Considering the circumstances, you did the right thing to stay away. People pay condolence calls to comfort the grieving family. Had you gone in spite of the rift, you would have risked causing turmoil at an already emotional time. In light of the situation, you did the considerate thing.