DEAR ABBY: I recently graduated from college and received "congrats" and small gifts from well-wishers, all of which I responded to with written thank-you notes -- with one exception: my father. He still attempts to carry on a father/daughter relationship, regardless of my feelings. Even though I made a decision years ago to cut off all contact with him, he sent me a graduation card with a large check enclosed.
Abby, throughout my childhood and teens, my father emotionally and physically abused my mother. After their divorce, he attempted to do the same to me. That's when I stopped communicating with him.
Mom thinks I should keep the money. I could really use it, but I honestly don't think it's right to keep it without sending a note of thanks. It's the last thing I want to do. Please give me your opinion. No name or location -- sign me ... GRAD TORN OVER DAD
DEAR GRAD: Return the money. Your father is trying to buy his way back into your life. If you allow it, the price YOU will pay for maintaining a relationship with your abusive father won't be worth any amount of money.