DEAR ABBY: I am a widow who lives independently. I do my own cooking, shopping and laundry. I have good friends, play cards, go to movies and, in general, enjoy life.
I recently gave my only granddaughter, "Wendy," a sizable sum of money. After 30 days and no acknowledgment, I mailed her a blank thank-you card. Here's the response I got:
"Grandmother: Thank you for the money. It couldn't have come at a better time, and my family is very grateful. I have always appreciated everything you have done for me, but I didn't realize that 'family' had to thank one another for every gesture of kindness. I always believed that love was thanks enough.
"I love you very much and want to be a part of your life and have you be a part of my life and my family's lives -- but it's up to you. It's your decision, because we have a lot of love to give and share together with no thanks required or necessary. Love, Wendy."
Abby, this is a girl with a good education and a job she has held for 12 years. The only time I see Wendy is at family gatherings. I used to take her shopping and to lunch. I stopped that when she never reciprocated or invited me to her home.
From infancy through college I have given Wendy toys, clothing, furniture, money -- but no more! My grandsons never ask for anything and are loving and respectful. I feel foolish and used. -- GRANDMOTHER IN IDAHO
DEAR GRANDMOTHER: For someone with a "good" education, your granddaughter seems ignorant of basic good manners. Her parents should have taught her by example from earliest childhood to say thank you when a kindness was extended, and the importance of a prompt thank-you note. (And "family" is no exception!)
If Wendy "loves" you, she has a strange and self-serving way of showing it. She owes you an apology, and if it is not forthcoming, you have every right to direct your attention -- as well as your estate -- to the grandsons who have been both loving and respectful.