DEAR ABBY: My cousin's 9-year-old son, "Andy," has been living with me for the past few years. Now my husband has been diagnosed with cancer, and I must return Andy to his mother.
Abby, his mother is an alcoholic and drug addict. She has no income, and the list goes on. How do I return that boy to this type of environment? My immediate and extended families insist he go home to his mother, but I am worried about his future. What do I do? I need to concentrate and focus on my husband's health, but who will give Andy the care that he needs? -- WORRIED AUNT IN COLORADO
DEAR WORRIED AUNT: There is an alternative to returning Andy to that unhealthy environment, but it will require cooperation from your immediate and extended families. Keep the child with you, but have him stay with the relatives at the times your husband is getting his treatments. If they are unwilling, perhaps the parents of some of Andy's friends would be willing to help out. Please give it a try and let me know what happens, because the best place for Andy is with responsible people who know and love him.