DEAR ABBY: My 31-year-old son, "Joey," who needs a heart transplant, almost died a few weeks ago. The doctors told us he wouldn't make it through the weekend. I was beside myself. On what we thought was his deathbed, I told Joey I would give him anything he wanted if he pulled through. He wanted a very expensive sports car.
Well, my son pulled through, but has other physical challenges. My husband and I are sending him $500 a month until he starts receiving money from Social Security. It's the best we can do right now. The problem is, Joey keeps hounding me about the sports car. I cannot afford this gift. We have offered to have his current vehicle reconditioned or give him my year-old car with its very low mileage.
I do not want this to become an issue with my son. I have told him his heart condition is the priority and to let everything else fall into place. It's eating me alive that I can't give my son what I promised. On the other hand, his request is unreasonable. Please help. -- JOEY'S MOM IN LAS CRUCES
DEAR MOM: Unless you put a stop to it now, this WILL become an issue with your son. Surely he is in touch enough with reality that he knows your financial situation -- and if he doesn't, please inform him. While you're at it, explain that when you thought he was on his deathbed, you were out of your mind with grief -- and you can't be held to a promise made under such duress. At $500 a month, you can hardly be accused of being a withholding parent, so stop beating yourself up.