DEAR ABBY: I recently found out my grandmother has been diagnosed with lung cancer and has elected not to treat it. The doctors give her a year at the most. My dilemma is whether to extend just one more olive branch.
She has never been a "warm and fuzzy" type of grandmother. She was cold and distant when I was in my teens and 20s, and downright mean when I was in my 30s. If I try to talk to her at family functions, she turns away and begins a conversation with someone else, not even acknowledging that I'm standing there. Last year at a family reunion, she took several photos with my mom and sister, and when it was suggested I join them in the photo, she walked away before one could be snapped. I'm not the only family member or grandchild she behaves this way toward. None of us knows why.
Do I try one more time, suspecting the diagnosis hasn't softened her heart and that I'll again end up with hurt feelings? Or do I assume that nothing I do now will change who she is and that I will have no positive, happy memories of her? -- INVISIBLE IN KANSAS
DEAR INVISIBLE: Frankly, the chances of your grandmother transforming into someone warm and accepting don't look promising because she appears to be a punitive and unhappy person. However, if you feel you might have regrets if you don't try once more to connect with her, then make the effort so that when she dies, you'll know you did everything you could. Don't do it for her; do it for yourself.