DEAR ABBY: My brother, who lives 1,000 miles away, is thinking of moving back to our hometown to be around family and "start over." I love him. He's not a bad person, but he was a terrible father. He is now a widower, and he suffers from depression.
The problem is, some of his children and adult grandchildren plan to move with him. The "children" and their children are felons, ex-cons, drug addicts, alcoholics and thieves. My brother is none of those things.
I am willing to welcome him, but my husband and I want nothing to do with his kids or grandkids. I don't trust them to be in my house. There's no way we will welcome them into our family or do whatever it is they expect of us to start a new life. I don't think it is our responsibility. My children (their cousins) want nothing to do with them, either. How do I handle this? -- STANDING FIRM IN IOWA
DEAR STANDING: Before your brother makes the move to your community, ASK him what his plans are regarding making a new start. While you're at it, inquire about what his children and grandchildren intend to do after they arrive. Listen carefully to what your brother has to say, then tell him that, because of their criminal history, you and your husband cannot comfortably entertain them in your home. Say it kindly but firmly, and do not allow yourself to be drawn into a debate about it. From your description of them, it shouldn't come as a surprise.