“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#1 Aug 24, 2013
DEAR AMY: Our small town recently suffered a natural disaster, and about 50 homes, including mine, were affected in a big way. Many friends and a few acquaintances did a lot of dirty, tedious work to remove wet belongings to speed up the long process of recovery.

I wasn't home when it happened, but arrived in time to be intimately involved in the difficult work. I understand what they did. I don't know the names of everyone who helped. I need to thank these wonderful people.

We have modest resources, but with a few years of extra work we will recover.

What we lost is considerable, but it can't compare to what happens in less-developed countries. We are thankful for our health and the chance to start again.

I have considered a donation to a nearby disaster relief agency or to our community foundation to thank these volunteers. I've also considered a dinner at a local restaurant, which struggles to make a profit; I could invite the people who helped me. I'll personally thank, in writing, those whose names I know.

Should I pay people? How can I best thank and honor these good people without taking away from their gift to me?-- Bryce, in Lindsborg, Kan.

DEAR BRYCE: You have already thanked your neighbors in this space. Now, act out your heart's intentions (though I don't believe you should pay people).

Also, spread your gratitude by paying these good deeds forward. No doubt some day in the future you will be called upon to be the anonymous helper, assisting with clean up -- and I have a feeling you will be on the front lines. That's the way people roll in communities all across this country.

DEAR AMY: I have been dating a widower for almost two months. He lives out of town but we are spending weekends together. His wife passed away 2 1/2 years ago (I have been divorced for 10 years).

Pictures of him and her with family are still on the walls of his house. I recently asked him to remove the one of him and her in their bedroom, and he did.

He tells me he leaves the family ones up because of his kids and grandkids coming over. They were married for 38 years and it looks like the house has not changed since her passing.

Is this man really ready to be in a relationship? I want to go to his house but it gives me an uneasy feeling when I do. I have met two of his three children, who are in their late 30s. I felt I was drilled with questions.

Now I wonder if maybe they don't want him to get involved with someone. I have talked to him a little about this, and I just don't know if he is really ready for his next life. Sometimes I wonder if I am just a "test run." -- Worried

DEAR WORRIED: You are a "test run" for a relationship. So is he. It's called "dating." People date for a reason: to get to know one another slowly, gradually and in stages.

This man has every right to display anything he wants on the walls of his house.

When this man is ready to commit to a serious, exclusive relationship with you to the extent that "his" house becomes your shared house, he should negotiate with you about renovating/redecorating and perhaps consigning to albums the family photos he currently displays on his walls.

Please, slow down. His adult children are justifiably curious about you. Be kind and respectful, instead of suspicious about their motives. If you two take your time, many of these issues will resolve themselves.

DEAR AMY: "Private Sister" was worried because her sister was posting private information about their brother's mental illness on a social networking site. She is correct that the decision if, when, and who to inform about her brother's mental illness is her brother's. The most important thing either sister can do is support their brother in a loving, nonjudgmental way, and find a way to advocate and educate that honors him.-- Leigh

DEAR LEIGH: I agree. Thank you.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

#2 Aug 24, 2013
3- You figure that out all by yourself, cupcake?

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#3 Aug 24, 2013
2. He was married 38 years. You are dating 2 months and you want him to remove family pictures? From the bedroom I can understand, but as for the rest, you are being presumptuous and pushy.

If this guy has any sense at all you will be a very short timer

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#4 Aug 24, 2013
1 take out a full page add in the paper and a letter to the editor online. Then do as suggested and pay it forward.

2 Yay! amy stood up in the defense of a man! The problem here is that the guy has nothing but good memories of being married and the woman has nothing but bad. This is why the guy has not changed his home, and the woman probably stripped the walls bare.

Since: Jun 09

Pinellas Park, FL

#6 Aug 24, 2013
LW2: Even if guy and LW got married, he should be able to keep some pics of his first wife and family up. You don't just erase 38 years, especially 38 years. Doesn't mean he wouldn't love his new wife. If anything, I think it shows good character. And I've had more than one sibling lose a spouse young and remarry and I have another in-law whose mother died young and dad remarried and they all did this.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#8 Aug 24, 2013
RACE wrote:
This is why the guy has not changed his home, and the woman probably stripped the walls bare.
That too. I thought it was an odd observation, but your answer makes perfect sense.

I can understand making changes to the home when the kids move out and you reclaim their bedroom for some other purpose, but what would be the purpose for making changes when your spouse dies? My wife and I have set our home up exactly how we want it. If she dies, why would I change it?

Plant City, FL

#9 Aug 24, 2013
1: Pay? Give me a break. If anyone expects money after helping out with a natural disaster they are idiots. You need to stop buying into the world's view that everytime someone says "bless you" you owe them a thank you card.

2: I would have a hard time dating a widower, especially if their marriage was good, which is why I don't date widowers!

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#10 Aug 24, 2013
cheluzal wrote:
1: Pay? Give me a break. If anyone expects money after helping out with a natural disaster they are idiots. You need to stop buying into the world's view that everytime someone says "bless you" you owe them a thank you card.
2: I would have a hard time dating a widower, especially if their marriage was good, which is why I don't date widowers!
2. Why? When screening applicants for other posts like a job, relevant good experience can tell you a lot about a person.

The key is that the widower has to have let go so that there are no ghosts in the relationship. You wouldn't ask him to take down a parent or siblings picture would you?

Salinas, CA

#11 Aug 24, 2013
LW2: I totally agree that LW is way out of line. Here's a perspective: A friend of mine lost his first wife to cancer at a very young age. They have a daughter together. He remarried but still has some pictures of his first wife in their home. (They are small, in frames, and in his computer room along with pics of he and his current wife.) His current wife is 100% OK with it.

Chicago, IL

#12 Aug 24, 2013
LW2: So, Lady, you've been dating the widower for "almost 2 months." And you are bitching that he has photos in the house of his wife of 38 YEARS (altho, for you, he removed the ones from the bedroom). But you don't want him to have ANY photos of his wife for 38 years *anywhere* in the house. YOU ARE A TOTAL POS.
And you think his grown children don't want him to get involved with anyone.
I'll bet his kids will be just fine if he gets involved with a decent, kind person, just not a horrible btch like you. Seriously, you are an awful, unbelievably selfish and clueless human being. ESAD.

Tempe, AZ

#13 Aug 24, 2013

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