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OPINION | DEAR ABBY: Vacation host has reservations about young guest

by Abigail Van Buren | June 7, 2021 at 1:00 a.m.

DEAR ABBY: I am an active 90-year-old grandmother who every year treats my family to a week's vacation at a beach house. We have a lovely time together. Two years ago, my grown son, "Robert," brought his girlfriend, "Gennifer," and her teenage son, "Jackson." After the trip I was shocked to hear Jackson had killed the family kittens "to see how it felt." I was horrified, but knowing he was in therapy, I eventually agreed to allow him to join us on the trip last year. We are now looking forward to our trip this summer. However, it was recently mentioned that Jackson has been hearing voices instructing him to kill a human. While I am sympathetic to his mental illness, I am extremely frightened for myself and for other family members who are coming. I do not want Jackson to come this year. I am concerned that if I approach the subject with Robert, he will be upset and I will lose all contact with him. Because he lives out of state, our visits are limited as it is. Please help me, because the trip is in about four weeks. -- SLEEPLESS SEASIDE

DEAR SLEEPLESS: Clearly, Jackson is seriously disturbed. Because you are fearful that you or some other family member could be hurt -- or worse -- talk to your son about it. That boy's mother should not take him anywhere without first clearing it with his psychiatrist. You should not be expected to entertain him as a houseguest unless you can be assured that he won't present a danger to himself or to others.


DEAR ABBY: I'm pleased and proud that so many people fly our American flag. However, it makes me sad and angry when I see flags that are torn and tattered. People, please. If your flag is in bad shape, take it down and dispose of it properly. Many organizations, police departments, fire departments, Girl and Boy Scouts, the VFW and American Legion collect worn and damaged flags and hold proper disposal ceremonies. Abby, please remind your readers who are proud of our country to be respectful of our flag. -- FLAG WAVER IN INDIANA

DEAR FLAG WAVER: There are rules for appropriately displaying and disposing of our American flag, some of which proud Americans either choose to break or are ignorant about. (One that comes to mind addresses wearing clothing such as T-shirts, bathing suits -- and face masks -- bearing the likeness of the flag.) Many American Legion posts hold ceremonies once a year so people can dispose of flags that have "seen better days." For those who are interested in learning more, and there is plenty more to learn, go online and type in a search for "U.S. flag code."


DEAR ABBY: Should a spouse stay in a marriage with minor children involved if they have fallen out of love and are no longer sexually attracted to their spouse? -- JUST WONDERING IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR JUST WONDERING: I don't think so, because under those circumstances, the relationship is likely at some point to implode. The important issue is that the children be provided for financially and co-parented by two loving, supportive adults who can function as a team, even if they are living apart.

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