(NNPA)—Dear Gwendolyn:

I am becoming more and more depressed. This is the problem: About 20+ years ago my mother became terminally ill. She and my father had worked hard and received minimal wages, but did a lot with what they made. Upon her deathbed she asked me to promise her that I would oversee the family home and not let it be lost due to property taxes.


The house was brick and had been paid for more than 25 years before their death. My father died three years after my mom. When he passed away, my brother took up residence in the house. While his wife was buying fur coats , I was paying the property tax and fire insurance. Believe me. They lived absolutely free.

Gwendolyn, this went on for more than 11 years. He let the house go down and the city informed us the house would have to be demolished if not repaired. After my brother moved out, my niece (who never did anything for mom when she was ill) moved in. Again, she too lived absolutely free. We have the land, but not the house. I’m sorry, but I did try to keep my promise.—Betty

Dear Betty:

Your problem seems identical to what happened to me. There is nothing you can do except enjoy every dollar that comes your way. Never allow yourself to carry out a request from a dying person—even if it is your mother. Let me tell you this: Parents mean well, but they love all their children. Back in the day they would use the strong to care for the weak. However, in today’s time that little bear could dance, but not to music. Think about it. Few families are able to hold on to “the family home.” It is always best to get out in life and accomplish your own. In that way, no lazy family member can say, “You can’t keep me out.” Parents should only encourage their children to provide for a child who is mentally or physically handicapped. But to outright misuse one child for the sake of another is wrong. Stop being depressed about it. There is one thing that is true. People who try to “get over” on others never end up with a dime.

(Got a problem? Don’t solve it alone. Write to Gwendolyn Baines at: P.O. Box 10066, Raleigh, N.C. 27605-0066 (to receive a reply send a self-addressed stamped envelope) or e-mail her at: gwenbaines@hotmail.com and visit her website at: http://www.gwenbaines.com.)

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