DEAR ABBY: Two and a half years ago we lost my dad, who was 94. He and Mom had been married 72 years. She entered assisted living right before COVID -- with all its difficulties -- set in. We made it through that, we're all vaccinated now and her facility has opened back up.
Mom has met and befriended a similarly aged widower. They eat together, walk, attend activities and enjoy sitting and talking together every day. He always walks her back to her room and nicely bids her a good night. They reach for one another's hands to hold while talking about their departed spouses and are a source of great comfort for each other. I learned about this friendship from facility staff, so I had time to digest it alone before talking with my mother about it.
At first, I was nervous because I did not want her to be hurt. But I quickly realized that this relationship is very good for both of them, as they share similar histories and circumstances.
Mom has recently found out that this man's daughters are upset about their friendship, and she feels badly about it. She says she would never do anything to hurt him. I've told her she needs to give his daughters time to wrap their minds around their friendship. Abby, what can I do to help the daughters build trust in this situation? -- DELICATE SITUATION IN ARKANSAS
DEAR DELICATE SITUATION: Your mother's is not the first romance to blossom in a situation like this, and it won't be the last. What has happened is a blessing, and I hope the man's daughters will come to regard it as one. Reaching out to them isn't a bad idea, if you think it may calm the situation and you can do it without making them more defensive than they already appear to be. The older folks are doing nothing wrong. They have a right to be happy in their remaining years. If there is a religious adviser connected to the assisted living facility, he or she might be able to help you.