Dear Annie: When I was a young teen, a family member informed me that when my mother was in high school, before she married my father, she became pregnant. The young man with whom she was involved refused to take responsibility and marry her. As a result, the baby was given up for adoption.
I never told my mother I knew this and respected her right to privacy. I am now 46 years old, and Mom is 70. I know I have an older sibling out there somewhere. I had promised myself that I wouldn’t pursue any kind of search until my mother was deceased, but now I wonder if I should ask her about this.
I am not judging anyone. The times were what they were. If, however, something happens to my mother, all this information will be carried to her grave. Do I have the right to know, or should I just leave it alone? I don’t want to cause my mother any pain or heartache, so I will follow whatever advice you give. — Indy
Dear Indy: It’s entirely possible that your mother would like to find this child, or that she wishes she could discuss it with someone else in the family. It’s also possible that the person who originally told you about your sibling was mistaken.
Approach Mom gently. Tell her that many years ago, you were given this information. Let her know that, if indeed there is a sibling, you would be interested in a search, not only for your sake, but to give this child his or her medical history and family background. If Mom asks you not to pursue it, however, please respect her wishes.
Dear Annie: My fiance’s sister-in-law (his brother’s wife) constantly flirts with him. She rubs against him, touches him a lot and kisses him on the face (not on the lips) right in front of me. Is this innocent, or should I be worried by it? My fiance was married before, and his ex-wife didn’t like this behavior, either. — Annoyed Bride
Dear Bride: A certain amount of affection in the family is normal, but if it makes you this uncomfortable, it’s probably too much. Does your fiance encourage this flirtation? If so, you should be worried, and so should her husband. They are playing with fire. Otherwise, your fiance should make it clear to Sis-in-Law that she’s overdoing it and to knock it off.
Dear Annie: Not long ago, I came across a poem about children going off to college. It was something about “holding fast the summer.” Can you find it for me? My son is leaving home soon. Thank you. — College Boy’s Dad
Dear Dad: Here it is. We do not know the author, but the sentiment is well worth printing:
Hold Fast the Summer
Hold fast the summer. It is the beauty of the day and all it contains.
The laughter and work and finally the sleep. The quiet.
Oh September, do not put your weight upon my mind.
For I know he will be going.
This son of mine who is now a man — he must go.
Time will lace my thoughts with joyous years.
The walls will echo his “Hello.” His caring will be around each corner.
His tears will be tucked into our memory book.
Life calls him beyond our reach — to different walls.
New faces, shiny halls, shy smiles, many places.
Greater learning — he must go.
But wait, before he leaves, be sure he knows you love him.
Hide the lump in your throat as you hug him.
He will soon be home again — but he will be different.
The little boy will have disappeared.
How I wished I could take September and shake it, for it came too soon.
I must look to the beauty of each new day, and silently give thanks.
“Annie’s Mailbox” is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar. This column was originally published in 2016. To find out more about Classic Annie’s Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Creators Syndicate at www.creators.com.