Dear Annie: I am a 46-year-old woman, married to my husband, “Igor,” for 28 years. We have two grown children, “Megan” and “Jon.” Megan lives on her own, but Jon is autistic and still lives with us. I have physical problems of my own, although I am managing for the moment. The problem? Igor’s mother, who has Alzheimer’s, lives with us as well.
My mother-in-law has always been difficult, even evil, and never missed an opportunity to blame Megan for her brother’s autism. For some reason, my husband thinks I am supposed to take complete responsibility for her, since I have to stay home and take care of Jon anyway. My mother-in-law hits and kicks, and has hurt me more times than I can count. Igor gets furious when I insist that he assume some of Mom’s care on the weekends. He has no interest in how miserable I am.
I would leave him if it weren’t for the fact that Jon would have great difficulty adapting to a life with a part-time father. Please help me. — Desperate in Georgia
Dear Desperate: And how well off will Jon be if you drop from exhaustion? You have your hands full, and your husband is compounding the problem. Your mother-in-law may be better off at a care facility, or you might be able to hire someone to come to your house and give you a break. Call your local Area Agency on Aging, or Eldercare Locator (eldercare.gov) at 1-800-677-1116, and ask what assistance is available.
Dear Annie: I read in your column about the dedication of the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., and a website at wwiimemorial.com, where one could memorialize World War II vets by registering them.
When I read the daily newspaper, I look at the obituaries to see if any of the deceased served in World War II. I then look them up on www.wwiimemorial.com, and surprisingly, most of these courageous people are not listed. I think it is because many people are unfamiliar with the website.
Please mention this on Veteran’s Day. I have read in your column that we are losing these brave men and women at the rate of 1,000 a day. I know a lot of older folks do not have a computer, but perhaps their American Legion or VFW Post could help them register. — George from Indianapolis
Dear George: Thank you for the timely reminder. Here’s something else for our veterans:
Dear Annie: Please tell your readers that the Library of Congress has a Veterans History Project at their American Folklife Center.
The Historical Society here in Mason, Michigan, already has videotaped over 54 veterans in our local area. We use a digital camcorder to make a tape of the vet’s recollections for the museum and give a copy to the family. We also send one to the Library of Congress.
It would speed things up if you could publicize this effort so that other service organizations can do the same in their area. Thanks. — Dick Ferris, Mason, Michigan
Dear Dick Ferris: Thank you for giving us the opportunity to mention this worthwhile undertaking. The Veterans History Project is looking for firsthand accounts from U.S. veterans of all wars, including Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf and Afghanistan. It is also seeking records from U.S. civilians, such as USO workers, flight instructors, industry workers, medical volunteers, etc., who were actively involved in the war effort. Aside from verbal or written accounts, The Veterans History Project is interested in photographs and mementos related to the war. (Do not send regular mail — FedEx or UPS only.) Those who would like to contribute their recollections should call 1-888-371-5848 or access the website at www.loc.gov/vets.
“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.