Abby: Mom’s self-imposed travel ban is imposing

Dear Abby
Jeanne Phillips

Dear Abby: My parents and I live on opposite coasts of the United States. I have visited them many times over the years. I’d like them to visit me, but my mother refuses to travel. (She is healthy and not scared of flying or traveling.)

At first, she said she didn’t have the money, so I offered to pay for the ticket and lodging here in California. Her next excuse was she didn’t have the time off, so I suggested she request it months in advance, or travel during her company’s annual two-week shutdown. She wouldn’t consider it.

My sister, who lives in the South, has had the same problem with Mom. We have told her how it makes us feel and asked her why she won’t travel to either of us. Mom just mumbles that she knows how we feel, but she will give us no reason. Even Dad has become fed up with Mom’s inertia, so he came to visit me on one trip and my sister on another.


Puzzled in Palo Alto

Dear Puzzled: Yes. Accept that your mother may simply be most comfortable in her own environment, and stop personalizing her refusal to travel. Enjoy your father’s visits when he is able to come.

You and your sister are good, caring children. But your mother has an idiosyncrasy, and you will have to accept it because you have done everything you can.

Dear Abby: I am an old lady, happy I can still get around using a cane. I would like to thank the many people who take the extra time to open a door for me or hold it open longer so I can get through. I am grateful for their help, and being offered a place ahead of them in the checkout line is beyond appreciated. Thank you, thank you.

However, may I offer a suggestion to those helpful folks, often robust men, who want to do more? If I look unsteady, please DO NOT grab me by the arm and try to steer me like an empty bicycle!

Instead, hold your arm out for me to lean on and allow me to do the navigating. It may be slow, but with your help, it will be safe.

Caryl in New Mexico

Dear Caryl: That’s an excellent suggestion, and one I hope helpful readers of both sexes will pay attention to.

Contact Dear Abby at or P.O.

Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.