Abby: Dad regrets lost time

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

DEAR ABBY: My older sister, “Lily,” is in a biracial marriage and has a son. Our dad never approved. He gave her an ultimatum when she first met “Rodney”: Choose between him or our family. She chose Rodney.

After 30 years of Dad not speaking to her and influencing us siblings to feel the same way, our mother died and Dad rekindled his relationship with Lily. He’s 82 now, and he puts her and her family first. He spends a lot of money on them and time with her and her son.

The rest of us feel resentment. I realize he’s making up for lost time but it’s sickening. We are OK with being with our sister and her family. It’s Dad we’re having the problem with. How do we move on? — UPSET IN THE EAST

DEAR UPSET: I wish you had mentioned what caused your father’s change of heart because it would have been a valuable lesson for a lot of readers. He did a disservice to all by teaching hate.

Anger, resentment and bigotry serve no one well. Your father recognizes the mistake he made by shunning his daughter and her family, and he’s trying to make up for it. As I write this, I’m reminded of a line from the “Peace Prayer of St. Francis”: “Where there is hatred, let me sow love.” Good for your father! The way for you to move on would be to recognize it’s time to forgive him for the damage he caused your family because, if you don’t, you and your siblings will perpetuate it.