Dear Abby: My husband and I have two beautiful, hardworking daughters we brought up as loving, respectful parents. Recently, "Kellie," 25, got tattoos covering her right arm, leg and ankle as well as her shoulders. They are visible unless she wears long sleeves and long pants.
This has ruined our relationship because it shows how little she thinks of us as parents, and how disrespectful of our feelings she is to put the tattoos where everyone can see them. She knows we don't like tattoos because we have mentioned it to her and voiced our disappointment when she got the first one on her ankle.
I can't sleep at night or look at my daughter knowing how little she cares about our feelings. I feel it's a slap in the face that she doesn't honor, respect or love us. What do you think? – Beside Myself in Fort Worth
Dear Beside Myself: I think it is time you toned down the high drama. What's done is done. If you do not appreciate the person your daughter is BENEATH her skin, you will lose her. And THAT would be a tragedy!
Dear Abby I have a 20-plus-year high school friend who is fighting ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease.) I have developed a close relationship with him and his parents. His mom has shared some of his comments with me, but he hasn't shared those thoughts with me himself. The comments are, "I want to die," or, "I want to go home to God."
I think listening and being a supportive friend is what I can do for him, but I'm at a loss as to what to say to his mother. I don't know what advice to give her so she can be supportive in her conversations with her dying son. – Deep Sorrow in Ohio
Dear Deep Sorrow: I agree that listening and being supportive is what you can do best for your friend. When the son raises the subject again with his mother, she should tell him that she loves him and will see that his wishes are carried out, even though losing him will be losing a part of herself.
When you see the mother again, ask if he has an advance directive for medical decisions in place. In it, a person can specify that only palliative care is preferred.
A group that offers guidance in drafting these important documents – and one to which I contribute – is Compassion and Choices. The toll-free number is 800-247-7421. If your friend does not have an advance directive, it's important that he make one now.
Dear Abby: Our across-the-street neighbors feel they need to mow their lawn three (excessive) times a week. This includes using a weed-eater and two mowers – a push mower and a large riding mower. Quite often, the husband chooses to mow after 8 p.m.
He doesn't work and could do it during the morning hours if he wants it cooler.
The noise is loud and extremely disruptive, and lasts about an hour because he goes over and over the same area. We work and would like to enjoy the few hours we have in the evening and relax. Any ideas? – Tired of the Noise in Montana
Dear Tired of the Noise: If you're on speaking terms with this neighbor, you should ask him if he would please manicure his lawn at a different time because the noise is disruptive. If he is unwilling to cooperate, check with the city to find out if there are any noise ordinances in place. If there are, you can report the noise as a nuisance.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.