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A Former Lover Wrote Me a Huge Test. My Household Thinks I’m Mendacity About Why.

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Expensive Care and Feeding,

I’m a 79-year-old widow, with two kids and 5 grandchildren. Nearly all of them are mad at me, or at the least suspicious of me. A couple of weeks in the past I obtained some mail from a legislation workplace I didn’t acknowledge. It turned out to be from the executor of the property of my highschool boyfriend, “George.”

It contained a letter with some reminiscences, and a examine for $12,000! I used to be greatly surprised. George and I mutually broke up when he went off to Princeton, and though I noticed him a few instances when he got here dwelling throughout faculty, I don’t suppose I’ve spoken to him as soon as in nearly 60 years. However now everybody appears to suppose I carried on some form of double life—a decades-long affair, perhaps, or on the very least secretly obtained again along with him after my husband handed again in 2017. I swear, I did nothing of the kind, and whereas I wouldn’t say I’d forgotten who he was, I hadn’t given him a thought in I don’t know the way lengthy.

However all my children and grandkids insist there should be some hearth behind the smoke, as a result of who leaves 5 figures to an ex from their youth who they’ve had no contact with within the intervening years? I don’t know why he did, so I can’t clarify it to them. However telling them this isn’t persuasive to them, and it’s unbelievably miserable to see all of them flip from me; it’s heartbreaking that they suppose I would have an affair or maintain such a giant secret from them. I’ve thought of exhibiting my children the letter, because it mentions pondering of me, lacking me, and feeling regretful that he by no means tried to rekindle issues after his faculty commencement. However the letter may be very non-public, and it contains remembrances of instances we had intercourse as teenagers. I don’t actually need to present that to my kids. Ought to I? Or is there some other plan of action you advise?

—As Confused as Everybody Else

Expensive As Confused as Everybody,

Your kids and their kids are all being brats. Truthfully, that is none of their enterprise. Inform them that. Go forward, when you like, and paraphrase what George stated in his letter about pondering of you and wishing issues had labored out otherwise (I feel this explains fairly effectively why he left you cash, and for all these “5 figures” characterize a really small portion of his property, one thing he might need considered a small gesture demonstrating the love he nonetheless felt, and his regrets about you). They’re entitled to not more than this. If they continue to be indignant and suspicious, it’s their drawback, not yours. They’ll must work this out for themselves. However you actually shouldn’t prostrate your self on their behalf. For those who discover it miserable—and stunning—that your kids would leap to the conclusion that you just had an affair, attempt speaking to them about it. Ask them why they’d suppose such a factor. You would possibly be taught one thing about your relationship with them, or about who they’re. However don’t belabor this. Get pleasure from your windfall. You would possibly even discover it in your coronary heart to take pleasure in, just a bit, the information that somebody you as soon as cherished, whom you by no means gave a thought to in so a few years, was pondering fondly of you in previous age. Maybe you would possibly spare a fond thought for him too.

—Michelle

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