8/1/2022 | By Amy Dickinson

A 76-year-old widow moved to be near her son and grandchildren. She misses her hometown but feels guilty about leaving the family and moving home. See what advice columnist Amy Dickinson has to say in this edition of “Ask Amy.”

Dear Amy:

I am 76 years old. My husband passed away eight years ago.

Four years later, I moved to be near my son and grandchildren.

I left a small town where I lived for 58 years, a church I loved, and many friends. Two of my grandchildren are now in college.

I pick the youngest one up from school every day. We do lots of things together, but he is almost 12 and growing more independent.

Stowe Church VT in early fall. © Michael Ver Sprill , Dreamstime. A 76-year-old widow moved to be near her son and grandchildren. She misses her hometown but feels bad about moving home. See what “Ask Amy” says.

I am active in my church here and have a few friends, but I still pine for my hometown. I taught school there for 34 years, then took care of my parents and my husband.

I have babysat for my grandchildren for 21 years, keeping them after school, on weekends, and taking them on extended vacations.

I want to move back to my hometown, but I am afraid that I will feel guilty for moving home and leaving my grandson.

I feel time slipping away and want to have some time to do what I want to do while I still can.

Do you think I should stay here for my grandson, or should I move back to my beloved hometown?

Am I being selfish?


Dear Guilty:

I think you should do something – for you. You might start by taking an extended trip to your hometown – perhaps staying in a rental or with a friend.

Talk with your son and his family.

I hope they will encourage you to freely make the choice that is best for you, even if that is moving home. After decades of taking care of others, it’s time to take good care of yourself.

In the tradition of the great personal advice columnists, Chicago Tribune’s Amy Dickinson is a plainspoken straight shooter who relates to readers of all ages. She answers personal questions by addressing issues from both her head and her heart. A solid reporter, Dickinson researches her topics to provide readers with informed opinions and answers – ranging from when a widow misses her hometown and considers moving home to grandparenting to DNA surprises. Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. 

© 2022 by Amy Dickinson

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