Dear Diane Column — May 27, 2012

Dear Diane,

This may sound dumb, but at fifty years of age I’ve finally found the confidence to do what I want. I always wanted to write stories that would inspire people, but I never thought that someone like me would have such a special ability. Recently I went to a writer’s workshop, and the instructor singled out my writing as an example for the rest of the group. She said that I was talented and should start sending my work to magazines.

Diane, I never dreamed that things would happen so quickly, but I sold a short article to a women’s magazine.  Do you see me making a living through my writing? Will I publish a book in the future? Thank you for your time.


Dear Brandy,

Dreams are what keep our hearts alive when everything else seems dark. I believe that every dream can be made possible in some way, including yours. Too often we assume that such joy is meant for other people and not for us. I’m glad that you had the courage to start exploring your heart’s desire.

Often the things that seem the most thrilling to us are easily within our reach. We assume that these goals will be hard to achieve, when in reality the ability has been with us all along.

I feel that people’s personal journeys are very inspiring to you. I see you publishing several small articles in the next two years, and I then a book which will focus on inspiring true stories.

As for making a living as a writer, my instinct is that you should write for the simple joy of telling the story. In time, financial rewards will start to come your way. Good luck!


Dear Diane,

I lost my mother several months ago, and I can’t stop feeling guilty about the way she died.  I can’t sleep and I cry constantly, and I’m confused.

My mom remarried after dad died, and her second husband, Barry, is really controlling.  They were together for three years when she became ill with a brain tumor. The doctors said that it was slow growing, but then she started to go downhill very quickly. By the time I could get a leave of absence from work, she seemed pretty out of it.

To make things worse, Barry decided to control her hospital visits, and I was only able to have short visits with her daily. This was my own mother, and he was acting like God deciding when I could see her. I’m so mad I could spit. This man took from me my last days with my mom, and now he’s keeping her things from me. I know that she wanted me to have certain things, as she told me so.

I can’t go on feeling this hate every day, but I don’t know how to stop it. Does my mom have any messages for me?


Dear Crying, 

I’m so sorry about the loss of your mother. To have lost both parents in a short span of years is overwhelming, so be patient in giving yourself time to heal. I pick up that your mother was heavily medicated during her final days, and her cognitive abilities were minimal. She did , however FEEL your love, every minute of every day, even when you were not in the room with her.
Her husband is indeed quite controlling, and he will continue to control most of her belongings. I  see that your mom gave him instructions as to what to do with her estate, and she made it clear that certain items were to go to you.  Eventually you will receive some, if not all of these items.
Your mother would like you to let go of the bad feelings, as she is safe, happy and free from pain. This man may have her belongings, but you have her everlasting love, and no heirloom or object is more important than that.
I’m picking up a very happy time for you around September. Know that mom will be there in spirit!


Dear Diane,

Several years ago I dropped out of college and moved in with my boyfriend. At the time I was planning on a nursing career, and he was going to law school. He will be graduating soon, and I’ve been there the entire time helping him study, cooking and cleaning. I’ve put in long hours at low pay to help with rent, and always knew that when he was done with school, it was my turn.

Lately he’s been talking about searching positions in other cities, as though my opinion isn’t even an issue. I feel like we should focus on my education now, as he has had it his way for so many years.  He says it’s more important to take a high paying job so he can pay back his loans.

I love this man with every fiber of my being. He says he loves me, but doesn’t really “understand me” like he used to. I feel upset and used, like everything is always going to be about him, and I’ll never get my chance. We are planning on getting married once he has established his practice. Do you see things getting better?


Dear L.T.,

You must feel very frustrated at having denied your own goals for so long, but remember, you volunteered to be his savior, so you can’t blame him for having accepted your offer.

Now is the time to start thinking about your future, with or without this man.  While I do feel that he loves you, you have set the bar pretty low for a long time, and it will take time for him to remember that this is a two way street. You are changing the rules of the relationship, and in doing so you  will have to draw a line in the sand.

Minimally, I would start by deciding on an educational path. I see your fiancée accepting a job offer in June, so that will be the time to decide about moving with him. Be clear that you will be starting school immediately, and don’t budge on that point. While I pick up some tension and frustration during this power shift, I do see the two of you making it to the altar.

You took a great chance in trusting your future to a relationship at the risk of your education, a path that I would not recommend to everyone. In this case, I see a bright future ahead. Good luck!


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