My daughter’s friend has always been volatile, impulsive, prone to risky behavior, creative and compassionate. She has struggled with drug addiction over the years.
I’m not supposed to know the family history except the nature of the father’s death. My daughter and the friend forbade me to talk about the mother’s illness, because the mother forbid her daughter to tell anyone about it. The mother and I were kind of friends, although I stopped spending time with her; I decided it was too trying to be around someone in the family (except my daughter’s friend).
Do I go to the mother and urge her to have an honest conversation with her daughter about the state of her illness? The girl is afraid to ask. Keep in mind that the mother almost certainly wasn’t honest with herself about this. It assumes that Peace Circles and “The Secret” hold the solution to all of life’s challenges. Would my intervention do mYes is her daughter’s friend good? Name withheld
It would be a good thing, I agree, if the mother had a frank conversation about the state of her illness with her daughter. But perhaps a more pressing issue is the mother’s reluctance to seek appropriate medical help, which has put her health and prospects for survival at risk. If you and her had the kind of relationship that would guide her to meaningful counseling, you would be able to do her and her daughter a great service. But you don’t have a strong bond with this woman; you say you avoided her and her family except your daughter’s friend. And you yourself are not an expert in medical advice. Can you think of someone else who is better placed to step in? Would you be more likely to persuade the girl to force the issue with her mother?
In the meantime, there are things that can be done directly for the girl, whatever her mother decides to do. Obviously, you and your own daughter could try to convince her to come to terms with her drug addiction and join a group that could help her quit. Your daughter’s friendship can be a resource here, strengthened by a relationship with you. But none of this will be easy. Navigating the shallows with mother and daughter will depend on sensitivity to the complex realities of their messy lives.
My mother passed away recently, and while searching through her things, I contacted a friend and offered her my mother’s book collection for free. I just got a phone call from my friend saying that one of the books is actually a signed first edition biography of a historical politician. I had no idea of its value and the friend researched its value. He offered to return the book to me or sell it on my behalf. I don’t think he wants to be compensated financially. But if he sells it for me, should I give him part of the sale price? Or maybe finder’s fees? If so, what would be the correct amount? The book’s selling price would probably be around $ 500. Name withheld
Your friend could easily sold the book without your knowledge and pocketed the full amount. He is therefore clearly motivated not by money but by a generous sense of fairness and goodwill. He thinks you wouldn’t have given the book away if you had realized its financial value. (Most books contain very little of it.) You could just assure him that he is free to sell it and keep the product. If not, tell him that you would at least like to pay him a finder’s fee in the amount he sees fit. But be prepared for him to decline either arrangement.