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Concerned Caroline wrote:

Hi, guys —

I have a dear friend who is a 74-year-old widow. She plans to marry a widower who is 78 years-old and both are Catholic.

He has an adult son who is severely mentally challenged. The adult son lives with his father and will continue to, even after the dad and my friend marry. The son does not drive and works part time at a grocery store.

I feel this widower is doing a great disservice to my friend, expecting her to be the caretaker to his son; she has never expressed a desire to want to care for the son. I have a great concern for her health — mentally and physically — if she gets in this situation.

She has stated that she and her husband to be are never alone because of the son. She has also stated that the son can be quite a handful. She has dated the widower for about a year.

I am writing this, because I care very much about my friend. She is like the sister I never had.

Any advice you can give me will be appreciated.

Thank you very much.

Caroline

  { Do you have advice for a friend, who plans to marry, but may be marrying with an extra burden? }

Bob replied:

Dear Caroline,

I have a friend who married a widower later in life. He had a severely disabled daughter who was both mentally and physically handicapped. She lived with him, and then both of them, when they were married. He died less than a year after their marriage and she took over the care for the daughter.

I never saw a more beautiful display of God's love and goodness than the beautiful loving care that my friend has put out for this disabled child. No one could tell me that God's hand was not in this arrangement. This is how saints are made.

You may love your friend, but so does God, and He wants her to become a saint. Let her do this without any regret, reservation, or negativity. Your relationship with your friend will only deepen, in a new way, if you lend her your support.

Trust God and love.

Bob Kirby

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