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Tattoo tribute draws fire

Dear Abby: Two weeks ago I got a memorial tattoo done for my beloved grandma. It's on my arm and says "in loving memory" at the top. Gram's portrait is underneath, and a beautiful poem my grandpa wrote for her is under the portrait. The tattoo artist did a phenomenal job! It looks just like her and I was thrilled with the results.

The problem is, I posted a picture on Facebook of the tattoo, and out of the blue a distant cousin sent me a message telling me that the tattoo was "selfish and attention-seeking behavior"! He said he was hurt in more ways than one because of it.

Abby, I don't understand. I love this tattoo. I wanted to honor the woman who meant so much to me. Did I honor her the wrong way like he says? My friends and family say he's jealous and not to give it another thought, but I'm obsessing. Please help.

-- Honoring Grandma

Dear Honoring Grandma: Please accept my sympathy for your obviously heartfelt loss. Your family and friends are correct that your cousin's comments are out of line. You are not responsible for your cousin's feelings, so stop obsessing. Whatever has hurt him "in more ways than one" is not your tattoo, or anything you posted on Facebook.

You say he is distant. Keep it that way and concentrate on something positive like the fact that you have honored your grandmother's memory. Then go on and build a happy and constructive life.

> Time to cut the kindness?

Dear Abby: My neighbors' teenage sons ask to borrow our lawn mower and other yard tools so they can make money cutting the grass for other neighbors. What do we do?

-- Love Thy Neighbor

Dear Neighbor: How responsible are the boys? If they can be trusted with your lawn mower and other yard tools and you're kind-hearted, allow them to use the items with the understanding that they will be returned to you in the same condition in which they were borrowed. Then have them cut YOUR lawn as a way of showing their appreciation.