I think I understand you a little better now after you telling me about your mom and how you was raised as a child. And I also do understand where Ray was coming from. I guess I could be considered in the same bracket as Ray. I grew up in a family that pretty much stuck together and did things together. It's only since my brother and I both got married and started a family of our own is when we started to drift apart. Mom and dad stayed away because they felt they were interfering in our new lives. Little did they realize their interference would have been most welcome. I needed a shoulder to cry on at times and there was no one I could turn to. So there I sat, divorced, and sulking in my guilt and sorrow because I felt like a loser to my ex wife and to my son as well. My brother is twice divorced and finally realized that he is a person that can not handle the constant nagging of a bitchy wife, so he claims he will never get married again. Hooray for him!! I think the whole point of this little story is.... Be thankful for the good friends that care about you. Good friends are far and few between. It's not easy to find a true friend who worries about your health welfare. I honestly believe Ray cares about you, not because of the way his kids treat him, but he cares about you for being you. And so do I.