March 17 -- Update I called my sister this evening to see how things were going. That turned out to be a bad mistake. Part of her world had just blown up. She said that she had just heard from her daughter, who said that her house had been burglarized by professionals. As my niece pulled into her drive, she quickly noticed that the door to the house was open. She called the police on her cell phone, and they told her to get back into her car, lock the doors, and stay there until they arrived, which turned out to be twenty-five minutes later. They had at least two computers that had been stolen, as well as a lot of jewelry, some of which had belonged to my grandparents. My niece was blaming herself for the loss of the jewelry, saying that she should have locked it up somewhere. I said that it was too easy looking backwards and saying that she should have done this or should have done that, and since it was over and done with, it was time to forget it and move ahead. My niece took her two children and went to her best friend's house, while her husband stayed home with the police. At this time, I do not know who will be staying where tonight. It sounded as though my sister was almost to the breaking point. Too much has happened in the family in the past month, what with her son-in-law being laid off from his job, then he and his wife going to Iowa for a job interview, having a severe flying experience, which resulted in my niece suffering from what has now been diagnosed as Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. It is treated with physical therapy, and in the worst case, surgery is required. My sister said she told her daughter that the whole family had been upset about the possibility of her moving to Iowa. She told her daughter that she loved her, and did not want her to move away from Denver. My niece said she had not known that. I told my sister that it was long past the time when we should start opening up more and telling our relatives exactly how we feel. I know it is true, but it is hard for me to believe that my niece could not possibly know that her mother loved her. There was obviously a total breakdown in communication between the two of them. After talking with my sister, I promptly called my nephew and relayed the information, as I knew it. He seemed shocked, and said that he would probably wait until tomorrow before calling them. I thought that was a mistake. When people are in situations such as this, they need help now -- not tomorrow. My sister told me that she had had two panic attacks this evening after learning of the burglary. In a strange coincidence, although I knew nothing of what had happened until about an hour ago, I, too, had been having panic attacks today. The one thing for which I am grateful is that my niece and her children were not home during the time that the burglary occurred. My niece told her mother that if that were the case, she would "kill" the burglars. I have no doubt that she would have tried and possibly have done just that, but I also know that it could have ended the other way -- with her and the children being killed. Before cutting off the discussion with my sister, I suggested she take some tranquilizers if she had any, which he did not. My lovely sister, who gets tipsy on just a half glass of wine, was already consuming her third full glass of it. That should help her sleep well tonight.