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Widows Defy Age to Contend for Bride's Wedding Bouquet

DEAR ABBY: I couldn't believe your response to the widow who wanted to participate in the throwing of the wedding bouquet. It is meant for single women only, not widows or women who've run through a legion of husbands. For goodness' sake, is it too much to ask that only TRULY single women participate in this ritual? It amazes me that you sided with the writer. The daughter-in-law who objected was right on the money. The woman should have respected that, sat down and tried to remember that the wedding was not about her. -- LAURIE F., ODESSA, FLA.

DEAR LAURIE F.: That's exactly what the wounded widow did. She retreated to her table, and the wedding was no longer a happy celebration for her. I felt, and still do, that being allowed to join the throng to participate would have impinged on no one, and the daughter-in-law was out of line. Read on:

DEAR ABBY: Good for you regarding the Texas widow! At my daughter's wedding reception, my 80-plus-year-old widowed mother caught the bouquet and immediately shoved it into the hands of a 60-year-old widow. I wish you could see the video. What I think is wrong is letting anyone under 18 out there. -- ALL FOR THE TEXAS WIDOW

DEAR ABBY: At my son's wedding, my 85-year-old widowed mother, who was walking with a cane at the time, got up and caught the bouquet. The man who caught the garter put it on my mom like she was a 25-year-old woman, and Mom blushed like a schoolgirl. We were all delighted for her. She died at the age of 92, and this is one of my fondest memories of my son's wedding.

In our golden years, we deserve to enjoy life as much as any young person. Please tell that Texas widow not to let anyone stop her from doing things that will give her pleasure. -- M.J. IN CHATTANOOGA

DEAR ABBY: A dear friend of my mother's attended our wedding. She was 70 at the time, and brought her 80-year-old gentleman friend to the celebration. (Both had been widowed.) Whether it was quietly planned, I don't know, but she caught the bouquet, and he caught the garter. They were married within a year.

Whenever I see a video of other receptions, I remember that gracious and loving couple -- and my guests, who stood quietly and made only "token" motions toward the items. -- GINA IN FT. COLLINS, COLO.

DEAR ABBY: That daughter-in-law needs a sense of humor and to ease up a bit. Weddings are about celebrating family, love and happiness. She showed none of these when she chastized her mother-in-law. She owes the bride and her mother-in-law an apology. -- CELEBRATING BRIDE, GREAT FALLS, MONT.

DEAR ABBY: A woman in her 60s caught the bouquet at my wedding. The younger women didn't have a chance. Actually, TWO 60-year-old women fought over it. It's one of the most memorable memories from our reception. We have a great picture of the best man putting the garter on her. She was wearing knee-highs and granny glasses. -- CELESTE IN ENFIELD, CONN.

DEAR ABBY: That daughter-in-law was certainly a pill. The family should feel lucky to have a grandmother who is able to participate physically. My dad was in a wheelchair and didn't have that privilege. I lost him two years ago, and I would give anything to have him here to hold his hand and tell him how much I love him. That daughter-in-law should reorganize her priorities, thank her lucky stars, and keep her mouth shut. You go, Grandma! Thanks for letting me vent, Abby. -- PATRICIA IN PUEBLO, COLO.

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