DEAR ABBY: It's Mother's Day, so I hope you'll allow me to share how I memorialize my mom today since she is no longer living.
My mother was a nurse for many years and worked well past retirement age. She finally had to quit when her body could no longer keep up with the physical demands of the job. She was an extremely caring and self-sacrificing person who would help anyone at any time. She was also a "softie" when it came to homeless animals.
I honor her by always making a point of being scheduled to work on Mother's Day. By doing so, I'm hoping it will free up someone else to spend time with her/his mother. Then I add up my earnings for the day and donate that amount to the local animal shelter.
I can think of no better way to honor the wonderful woman who molded me and gave me the basis of who I am today. -- CELEBRATING MOM IN LIBERTY, TEXAS
DEAR CELEBRATING MOM: Your mother raised a thoughtful, caring and generous child. I'm sure she was as proud of you as you are of her. Thank you for sharing.
DEAR ABBY: My world is crumbling and I don't know how to fix it. I have failed at being what my wife needs, which resulted in her confiding in another man. I try every day to be the best husband and father I can, but I think it may not be enough for her. I want her to be happy, but I want her to be happy with me. I guess I don't listen and provide the support she needs. I thought I did, but I was wrong.
I trust my wife, but I violated that trust by snooping at her Facebook. I did it because she has been distant and I was afraid; if she wasn't talking to me, then to whom?
I'm afraid of life without her. If there was a single thing I could do or say, I would. If there was something I could buy, I'd go broke getting it for her. As of now I am lost and wanting to hold her and whisper how much I love her.
Abby, I don't expect an answer except to seek counseling, which I plan to do. I just needed to get it out. -- HOW DID I GET HERE?
DEAR HOW: While you may not expect an answer, allow me to offer one. The way to start "fixing" this is to talk to your wife. Explain what you did and the reason for it, and find out from her why she has been confiding in another man. Once you start communicating, it may turn out that your fears are groundless. However, if they're not, THEN the two of you should seek counseling to try to heal your marriage.
DEAR ABBY: I'm a recent widower. My divorced niece is 15 years younger than I am. We are not blood relatives, so would a potential couple relationship be ethical and appropriate in your opinion?
The age difference is not a significant issue because we have known each other for quite some time. I say we're good to go! My niece disagrees. Please advise. -- FEELS LIKE A KID AGAIN IN MINNESOTA
DEAR LIKE A KID AGAIN: Snap out of it! My opinion on this matter isn't nearly as relevant as what your niece thinks about it. Because the idea makes her uncomfortable, you should let it go before you embarrass both of you.
DEAR READERS: A happy Mother's Day to mothers everywhere -- birth mothers, adoptive and foster mothers, and stepmothers -- and especially to my own beautiful mother, Pauline Phillips, in Minneapolis.
To receive a collection of Abby's most memorable -- and most frequently requested -- poems and essays, send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby -- Keepers Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)