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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR READERS: To all of you who are observing Memorial Day with me, please join in reflecting for a moment on those members of our armed forces who have sacrificed their lives in service to our country. Bless their spirits, and may they live forever in our hearts.

Read more in: Holidays & Celebrations

Wife's Secret Stash Irks Husband

DEAR ABBY: My wife revealed on my 60th birthday two days ago that she has $10,000 in cash hidden in our house. She said she secretly took the money from my pay and consulting checks and hid it when we were going through a bad period in our marriage 10 years ago and nearly divorced.

I told her there is no rational reason for keeping that much money in the house. She says she's keeping it for an emergency, and it makes her feel secure. When I said we should invest the money, she got upset.

I can't understand why anyone would want to keep that much cash in the house. What's your view? -- LIVING IN "FORT KNOX"

DEAR LIVING: To understand your wife's motivation, look back 10 years to the time when she may have felt she'd need the money to get a new start. That's the "emergency" the money was salted away for.

I agree that $10,000 is a lot of cash to keep in the house. Most of it should be in the bank, with only a portion in the house so it will be immediately available if needed. Unless your wife feels your marriage is still shaky, I can't see why she wouldn't compromise. Could that be her reason?

Read more in: Marriage & Divorce | Money

Granddaughter Worries About Aging 'Me-Maw'

DEAR ABBY: I am a 15-year-old girl with a good life. There are bumps in the road, but they happen and I accept that. The thing I worry about is my me-maw. She's getting very old and thinks she will be dying soon.

I try to tell her not to think that way. I really love her and don't know what I would do if she were gone so soon. I go to her house every summer, winter, and anytime we're out of school.

I need to get a job this summer, and I don't know how to tell my me-maw I won't be coming to visit without hurting her feelings. She is one of those people who don't show their emotions like most of my family, so I know when she sometimes says it's OK it really isn't. Please tell me what to say to her. -- CONCERNED GRANDCHILD IN ALABAMA

DEAR CONCERNED GRANDCHILD: You are sweet, thoughtful and sensitive, but you are also growing up. Your grandmother may be talking the way she is because of her age -- or she may be concerned about her health and trying to prepare you.

It's time to ask your parents what is going on with her. If she's really sick, you may want to postpone getting that job until next summer. If she's not, you should explain to Me-maw that you love her and treasure the special times you have been able to spend with her -- but as much as you'd like to, you will not be able to do it this summer because you need to get a job. It's part of becoming an adult and will help you to learn responsibility and independence. As a loving grandparent, she knows how important that is for you.

Read more in: Family & Parenting | Teens | Death

'Reusable' Birthday Card Irks Recipient

DEAR ABBY: I am a hairdresser, and one of my clients who considers herself to be my good friend handed me a birthday card. Stuck on the envelope was a sticky note with my name written on it, covering whatever name was underneath. On the card, under "Happy Birthday" was her signature -- again on a sticky note. She said she thought the card was funny and too good not to use again, so I should pass it on, too.

I am hurt and insulted. Am I taking this too seriously? I want my own birthday card! -- SHOCKED IN FLORIDA

DEAR SHOCKED: Your client was trying to be thoughtful, or she wouldn't have remembered it was your birthday. Be grateful for what you got. She didn't mean to insult you -- in a weird way she was trying to do you a favor.

Read more in: Etiquette & Ethics | Friends & Neighbors | Work & School

What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)