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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: I met my lady on a blind date many years ago. When I knocked on the door, it opened and this beautiful girl was standing there. Thinking I could never be so lucky, I asked, "Is your sister home?" No. She was my date.

We dated for a few months, fell in love and got married. We have had a wonderful 55-year marriage, and it gets sweeter every day. We handle different opinions with courtesy and respect.

I'm 81 now, and hugging and kissing her fills my heart with warmth and happiness. The greatest joy in my life is to love and be loved. I wish everyone the same. -- ECSTATIC IN NEW JERSEY

DEAR ECSTATIC: Congratulations on 55 years of happiness. Thank you for sharing your love story with my readers and me. Today, I wish them -- and you and your lovely wife -- a very Happy Valentine's Day.

Inaccuracies in Sister's Book Cry Out for Exposure

DEAR ABBY: My sister recently self-published a book that purportedly honors my mother's service in World War II. Her book is completely inaccurate. It is filled with romantic fantasy and historical errors, and cheapens my mother's real service with untruths.

My sister is now busy selling and promoting the book with interviews and book signings. My mother, if she were still alive, would be embarrassed and appalled. I don't want to cause a family feud, but I feel if I remain silent, I'm helping to perpetuate something that is wrong on multiple levels. What, if anything, should I do? -- READING A LOT INTO IT

DEAR READING: I am sure your late mother was an amazing woman whose story didn't need embroidering. It may be a blessing she isn't around to see what your sister has done to it. Because the book is now in print, it's too late to "stop the presses." If you try to discredit what was written, it will very likely cause a rift, and I don't recommend it. Wish your sister luck and cross your fingers that it won't become a bestseller.

Read more in: Family & Parenting

Sister Declines to Act as Brother's Power of Attorney

DEAR ABBY: My brother lives in another state. He was never a good brother. He has always been self-centered, controlling and condescending. He is no longer in good health. Some time ago, he named me as his power of attorney for financial and health issues. I am elderly and have my own issues, so, should the need arise, it would be difficult for me to travel to where he is.

He has never been open, so I don't know who his health care providers are, who his banker or investment people are, etc., so, even if I were to go, I'd have no idea where to start to act on his behalf and according to his wishes. I don't even know what his wishes are, for that matter.

Because of his caustic personality, he has few friends and no family of his own. How do I resign as his power of attorney so there is no assumption by anyone that I would be a responsible party for him? -- UNABLE IN THE WEST

DEAR UNABLE: Discuss this with your attorney to be sure you have all your i's dotted and your t's crossed. Then write your brother a letter. Explain that because you have no information about his doctors, his wishes about end-of-life planning, his banker or investment adviser -- plus the fact that your own health isn't the greatest -- you hereby resign as his power of attorney. Send the letter via registered mail so he will have to sign for it, and there will be proof that your brother received it.

Read more in: Family & Parenting

For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more sociable person, order "How to Be Popular." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)