Dear Abby: This is in reply to "Old-Fashioned," who wrote about the "in-your-face immorality" of living together prior to marriage.
When I was 24, I became engaged to a wonderful young man named Gary. We started planning our wedding when I felt a small lump in my breast. I went immediately to my doctor, who sent me to an oncologist. My worst fears were confirmed: It was breast cancer.My parents, who lived 300 miles away, came to be with me for the surgery (mastectomy), but eventually had to go home. They returned as often as they could during my treatments, but they couldn't be with me all the time.
When I was sick from the chemotherapy, Gary stayed with me and slept on the floor beside my bed. He cooked what little food I could eat and held my head when I vomited. He cleaned my house and did my laundry. It soon became apparent that between driving back and forth to my house, caring for me and handling his job, poor Gary was exhausted, so I asked him to please move in with me. Believe me, there was no hanky-panky.
We are now happily married, and my cancer is in remission. So, Abby, please tell "Old-Fashioned" that not all people who live together are immoral. And remember; "Judge not, that ye be not judged." (Matthew 7:1)
Dear Sharon: My prayers are with you and Gary. After this is published, I'm sure that thousands of readers will add their prayers to mine. God bless you.
Dear Abby: This could save a life - or a family. Please alert your readers to the danger of leaving fireplace ashes where they can start a fire.
A neighbor cleaned out his fireplace and placed the supposedly "dead" ashes in a cardboard box on the back porch. Since the ashes looked dead, he intended to wait until morning to take them out to the trash can.
In the middle of the night, the ashes burned through the box and set the porch on fire. Since the smoke alarms were inside the house, they were useless. The family was lucky to escape with their lives.
Our fire chief said dead ashes are a constant source of house fires every winter. Please alert your readers.
- Betty H. in Pendleton, Ore.
Dear Betty: Thank you for a valuable reminder. According to the fire officials my staff consulted, ashes should be stored in a metal can with a lid for several days before disposing.
Dear Abby: My niece recently married. She is pregnant. The young couple and my niece's parents are planning a large church wedding (with a white wedding dress) and reception to take place 10 months after the original vows, when the baby will be about 2 months old. Is this socially acceptable? If it is, which date would they celebrate as their anniversary?
- Curious Aunt
Dear Curious Aunt: Any time a couple wants to enter into holy matrimony is "acceptable." And they should celebrate their anniversary on the date of their original vows.
Dear Readers: If you or a member of your family has been treated by a psychiatrist, doctor or other health-care professional for alcoholism or drug addiction, and are willing to describe any problems, mistakes or bad outcome encountered in your treatment, please write and tell me about them. Your name and that of your doctor will be held in strict confidence. I plan to share your letters with the Group for Advancement of Psychiatry, a highly respected group of psychiatrists who are eager to know about your experiences.
Please send your letters to: Dear Abby, Treatment Survey, P.O. Box 539, Mount Morris, IL 61054.