Dear Abby: My husband and I have been married for 27 years and have three grown children. His jobs have caused us to move to various states and, consequently, I've had few opportunities to spend Christmas with my parents.

My father passed away last year and my mother is now 81, and quite frail. I propose that we fly to Michigan to spend Christmas with my mother. She has even offered to pay our plane fares.My husband refuses to go because Mother lives in a cold climate, and he doesn't want the hassle of traveling during the Christmas holidays, with the threat of ice and snow.

I feel that this may be my mother's last Christmas. Our children and grandchildren have offered to travel to wherever we are to be with us for Christmas.

Abby, this is causing a lot of animosity between my husband and me. If my mother dies this year, I know I will regret not having this one last Christmas with her. What should I do?

- New Orleans Reader

Dear Reader: Fly to Michigan and spend your Christmas with your mother. And if your husband chooses to stay home, tell him that he will be missed.

Dear Abby: I am a widow, and my only son is getting married soon. He is marrying a lovely girl, and I like her very much. She has planned a beautiful wedding, but here is the problem.

The song I would like the orchestra to play when I dance with my son at the reception is "A Song for My Son," but my future daughter-in-law prefers that we dance to "Sunrise, Sunset." Even though I think "Sunrise, Sunset" is a lovely song, I prefer "A Song for My Son."

Abby, should I be the one to choose which song my son and I will dance to at the reception? Or should the choice be made by my future daughter-in-law because her family is paying for the wedding?

- Mother of the Groom

Dear Mother: Don't get into a power struggle with your future daughter-in-law. As a diplomatic compromise, I suggest you begin with "A Song for My Son" and end with "Sunrise, Sunset."

Dear Abby: I have been meaning to write this letter for weeks. A while back you published a letter from a woman signed "Nameless," a widow in her 60s who met a very attractive widower in his 70s at a World War II veterans reunion. They were instantly attracted to each other, but he was afraid of upsetting his family with the news that he had met someone special, because he had been widowed only six weeks.

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I was in the same position as that man. A few years ago, I met a wonderful widow aboard a Princess Cruise ship. We, too, lived 1,000 miles apart and had grown children.

I suggest that they book single rooms on a 10-day (or two-week) cruise and experience the courtship of dating daily . . . meeting for dinner and dancing, shipboard games, etc. It is an ideal way for two people to get to know each other.

If they are right for each other, they will know it, and the courtship will be exciting. And if they are as fortunate as I was, his children will encourage him to propose marriage.

- A Love Boat Alumnus

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