Today is Veterans Day – the day that is dedicated to the brave men and women who have served this country with honor, in war and in peace. You have our gratitude for your devotion to duty.

The poem that follows has appeared in my column before. The author’s wife, Marie C. Middleton, was kind enough to send it to me. I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s a fitting tribute to share on Veterans Day.

A Soldier’s Prayer

Lord, bless the wives

who grieve alone

And comfort the mothers

who mourn their own

Give solace to the fathers

who lost their sons

On foreign shores and in

places unknown.

Lord, strengthen the resolve

of we who remain

To see that they did not

die in vain.

DEAR ABBY: When my husband gets out of the military, we will be deciding where to live. We want to live near my parents, but how close is too close?

The house next door is for sale. We don’t have kids yet, but I keep imagining how wonderful it would be to have their grandparents next door. My mom and I have always been close; however, I don’t want to move next door if it will hurt our relationship in the long run. If we set boundaries up front, could it work? – CAUTIOUS WIFE AND DAUGHTER

t all depends on the individuals involved. In some families, the kind of situation you have described works well. In others, it leads to chaos and unhappiness. Much depends upon whether your husband wants to be your parents’ “extended family” and on how well your parents respect boundaries.

In your case, no decisions should be made until your husband has completed his tour of duty and you have discussed this matter thoroughly and honestly.

DEAR ABBY: I am 57 years old with grown children. Twelve years ago, I moved closer to my parents so I could care for them. After Dad died in 97, Mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. I took care of her in my home for a while, but when her needs increased to 24/7, I could no longer handle it. Fortunately, I found her a nice nursing home, and I visit her often. I host cookie parties for all the residents and take Mother out for weekly rides and ice cream. She is no longer able to speak, and I am not sure she still knows me.

This Christmas, my husband wants to take me to Arizona for a family vacation. He says Mother won’t know the difference. Abby, I feel so guilty leaving her. Should I go? – DEVOTED DAUGHTER IN MISSOURI

Yes, you should go. Have an early Christmas party with your mother and the other residents before you leave for Arizona. The timing won’t matter to them. Please, do not feel guilty. Your signature says it all.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order “How to Have a Lovely Wedding.” Send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447.

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