Dear Annie: I am constantly getting chain-letter e-mails from a friend I met in a class years ago. The e-mails usually contain vague threats about how something bad will happen to me if I don't forward the letter to five friends, or how good luck will follow if I do. The last straw was when she sent me one that said, "Forward this, and something good will happen. If you are not a believer in God, delete."
Dear Readers: Today is Memorial Day. We know for many, this is simply part of a long weekend. But we hope you will keep in mind the reason behind the holiday -- a day to remember those servicemen and women who have died serving their country. Please honor our fallen heroes by visiting cemeteries and placing flags or flowers on the graves of veterans. It is also customary to fly the flag at half-staff until noon.
Dear Annie: How can I help a friend who is convinced his neighbors are bombarding his house with rays that have affected his health and caused the death of one of his dogs?
Dear Annie: My daughter has five beautiful children whom we love very much. My husband and I often take the kids overnight and on weekends to give some quiet time to their parents.
Dear Annie: I married "Theo" three years ago. The marriage started out OK, but then I discovered he had a drug addiction. After a great deal of pushing from me, Theo finally got clean two years ago. The problem is, he has not held down a job since he moved in with me six years ago, while I have worked a full-time third shift to support my children and household. It's not enough to make ends meet.
Dear Annie: You recently printed a "Contract for Drivers," by John Violette. It requires teenage drivers to maintain decent grades, follow all traffic laws and never drive impaired or get in the car with a driver who is. It reminded me of the essay "Dead at 17," which relates what happens when kids don't follow those rules. Every year there are new teenage drivers who haven't seen it. Maybe if parents attach it to the contract, the need to drive safely will have a greater impact. Please print it again. -- Chicago Mom of Three
Dear Annie: My good friend "Lara" is three months pregnant with her third child. She recently confided in me that she purposely didn't use birth control. She told her husband, "Joe," that the pregnancy was "an accident."
Dear Annie: I'm a 47-year-old father of four kids. My oldest, "Janet," is 24 and lives on her own. I adopted Janet when she was 2. Her mother made it clear that Janet is to never know that she is not my biological child. Janet's mother and I are now divorced, and I have moved on to a happier life.
Dear Annie: My beloved sister, "Dawn," died last year following a long battle with cancer. Her husband of 43 years was a caring and capable caregiver. At the memorial service held in their church, "John" spoke tearfully of their love.
Dear Annie: My brother was scheduled for open-heart surgery involving three different procedures. I hadn't seen him for several months and wanted to visit before the operation, as I feared he might not make it through.
Dear Annie: When I was 5, my mother married an abusive man. He talked down to us and often resorted to slapping and name calling. On at least three occasions, he was physically abusive -- punching, throwing and beating us. On the other hand, he adopted us and often did nice things, too.
Dear Annie: I'm a single father of a 16-year-old son whom I have raised since he was 2. "Zack" is mature and carries himself with confidence.
Dear Annie: Last summer, my husband became seriously ill while out of town. When I called his family, they started bossing me around and even called the hospital and berated the staff. I had my husband moved to a larger hospital in the city where his sister lives. She was with me when I talked to the doctor about the "do not resuscitate" order. But instead of repeating what was actually said, she told his family members that I was eager to pull the plug. She also told everyone that I didn't love him.
Dear Readers: Happy Valentine's Day to one and all, along with our special good wishes to the veterans in VA hospitals around the country. And our particular thanks to those readers who have taken the time to send valentines, visit the vets and volunteer at VA facilities. Bless each and every one of you.