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Dear Abby: I am writing about your Keepers booklet, the collection of your most popular essays, poems and letters. I would like to purchase a copy, but first, I have a question. Is there a particular favorite of yours in there? — BIG FAN IN FORT WAYNE, IND.

Dear Fan: My Keepers booklet contains 72 column items that readers have told me they had read and reread until they were yellowed with age and falling apart. This booklet was created because of the high volume of requests from my readers for a collection of these items in one easy-to-use booklet. The subjects are diverse, covering a variety of topics, including parenting, children, aging, animals, forgiveness, etc. One poem in particular has always resonated with me. It is titled "The Time Is Now," and I find its message both poignant and meaningful. I hope you will agree.

THE TIME IS NOW (Author Unknown)

If you are ever going to love me,

Love me now, while I can know

The sweet and tender feelings

Which from true affection flow.

Love me now

While I am living.

Do not wait until I'm gone

And then have it chiseled in marble,

Sweet words on ice-cold stone.

If you have tender thoughts of me,

Please tell me now.

If you wait until I am sleeping,

Never to awaken,

There will be death between us

And I won't hear you then.

So, if you love me, even a little bit,

Let me know it while I am living

So I can treasure it.

Filled with clever observations, my Keepers booklet is both witty and philosophical. It can be ordered by sending your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to Dear Abby Keepers Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. Shipping and handling are included in the price. You will find it to be a quick and easy read, as well as an inexpensive gift for newly married couples, pet lovers, new parents, and anyone who is grieving the loss of a friend or loved one or recovering from an illness.

Dear Abby: My husband and I have been married 40 years, are professionals and work together. He is cynical, sarcastic, resentful, dismissive and insulting. What should I do? — AT WIT'S END IN OREGON

Dear A.W.E.: And you are only writing to me about this NOW? Having tolerated this kind of ill treatment for 40 years, I think the time has come to tune him out, don't you? Because your relationship may suffer from too much "togetherness," schedule time away from him — and the business — and do something pleasurable on your own whenever you can. And suggest he do the same because he may need a change of pace, too.

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

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