Dear Annie: On the other side of the bars
Originally published Sunday, March 11, 2018 at 06:00a.m.
Dear Annie: I’m a pretrial detainee, and I’ve been in jail waiting for my day in court for going on three years now.
My wife has been patiently awaiting my return. She has been so supportive and has persevered through this trying time with courage and strength.
My dilemma is that I’m worried that she is growing weary but is too proud to admit it. I wonder at times whether it’s fair to ask her to wait or even to ‘’allow’’ her to wait. I guess a part of me thinks I should let her go because I love her so much. I would hate to see her suffer further, and there’s a chance my trial will not go as I hope. How should I handle this? — Lover in Limbo
Dear Lover in Limbo: You want your wife to have happiness even if it’s without you. That’s love. Though I admire your willingness to selflessly “let her go,” you can’t make that decision for her. You two are a team, united in marriage for better or worse.
Talk to her; express your feelings, and let her know it’s OK for her to express hers, whatever they are. Have faith that she will tell you honestly. Extended Family (http://www.extendedfamilyhelp.org) offers a database of resources for families of those who are incarcerated. She might find the database useful, as she’ll need all the support she can get during this difficult time.
Lastly, I imagine you’ve already exhausted every option, but be sure to consult your lawyer about your right to a speedy trial.
Dear Annie: There are a lot of good reasons that pastors, group leaders and presidents of companies should never call on someone out of the blue to give a speech or read something out loud for the group. Some people can’t read; some people get nervous; some have poor eyesight; some have dyslexia; some lose their place easily because of memory problems.
Pastors and other leaders should ask the person ahead of time whether the person would like to give a speech or read for the group. Then the person can say yes or no.
This issue came up because of a friend of mine at Bible study, “Becca.” The pastor asked Becca to read several verses. Her face got so red. She struggled through the verses. Afterward, she told me she has dyslexia and was mortified to be called on to read out loud. She has been able to get through life because she can really take her time to read something when she’s just reading it to herself, but reading out loud to a group was too much. And she was so shocked to be called on that she couldn’t quickly think of an excuse, such as, “I forgot my reading glasses.”
She doesn’t want to go back to Bible study, because she’s ashamed now that everyone knows she has difficulty reading. I told her not to worry about it — that everyone just thought she was nervous and no one will even think about it. I told her I’m a terrible speller; no one is perfect.
I am sure some pastors and group leaders do not realize they should not call on people just out of the blue. Please share this to help them understand. — Concerned Churchgoer
Dear Concerned Churchgoer: Your compassion is commendable. This is an issue I imagine many haven’t considered. I’m printing your letter to, I hope, help change that.
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