"The place where you made your stand never mattered.
Only that you were there... and still on your feet."
~Stephen King

Hi all,

In two weeks I'll be sending JABB 300!!!  Because I want to devote more time to that, this one's pretty short but I hope ya enjoy it.  I've decided to make "Dear Annie Dru" a bit more like a real advice column.  As always, she'll be answering some pretty goofy questions!  But I'm also adding in more serious, hopefully touching ones.  If any of you ever want to submit questions, please do!

Just an explanatory note for the last two questions and answers: On May 13th we celebrate the
Commemoration of the Murder Trial that Wasn't (then Was) in honor of a rumored TBAA episode that never came to be...  It was supposed to have Andrew falsely accused of murder and I think we can all agree Mr. Dye woulda done an excellent job with an impassioned plea of innocence and a jail yard revelation.  Too bad it never happened... except for the Dyelanders it did.  And because they actually went through that rather traumatic event with Andrew, they do NOT celebrate the Commemoration but it is, nonetheless, sometimes on their minds.  Hence, Annie Dru winds up addressing some letters relating to Andrew's incarceration five years back.  "History" lesson over.  :-)

God bless,

PS- Happy Mother's Day to any moms among us!

And now...  Dyeland's resident advice and etiquette columnist returns to lend aid to swoony Dyelanders, slightly more sane Dyelanders, and the angel dudes who love them (in a friend way, natch).

Dear Annie Dru,

My cousin is getting married.  I've been invited along with my 'plus one.'  I'd like to ask Andrew and I'm sure he'd go but then I know my aunts will tease me about what the relationship is.  What should I say since, obviously, I can't tell them the full truth?  And even if I could tell, I doubt Andrew would want to deflect attention from the happy couple due to his... angelness.  If I say he's just a friend, I'm pretty sure they won't believe me.  Please help!

Not the AOD's Date

Dear Not the AOD's Date:

Go to the wedding and have fun!  Bring back some mints for yours truly, please.  Ignore the idle gossip, answer the prying questions diplomatically.  I can guarantee Andrew's far less hung up about it than you are.  And he's a big boy.  If one of your gossip hound aunts makes a pointed remark, I trust him to counter in a respectful manner.  You should, too.  But do try to keep him away from the garter toss.  There's nothing to be gained by his involvement in that rather creepy tradition.  And you might want to stay out of the bouquet toss.  Not because it's creepy but because those things can get violent!  I trust Andrew's looking forward to the evening as a night off.  I can guarantee he doesn't want to return to Dyeland with the news of your unfortunate demise upon being caught at the bottom of a pile of women scrambling for a bundle of roses. 

Enjoy the wedding!
Annie Dru

PS- Take photos of our boy. 

Dear Annie Dru,

I thought about writing the Angel of Angels about this but I think a Dyelander's perspective might be better.  As an angel, I know I need to always tell the truth.  But that doesn't mean I need to tell *all* of the truth *all* of the time.  And I know, now, that when something's hurting me, I need to talk about that with my friends.  But when I return from assignments, sometimes they ask me how they went and I don't want to subject them to several stories of difficult cases.  They deserve to be happy and the endless supply of cable and internet news reporting gives them enough to be concerned about.  How do I know when I should open up and when I should redirect the conversation to protect them?

Your friend,
Who am I kidding?  You know who this is.  0:-)

Dear Andrew,

Yes, I know who you are.  :-)  And now some things you need to know:
1.  Yes, everyone expects you to talk to them when you're troubled.  Because that's much healthier than holding it all inside and listening is something good friends should do.  You listen to them, they want to return the favor.
2.  But no one expects your life to be an open book.  If you had a difficult assignment but have dealt with your emotions, I see no reason you need to dredge it all back up.  A simple "It was difficult but being back here I'm already feeling much better!  Hey, you want to go for a walk?  It's beautiful!" will suffice. 
3.  Their hearing about your cases is in some ways parallel to your working them.  You've said before that the positive assignments help you cope with the tragic ones.  Hearing about your positive assignments, similarly, will help them cope with hearing about the tragic ones.  I highly doubt you intend to go off on a litany of trauma while completely ignoring all the joyful reunions.  You're generally pretty good about finding a balance with things.

Bottom line: They love you, let them show it.  But they also respect you because you're an intelligent guy. 
Trust yourself. 

Annie Dru

PS- On a semi-related note, maybe don't tell your friends specifics on where you're headed... especially if the place's name is in a song.  I'm not sure you realized this but when you had that tutoring assignment in Georgia... those of us left behind were treated to a spontaneous, amateur performance of "Midnight Train to Georgia"... repeatedly.

Now, dear readers, I know we obliterated the Commemoration of the Murder Trial that Wasn't (then Was) from our calendars some time ago.  Unfortunately, I don't think any of us have been able to erase the actual murder trial from our minds.  With the fifth anniversary of the trial approaching, I can tell it's on at least two of my readers' minds so I'd like to share the following:

Dear Annie Dru,

I'm a total planner!  So I've been trying to put together an emergency kit in case Andrew is ever jailed like he was back in 2005.  Cause that was awful and if it ever happens again, I vote we spring him out!  I don't want to sit through another trial and see all those people look hatefully at him.  So here's what I have and I hope you'll tell me what else I'll need:
-Sleeping pills to knock out any guards
-A large Rita Hayworth poster to block the hole we'll be digging into Andrew's cell
-Wheel barrows to haul dirt
-Band-aids and gloves cause our hands are gonna be a total mess with all that digging
-Energy bars
-Change of clothes for Andrew cause orange is so not his color and jumpsuits just don't flatter his manly figure
-Orange juice and ginger ale and food since he's probably gonna be super hungry for non-institutional food
-Personal appearance fee for Morgan Freeman so he can stand around saying inspirational stuff about freedom and confinement and the human (and angelic) spirit

What am I missing?

Be Prepared

Dear Be Prepared:

Honey, you're missing your sanity.  Get a grip.  And any guard who sees a Rita Hayworth pin-up in a post-
Shawshank Redemption world is going to be suspicious.  The things that happen to Andrew happen for a reason... and that reason is NOT so you and your friends can dig tunnels and subvert the law.  Plus, I highly doubt God would see fit to jail Andrew twice in 5 years' time.  Relax.  Spend some time with Andrew.  Enjoy his company *now* and don't keep fretting about what might but probably won't happen to him tomorrow.

Annie Dru

Dear Annie Dru,

I wish I had some goofy etiquette fiasco to write about this time but this is bigger than any of that.  With the Commemoration approaching (why, oh God why, can't we just blot that out of our minds like we did from our calendars???), I've been struggling with some worries I have.  I feel a little guilty about them because I know the angels are all "Fear not!" and everything but...  Only five years ago Andrew was arrested, a year and a half later he had his... problems.  Then came 2009...  The year started with the heartbreaking case in Missouri and came to an end with Andrew living on the streets and being targeted by those horrible boys.  Some nights I have dreams about more terrible, crushing things happening to him.  Or that he goes off on an assignment and we never hear from him again and spend the rest of our lives... wondering.  How can I get past this?  I don't want to worry this much.  I don't want to have nightmares.  Please help me.

Fearful in Asteriana

Dearest Fearful,

I'm afraid you have the opposite problem of the previous letter writer.  You've kept too close of a grip on everything that's happened.  Andrew's time in jail, his drawing away from us, Dawn's death, his time being homeless... those times hurt us all.  No one expects you to flip a switch and forget about them all or never think of those moments with sadness or concern.  But, sweetheart, your recitation of Andrew's recent history leaves a lot out.  Allow me to fill in some of the blanks.  In no particular order... Andrew reconnected with an old friend, Eli.  Andrew was surrounded by loving friends during and after some really difficult cases.  Andrew built a tree house for the Tunnel kids.  Andrew got dressed up in a truly hideous red glitter coat and delighted us all this past Valentine's.  Andrew finally got a dog.  Andrew, Adam, and Henry got a spin-off band: The Immortals, thanks to Mick and Nigel.  Andrew has got to see time and again just how much and how unshakably his friends love him.  And in every one of those moments, both the ones you recalled and the ones I did, he has been surrounded by the Father's love.  I can't promise you that there won't be more difficult moments to come.  But I can promise you this: he will not disappear.  As he says so often himself: you're stuck with him!  So take a few deep breaths, thank God for His love and the life we all have here, and sleep peacefully. 

Annie Dru


JABB 300

(Photo Credits: The photographs used on this page are from "Touched by an Angel" and owned by CBS Productions, Caroline Productions, and Moon Water Productions. They are not being used to seek profit.)