Dear Annie: Nearly a year ago, my sister was in a devastating accident. She had been drinking heavily. Thank goodness, no one else was involved. She has a massive brain injury and will never be the same. Throughout the years, we used to discuss the idea of living in such a condition. She and I both expressed the feeling that we would rather die than live in such a negatively altered state. I find myself praying that she will die. I feel terrible having these feelings. Am I a terrible person? — Heartbroken Sibling
Dear Heartbroken Sibling: No, you are not a terrible person, but you need to reframe your prayer. Rather than pray for your sister's death, pray for the death of the condition that your sister is in. You are a wonderful sibling who is understandably having a difficult time seeing her sister with a massive brain injury. You must feel very torn about the fact that you both previously discussed this possibility. Keep praying for a recovery or peaceful ending, and focus your prayers on your sister's not being in pain anymore.
Dear Annie: I just read your response to the gal who wants her wedding guests to be dressed properly at her wedding. While I agree that she should state her wishes, I think you should know that there are many people in the West and Midwest who wear jeans to everything and do not mean to be disrespectful. Even the groom and groomsmen often wear jeans for wedding ceremonies. Our neighbor and his groomsmen wore bib overalls at his wedding. People who knew them said it wouldn't have been right to see them dressed in tuxedos. — Ranchin' in SD
Dear Ranchin': I stand corrected. When I said that I didn't believe anyone would wear jeans to a wedding, I didn't realize that this is a custom in the Midwest. I appreciate your bringing that to my attention, and I'm sorry for my ignorance. In that case, if the bride really wants to be sure that no one wears jeans to her wedding, she might want to specifically say "No jeans, please" on the invitation.
Dear Annie: I read with interest the letter from "Gift-Giving Guru." I think that perhaps the importance is not in the actual gift but in the intent.
The most romantic gift I ever received was a dishwasher! During our first few married years, I was a stay-at-home bread-maker — till my best bread board was used to cover the stopped-up kitchen sink for almost a year, at which point it and the multicolored mold on it were trashed. My husband promised to replace it "someday." Fast-forward to our 25th anniversary. I came home from work to find, complete with a big ribbon, a dishwasher with a carving board top in the kitchen. My honey had remembered his promise! It doesn't hurt that I haven't ever had to load it, either. He still does it, 20 years later. He was definitely a keeper! — Susan
Dear Susan: A keeper indeed. Thanks for making me smile, and congratulations on 45 years of happy marriage.
"Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie" is out now! Annie Lane's debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to [email protected]