The last time I saw Annie in person I had tears in my eyes.
She and I were talking with a member of the Michigan Parole Board. She was trying to explain to a not very sympathetic board member why she should be paroled. In my opinion she shouldn't have been convicted of this crime in the first place, but my opinion doesn't count. Anyway, her story is a sad one, because she got blamed for a death. It's true that someone killed her former husband, but she didn't. As she made her case, she finally just broke down and sobbed. And that's when I discovered that I was weeping, too.
It made no difference. The Parole Board wasn't convinced, and she's still in prison, where she has been for the past 21 years. That's when I feel so helpless. I was at her side to help her, but the two of us were not persuasive enough. I failed.
And yet this week I received a Father's Day card from Annie. God bless her. And in her note in the card, she said, "Forever, thank you."