Sunday, July 25, 2004

"OUR FIRST VISIT"

............AND HERE I WRITE ABOUT THE FIRST ACTUAL VISIT WITH MY HUSBAND, AT TALBOT HALL........AFTER ONE YEAR , I ACTUALLY WAS WITH HIM, LAST TUESDAY EVENING.......16 MONTHS AGO, HE LEFT OUR HOUSE, ON THAT FATEFUL SUNNY MORNING, FRIDAY,MARCH 28, 2003, AS HE WENT TO COURT TO TURN HIMSELF IN TO JAIL.....WE KISSED AT THE DOOR, I LEANED FORWARD INTO HIS CHEST, AND FELT LIKE I WAS IN ANOTHER WORLD....I REMEMBER SAYING "THIS IS SURREAL. I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS IS HAPPENING."  I HAD DISASSOCIATED MYSELF SO MUCH AT THAT TIME, I FELT LIKE I WAS IN ANOTHER DIMENSION OF TIME........I WAS NOT ALIVE, AND I DEFINETLY WAS NOT IN THIS REALM...I KNEW AND REALIZED THAT I HAD A HEART THAT BEAT, BLOOD THAT CIRCULATED THROUGH MY BODY, AND A BRAIN THAT WAS ALIVE IN MY HEAD, BUT BEYOND THAT, I WAS ACTUALLY DEAD.  IT IS A SCARY THING TO BE ALIVE AND DEAD AT THE SAME TIME..........I KNOW I WAS IN ONE BIG CONTINUAL OUT-OF BODY-EXPERIENCE, THAT LASTED FOR MONTHS...I WOULD SEE MYSELF, AS IF FROM A DISTANCE, BUT I COULD NEVER CONNECT WITH MYSELF.  ONE PERSONNA WITHIN ME, AT ONE POINT IN TIME TOOK OVER, AND TOLD ME IF I WERE TO SURVIVE THIS PERIOD OF TIME, I WOULD HAVE TO TAKE OVER MY BODY AND MIND, AND TAKE CONTROL, BECAUSE THERE WAS NO ONE TO HELP ME ANYMORE, BUT ME, MYSELF.  SO ANOTHER PERSONNA EMERGED.  I STARTED ORGANIZING EVERYTHING IN THE HOUSE AND IN LIFE...MY LIFE BECAME AN IMPORTANT SUCCESSION OF ORGANIZING PAPERS, RECEIPTS....TODAY, I HAVE AROUND 50 FOLDERS HERE, WITH EVERTHING ORGANIZED...I BECAME OBSESSED WITH ORGANIZATION AND MAKING LISTS, AND GETTING THINGS DONE...I MADE MYSELF SO BUSY WITH ORGANIZING AND GETTING THINGS DONE PROPERLY, AND ON TIME, THAT I HARDLY HAD A MOMENT TO MYSELF...EVERYDAY I SET A GOAL, AND A TASK I HAD TO ACCOMPLISH...TRUTHFULLY, I WAS VERY HARD ON MYSELF!.......AND I BECAME IN CONTROL OF MY HOUSE, MY LIFE, AND ME...IN THE PROCESS, I EVEN LOST 80 LBS.......I BECAME COMPULSIVE.........THAT WAS MY ONLY WAY OF GETTING THROUGH THIS!...................................................... AT THE MOMENT THAT JIMMY LEFT THE HOUSE FOR JAIL, LIFE STOOD STILL FOR ME........I SPENT MY NEXT DAYS ,WEEKS AND MONTHS, ALONE, STARING BLANKLY AT THE 4 WALLS, AS I TOLD YOU ABOUT IT IN PREVIOUS JOURNAL ENTRIES.  I SOMEHOW GOT MYSELF TOGETHER SLOWLY AND MOVED ON.........IT'S SCARY, BECAUSE EVERYBODY HAS BAD EPISODES IN LIFE, BUT UNLESS YOU ARE ACTUALLY PART OF IT, IT DOESN'T MEAN ANYTHING.....IN REALITY, THERE IS NOTHING THAT ANYONE COULDHAVE SAID OR REALLY DONE FOR ME TO HELP ME....THE BOTTOM LINE WAS THAT I LOVED MY HUSBAND SO MUCH, I DIDN'T WANT HIM TO LEAVE ME........AND THAT WAS THAT.........YOU MAY SAY, "TRY TO BE AN INDEPENDENT WOMAN, FRAN."    INDEPENDENT?......I'VE BEEN THAT MY WHOLE LIFE!...........CAREER WOMAN, PROFESSIONAL, COLLAGE,  GRADUATE SCHOOL....WORLD TRAVELER...28 COUNTRIES, EXOTIC VACATIONS......WELL-VERSED IN CULTURES...A "NEW-YORKER."........A SOUTHERN CALIFORNIAN.....PART OF THE SOUTHWEST DESERT...FILLED WITH THE SOUTHWEST SPIRIT......."BEEN THERE, DONE THAT!".......WHAT I REALLY WANTED NOW, WAS TO
BE JIMMY'S WIFE........TO BE CALLED MRS. JIMMY................AND SO, THE MOMENTS AND SECONDS TURNED INTO MINUTES, THEN INTO HOURS, INTO DAYS , INTO WEEKS, AND MONTHS...FINALLY THE HOLIDAYS CAME AND WENT, THE SEASONS PASSED.....THE MONTHS TURNED INTO YEARS.......AND AFTER THE FIRST YEAR, I HAD TO GO  THROUGH IT ALL OVER AGAIN!.........................AND NOW, 1 YEAR AND 4 MONTHS  LATER,  HE IS OUT OF PRISON, INTO THE NEXT PHASE OF REHAB, AND LIFE AGAIN STARTS MOVING FORWARD FOR ME....FOR US....

I WOULD LIKE TO SAY, THROUGHOUT EVERYTHING, JIMMY AND I TURNED THIS PRISON EXPERIENCE INTO SOMETHING GOOD.  YOU SEE FOR JIMMY, HE IS A STRONG MAN, AND IT REALLY WASN'T A PROBLEM BEING IN PRISON...IT WAS A PROBLEM FOR ME, HOWEVER, TO HOLD OUR HOME AND ME AND JUST ABOUT  EVERYTHING TOGETHER...TO ME, JUST THE WORD "PRISON," IS A SHOCKING , DISGRACEFUL WORD.  NOW THAT I HAVE GONE THROUGH IT, IN RETROSPECT, IT REALLY ISN'T ALL THAT BAD.   MARTHA STEWART HAS THE IDEA.  SHE ACTUALLY STOLE MY IDEA.  I'VE BEEN SAYING IT SINCE JIMMY WENT AWAY.  THERE SHOULD BE A HANDBOOK ABOUT WHAT GOES ON IN THE PRISON SYSTEM FOR FAMILIES TO REFER TO, SO THEY CAN UNDERSTAND THE SYSTEM.  I HAVE BEEN FAMOUS FOR SAYING THIS.  WITHOUT SOME SORT OF HANDBOOK, HOW IS ONE TO KNOW AND UNDERSTAND THE RULES, REGULATIONS, AND JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING...THAT IS WHY I FEEL THE FAMILY IS ABUSED BY THE PRISON SYSTEM.  THEY DO NOT EXPLAIN ANYTHING TO THE FAMILY. I WILL DEFINETLY SUPPORT MARTHA STEWART'S HANDBOOK, AND WILL EVEN BECOME AN ADVOCATE FOR PRISON REFORM, FOR SOME SORT OF HELP OR SUPPORT FOR THE WIVES AND FAMILIES THAT ARE LEFT BEHIND.  OH YES, BEEN THERE, DONE THAT, AND I WILL ALWAYS SUPPORT THIS CAUSE .  MOST PEOPLE I TALK TO DO NOT . THEY SAY, "THE CRIMINAL COMMITTED HIS CRIME, WHY SHOULD THE SYSTEM HELP THE FAMILY?"  WHY?  BECAUSE I AM A HUMAN BEING AND CITIZAN OF AMERICA, THAT'S WHY.  AND IF YOU LOOK AT ME, HANDICAPPED AND LEGALLY BLIND, WITH ABSOLUTELY NO SUPPORT AROUND ME, WHAT EXACTLY AM I TO DO WHEN HUBBY GOES TO PRISON?  WHERE DO I TURN FOR HELP?  I STILL DON'T HAVE THE ANSWER. I FEEL VERY STRONGLY ABOUT THIS ISSUE, AND WILL FIGHT FOR IT.  THERE SHOULD BE SOME SORT OF SOCIAL WORKER NET WORK TO CHECK UP ON PRISON WIVES, TO SEE HOW THEY ARE COPING....TO SEE IF THEY ARE STILL ALIVE....DO THEY NEED SOME SORT OF HELP IN THE HOUSEHOLD...ARE THEY SICK.  ARE THEY DEAD OR ALIVE...........BUT NO, WE, PRISON WIVES ARE STILL THE OUTCASTS IN OUR SOCIETY, AND I'D LIKE TO SOMEHOW CHANGE THAT.

AS THE MONTHS ROLLED BY,  I WAS ON THE OUTSIDE LOOKING IN.........TO SEE PEOPLE LAUGHING AND CELEBRATING, AND NOT BEING PART OF IT.  HOWEVER, WE BOTH DECIDED TO TURN IT INTO "GOOD."  JIMMY DID GOOD THINGS FOR THOSE HE MET IN PRISON...HE HELPED THEM, AND I HELPED THE WIVES, BY CALLING THEM WITH MESSAGES FROM THEIR LOVED ONES....JIMMY AND I BECAME PUBLISHED AUTHORS WHILE IN PRISON.  HE HAD A MAJOR STORY PUBLISHED IN "ANGELS ON EARTH MAGAZINE", APRIL 2003...HE WROTE IT, I TYPED IT AND SENT IT....I HAVE GOTTEN A LETTER TO THE EDITOR PUBLISHED ABOUT TREATMENT OF THE BLIND IN PUBLIC, AND A TRIBUTE TO NANCY AND RONALD REAGAN'S LOVE STORY PUBLISHED IN THE NEWSPAER, OF WHICH I HAVE SENT TO THE PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY IN SIMI VALLEY, TO BE PLACED THERE IN THE ARCHIVES.  I ALSO HAVE 3 SHORT STORIES COMING OUT IN AUGUST, SEPT. AND OCT. ISSUES OF MAGAZINES.  I ALSO HAVE 3 BOOKS CURRENTLY BEING WRITTEN AND WILL BE SENT FOR PUBLICATION WHEN JIMMY COMES HOME.  JIMMY ALSO HAS A BOOK HE IS WRITING........AND SO, AS THE SAYING GOES, "WE MADE LEMON-AIDE OUT OF LEMONS"..........THAT IS HOW JIMMY AND I ARE.........IN THE DEPTHS OF DESPAIR, (ESPECIALLY ME)........MY HUSBAND TOOK MY HAND, AND HELPED ME RISE ABOVE....BY FOCUSING ON BECOMING A WRITER, HE HELPED ME DO IT!

I WOULD LIKE TO THANK ALL THOSE THAT HAVE STOOD BY ME THROUGH THIS TRYING TIME OF MY LIFE.  ALL MY JOURNAL FRIENDS, THAT PULLED ME THROUGH IT ALL.....YOU BECAME MY SUPPORT GROUP....YOU BECAME MY FAMILY IN LIFE......THANK YOU OVER AND OVER AGAIN, FOR ALL THE SUPPORT YOU GAVE ME...I DON'T THINK I COULD HAVE MADE IT WITHOUT YOU ALL!........

I DON'T KNOW YOUR FACES, AND I DON'T KNOW YOU PERSONALLY, BUT YOU ARE ALL SO WONDERFUL.........YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE, AND JIMMY AND I ARE BLESSED TO BE PART OF YOU!

And so, "The Visit!"

....And so, I got to actually see and touch, and kiss, and hold, and hug and hold hands with , and be held in his arms.....and talk to, and laugh with, and cry with, and whisper sweet love things to, and smell his nice sweet man scent on him....and feel his strong arms ,and feel his strong muscles around me, holding me tightly....and our feet touched and our feet entertwined....and we sat face to face on chairs...and we stood and hugged...and his arms tight around me....and we kissed over and over again..and Jimmy actually counted the number of kisses.......and we ate food together.......and he fed me, as he likes to do........chicken wings and french fries......and he served me the food..........and afterwards, we gazed in each other eyes....he has very clear and brillant eyes...and when I look into his eyes, I see the depth of oceans...the vast universe....SONG PLAYING NOW:  "Here and now, I promise to love faithfully.....you're all I need.........your love is all that I need. When I look in your eyes,  all that I see, all that our love really needs.  And I need you more everyday.......Here and now, I promise to love faithfully, you're all I need........here and now, I vow to be one with thee.......your love is all that I need. Starting here, right now, I believe in your love, here and now, I promise to love faithfully."....(SONG CURRENTLY PLAYING ON RADIO, AS I TYPE THIS....BY LUTHER VANDROSS............and Jimmy showed my the back of his head that I like to look at.......and he massaged my hands and fingers........and I looked very closely into his eyes, like I like todo, and we stared into each others eyes.........what I saw, was a happy man with no negativities, no resentment of the world....only love, for me and the world.........I saw clear, intelligent eyes, purged of the past,and the past released from him, ready to start afresh again in the world..........a very happy man.......a handsome man.......that is my husband for you.....a very strong and determined man, and together with me, we can hold hands and fly above the world........and soar to extreme levels above the earth.......into the universe and beyond.........and so, we were brought together again, after 16 months...and it was like we never left one another........it was like I had seen him only yesterday..............oh!  I love my husband so!..........I know that I am A RARE SPECIMAN!.......to know that I am a married woman, and I actually love and  am "IN LOVE" with my husband....now tell me, aren't I a rare speciman in this world?!...............and the world watched, as we met again after such a long time.......!!!!!!

..............As the song goes, that I am listening to at this second as I write this..............."I'll make love to you,  as you want me to, and I'll hold you tight, baby all through the night..........I'll make love to you, like you want me to, ........and I will not let go,till you tell me to................"           PERFECT!...PERFECT SONG...PERFECT TIMING  (I think it's by the Backstreet Boys)

To be more explicit about the "visit,"  it was a 2 hour visit, 7p to 9p....Larry drove me in his sports car (I asked him to please put up the roof, as we were driving fast along the parkway and turnpike!..It takes 1 1/2 hours to get there.  Jimmy and I were actually only together for around 45 minutes.  We sat in the cafeteria, and had a nice meal of chicken wings, french fries, salad, ice cream.  Jimmy didn't eat, but he served me and fed me!  There were lots of wives there, along with children.  For the first hour, I sat with the wives in a room and watched a tape on tv about raising your children.  I love Talbot Hall!  It has a very nice feeling when you walk in there!...It seems filled with love and good energies.  There is a "spiritual" feeling there.  There is positive energy in the air!  It is filled with "healing."  You feel happy, as you enter the premises.  It is uplifting to be there!  I am so happy Jimmy is in such a place!  Jimmy enjoys going to all the programs everyday.  He attends around 8 each day.  He enjoys talking, listening, learning about others, and helping them too.  The programs are AA meetings and things like that.  I am so proud of my husband.  He sent me today his certificate that says he has completed his orientation process.  He works in the library, and on the allumni committee. He still calls me 3 times a day, but we are now with Verizon, and the calls are cheaper! (my bill might be $800, INSTEAD OF $1300/month...lol!).  I could not make it there this weekend, because it is too grey and raining all weekend.  I made him potato salad, and corn muffins, and would have brought along coldcuts, but I guess I have to eat it myself!  You see, being legally blind it is very difficult for me to drive there.  My eyes get so tired, I can barely keep them open.  The muscles surrounding my eyes get tired.  They get more blurry as the day goes on, and I always have debris floating around in front of my eyes.  On days it rains, it is really the worst, and I can't take a chance driving there.  I can see around 5 feet in front of me.  I have major trouble reading signs and exits, until I am on top of them.  So, my Jimmy gave me strict instructions to not come and see him this weekend.  Hopefully, next week-end will be sunny!!!!..............So, that's about it!..................That's my life!.......And. how's yours?!

14 comments:

adlessor said...

What a good entry.   The best is yet to come..  Very glad for you.
Dawn                      

janothy said...

Sounds like the visit went wonderfully!  -Jan

grettysk said...

That sounds so sweet, Fran!  I can't say it enough.... I AM SO HAPPY FOR YOU BOTH!!!!  I sound like a broken record, but I really mean it.  I am just so sad you can't be with him this weekend. :(   If I lived close to you, I would make SURE I got you there when the weather wasn't good for you.  If we move to NJ in the near future, I will let you know. LOL.  Let us all know when your stories come out in the magazines and details so we can read them, ok?  Thanks!!!!  Talk to you soon.....and...since you asked...my life is going well....I started a new job about a month ago, since I moved to Fort Wayne, IN from Rhode Island (Newport).  I am a case manager for Developmentally Disabled adults.  I really love it, but there is an awful lot of paperwork and it all has to be done just so and with deadlines.  We are talking about government programs, so you KNOW what that means!   Anyway...just enjoying the new place and enjoying watching my hubby being retired.  He is a retired Deputy Chief of a Fire Department.  He is still young (47), so after summer, he will probably get a part time job or something to keep him busy during winter.  But for now....It's so nice to see him finally relax and rest after having such a stressful job.  ANYWAY....that is about me....and all for now....my life might be mundane, but I like it that way.....I like to have my home, my artwork, our art glass (that is what we collect), and my sweet little kitty cats...and my few best friends.  I don't need much....and I am so thankful for what I have....you know what I mean, Fran, don't ya? :)  Well...thanks for asking....hope to hear more romantic stories very soon!!!  Gretchen xo

bluevw007 said...

I know a "prison wife". Well, she wasn't actually a wife but she was in love with a man and had a baby by him. He got sent to prison for 3 years and she stuck by him all the way. Things have not turned out so well for her since he got out. They are pretty much the same as before he got put in. I feel so sorry for her because she is a nice woman and deserves so much better. I just don't know about her sometimes. I wish there was something I could do to help her move on or turn him into a better man. The crazy thing is a while back she was actually thinking of writing a book called "Sunny Day Visit to see Daddy". It was going to be written in her childs point of view and she was going to illustrate it. It was suppost to descibe a kids version of visiting their father in prison. I encouraged her to write it, so if you ever see it on the shelf pick it up. Well, just thought I'd add that. Brought back memories.

ltlhalo2 said...

my man is locked up too. i totally know how it can be. its real hard making it without them. the children suffer emotionally and so do we. we need more people like u in this world. if u ever need to talk u can write me.
jenn

wyattroc said...

I was sentenced to 15 years for breaking and entering. I commited my crime. I served 6 years and 8 months and the whole time I was incarcerated I regretted my crime because, I left my wife and 4 children to fend for themselves. Nobody can tell you what to do you have to be honest with yourself first, and everything will fall into place, you do need to talk with your man. I'm very grateful that my wife stands by me. We have a strong relationship now and I haven't been in trouble in almost 8 years, because she helped me. Being in prison is hard, but being in prison without knowing someone cares for you is horrible. You have to takethe good with the bad. Good luck and dont let somebody tell you, not to do something you will regret.

grits1165 said...

well I waited on a jailbird for 9 months, 10 years later I am a fll time student and he's been in and out of jail...the system needs to mandate education and work overhaul for incarcerated people, so they feel needed.  When someone feels needed and supportive of someone, they have self confidence. In addition, education and support need to be offered the family.  It's not my fault the person I was engaged to got drunk and got mad at his boss and stole equipment and broke the law, anymore than it's Martha Stewart's daughter's fault her mom lied to the Fed.  So that is true.  To all who have situations with inmates you are involved with, it will be better. You are not at fault, make them face their actions, but counseling and positive support and no name calling is the only way to make a better life.  God Bless all, I am on the victims end as well as relation to the blamed....R

mysweet1998 said...

this is toyou crystalmoon222. yes we are a rare specymen. my husband been in prison for the past 13 years. i visit on a regular basis we go on family visits where i spend 2 days 3nights at the peison with him all alone . we make love tell each other how much we love each other we eat share our sad times and good times. yhat time together is precious to us both . we truly love each other and that love has been tested over and over again. he will be home soon but i know it will be a struggle because he will be on parole for 3 years. i'm in a wheelchair because of a serious accident i was in while he was in prison. i can't do some things like i did when he was out and sometimes i think he won't be anle to hang in there. he always assires me that heb loves me and uts hus turn to take care of me and be there for me. i hope so because i truly love him. he is everything to me. i only hope i could believe it that he will stay with me now. i apprectate any comments you or anyone else has. thank you  my sweet1998.

mssangel72 said...

Great story.......My husband is also in prison. We have a one year old son together. When they took him away from me I felt as if my whole world was ending. I love him with every inch of my heart and soul. Everyone around me tells me that I should get a divorce. I don't want that for myself. Is that so wrong? This man does love me with all of his heart and the last thing I want to do is to hurt him. He has already been hurt enough in his 35 years of life. I count the days like clockwork untill he comes home, and since I have read this story I might just be able to get through this one day at a time. You have really helped me make one of the toughest decisions I have ever had to make. I love my husband very much and I will Stand By My Man!!!!!!!!!!
                                                Hope to hear from you,
                                                          Angel

shakyred713 said...

Keep your head up Crys...I know it's hard. I admire women like you- who know the meaning of keeping it real. I was fortunate enough to have someone in my corner during my 5 yrs...and I feel this was vital to my rehabilitaion. Good luck and God bless ~sunny

rlo498 said...

I was a prison wife, and i truly thought i was doing the right thing by waiting on my husband.  He made a lot of promises, and even returned to his faith in God during his eight year incarceration.  However, his rehabilitation was short lived.  Over a short period of time after he was released he began to treat me very badly.  You see, we had a daughter and i decided i wanted to be a stay-at-home mom.  Big mistake.  He began to drink heavily, and also got into drugs.  It got to a point where he came home from work, changed clothes, and went right back out.  This became a daily routine for him.  The time he did spend with me he cursed me and argued.  I am also sure he was committing adultery during this time also.  So, i ended up waiting for him for eight years for nothing.  I should have moved on with my life and divorced him - after all, i was 26 years old at the time of his incarceration, and he was 33.  But i had compassion for him and believed the lies.  Some people truly change during their incarceration, and some just want someone on the outside to do things for them - give them money, visit them, etc.  

iluv2ha8ununvme said...

MY BOYFRIEND IS IN JAIL ALSO AND ME AND HIM HAVE HAD ALOT OF DISAGREEMENTS LATELY BUT I LOVE HIM SO SO MUCH AND HE MEANS THE WORLD TO ME BUT I HAVE NO ONE TO TALK TO ABOUT MY SITUATION AND ALL MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY THINK IM CRAZY FOR EVEN DEALING WITH HIM ON A SERIOUS LEVEL BUT ALL I WANT IS FOR THEM TO LOVE ME AND BE THERE FOR ME AND KEEP HARSH COMMENTS TO THERE SELF SO IF ANYONE WANTS TO TALK WITH ME SOMETIMES JUST EMAIL ME ...

rmpitlover33 said...

WELL SWEETIE I TRULY KNOW HOW YOU FEEL. MY HUSBAND HAS BEEN LOCKED UP FOR ALMOST A YEAR NOW.  I DO HAVE MY FAMILY TO SUPPORT ME MENTALLY, BUT IT'S JUST NOT THE SAME WITH HIM HERE WITH ME.  IT'S SO HARD, CAUSE I'M ON MY OWN PAYING ALL THE BILLS AND TAKING CARE OF THE HOUSE.  WE ARGUE A LOT HERE LATELY CAUSE IT'S ALWAYS GOING THROUGH HIS MIND THAT IM MESSING AROUND.  HE DON'T BELIEVE THAT ANYONE CAN WAIT FOR A LONG PERIOD OF TIME.  I'VE BEEN VERY FAITHFUL AND THE ARGUMENTS JUST STRESS ME OUT.  IT'S TEARING ME APART JUST THINKING ABOUT HOW HE CAN THINK THAT I CAN DO THAT TO HIM AFTER BEING MARRIED TO HIM FOR FIVE YEARS. I LOVE HIM WITH ALL MY HEART AND VISIT WITH HIM FAITHFULLY.  OUR VISITS ARE VERY PRECIOUS TO ME AND WHEN HE CALLS IT MEANS SO MUCH JUST TO HEAR HIS VOICE.  HE WILL BE HOME SOON SO HOPEFULLY OUR MARRIAGE WILL GET STRONGER.  YOUR ARTICLE WAS FABULOUS.  I DO BELIEVE THAT WE DO NEED SOMETHING OUT HERE FOR THE WIVES TO HELP THEM GET THROUGH ALL OF THEIR HEARTACHE THAT THEY GO THROUGH WHILE THEIR MAN IS IN JAIL......

blondeegirlee30 said...

I just want to say "thank you" for your wonderful journal writing.  My husband has been incarserated for over a year and a half now.  I just stumbled upon your articles when I needed them most.  My husband and I have been married 7 years and we have four boys who look and act just like him.  He was sentenced to 6 years at 85% so we still have some time.  Life without him has been very rough.  I was a stay at home mom and since I have to go back to work and put the boys in daycare.  My oldest misses him most.  We visit as often as possible, but he is four hours away.  My husband has promised to change and I do believe him.  I have decided that life without him is not fun and I would rather have him home and deal with all his imperfections then abandon him.  My kids need him.  I need him.  I miss him greatly everyday.  I know that I have to stay strong for my boys sake and sometimes that is the only thing that keeps me going.  It won't be forever.  But, six years will surely seem like forever.  I truely, truely agree with you.  I could not believe the lack of support from everyone involved in the prision system.  I would love to start a support group for prision wives and families.  And I will also support Martha in her handbook writing.