“Stories Of A Prisoner’s Wife”

Entry Fourteen

by Diane S.

Life Goes On   

“No matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.”    Maya Angelou

In truth life does go on.

I am not sure about the “better tomorrow” in literal terms, but I do know that there will be a lot of “tomorrows” that will be better. I just have to make it to those better ones. The days come and go, things happen, bills have to be paid, kids need to go here and there. Life does go on, even when you feel like yours has stopped.

Life goes on, just differently.

Today makes exactly 4 weeks since my husband’s surrender day. I feel like a lot and nothing at all has happened in those 4 weeks. I guess that is what happens when it feels like you are living life from the outside looking in, only doing the minimal to get by every day. It’s still very odd to try to grasp.

I’m still not sure how my life has turned into this. I am not sure how, but I do know why. God is teaching and preparing me/us for His plan. Not that I have any idea what it is, but that is the reason I find myself in my current situation even though I absolutely do not understand it.

I just pray for acceptance, not understanding.

The last 4 ½ days have seemed just a slight bit easier to get through. No breakdowns, not many tears. I don’t know if that is good or bad. I’m going to go with good. I’ve even made it to visit with friends a couple times and am starting a new Bible study at church tonight. I have a few other things on my ‘to do’ list as well.

I guess there can’t be a new normal unless I actually attempt to go on with life and stop living from the outside looking in.

Life goes on for Chris too. He writes & calls every day. He walks a couple miles a day on the track and has seen the crosses that a dear friend told him to look for. He has found that he can eat more things if he actually tries them, which is good. He reads his bible, watches TV, and hangs out with his cellies…life goes on, a new life, true, but it goes on nonetheless. Neither of us really has a new normal or a new routine yet, but we are making it. He found a Bible study that meets once a week in his unit last night and that is something I have been praising God for today. He attends chapel on Sunday nights.

Our letters seem to be the source of staying the most connected. He doesn’t enjoy writing as much as I do so my letters are usually much longer. The post office makes a lot of money off stamps from me when one letter takes 2 stamps. I try to make sure he will have a letter at every mail call but I am fighting a very slow small town post office and jail mail; so despite my best attempts he doesn’t get mail every day. We share Bible verses and encouraging things we read/see with each other and that is helpful too. It feels like we can connect.

It’s both sad and encouraging that life is continuing on. Secretly I want the world to just stop so I can too, but that wouldn’t do anyone much good. It’s good to have a feeling that this may get easier as time passes, but it’s sad to think I will ever be ok with a life that doesn’t involve my husband here with me.

Not that I have a choice.

It’s sad to know that life goes on for a 12 year old boy who dearly misses his dad and there is nothing I can do to fix that. Letters, phone calls and infrequent visits are as good as it gets. I don’t know if I will ever get over that heartbreak. Life goes on for Chris’ mom who moved her entire life 7+ hours from where she has lived for at least 30 years just so she can be near her son.

Life doesn’t stop just because ours did.

One bad decision changed everything for so many people. I still can’t get over how this has affected every aspect of our life and the lives of SO many people around us. It is beyond my comprehension that the repercussions of one bad decision can devastate things so completely. I often wonder how many people really think about what may happen when they intentionally make an unsavory decision. My guess is no. They probably think “no one will ever know” or they just flat out don’t think that far ahead about what the decision may cause until it’s far too late.

I have a brother who has been a corrections officer in a state prison and he once said, “The biggest difference between the people here in prison and us is that we didn’t get caught.” I believe that to be a very true statement. If you look back over your life, I am sure almost everyone can think of a time that things could have turned out very differently if you had been “caught”. It’s hard for me to understand how society can write off individuals in prison when, if they really looked honestly at themselves and their life, they could probably find that if one tiny little thing had happened differently they could have easily ended up in prison too. Yes, I realize not everyone has committed a horrendous crime, but there are A LOT of people in prison that haven’t either. I also realize that there are probably some who can look back over their life and not find one time when a bad decision could have turned out differently. I am not one of those people.

I have never robbed a back, kidnapped, or killed anyone but I can think of at least two times decisions were made that could have very easily ended with a mug shot.

Another thing I have found hard to deal with is how people view those who have committed crimes in the past. Just this past week some people very close to me found out a sex offender was living in their neighborhood. The reaction was typical. ‘Is it legal for him to live there? There is an underage girl living right next door?’ ‘How can a child molester live in a neighborhood with kids?’ These are people who love me and love my husband, but they are just like everyone else.

My husband is different to them because they know him.

None of them knows the story of the sex offender who lives in the house in that neighborhood, but they are all quick to judge. They may have good reason to be alarmed, I don’t know…but neither did they when they formed their initial opinions about this stranger wearing the label ‘sex offender’ living in their neighborhood. I found that to be a very eye opening experience. Society is broken, the system is broken, and lives are broken.

But life goes on.

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