“Stories Of A Prisoner’s Wife”

Eighteen

By Diane S.

Surviving

I am not sure I am ready to say that I am “living” yet…well obviously in the technical sense I am definitely living because I am breathing. But in the sense that people refer to as “living”, as in experiencing life, living life to the fullest, or truly living, I can’t say I feel that way just yet.

I am surviving.

I am surviving better than I was a month ago, better than I was two weeks ago. I guess it’s true, things aren’t bad forever and they do get better. Slowly, but it seems to be true. Some days I even enjoy parts of the days.

Things are okay.  I’ve had more good days than bad ones lately which is a blessing. Chris calls daily.  We write daily.  He finally went to A&O a couple days ago. I believe that a new inmate is supposed to go to A&O within 7-10 days of arriving; he was there over a month before he went.  I am not entirely sure what A&O is, but I believe it is somewhat of an orientation.  I do know that he had to go through that before he could get an assigned a job. He seems to think he was “lost” in the system for a few weeks. It’s okay with me, he was able to get a little more acclimated and it seems to have done him good.

He started his GED classes this week too and he was excited about that.  I was more excited.  I have tried for 8 years to get him to get his GED. He is scared of failure so he never would. I am very proud of him for already tackling that, even if the prison did push him. He has done really well on all the pre-tests and only had to attend a week of classes. Again, I am very proud of him. Every time I talk to him he has a new thing on his list to check into and that makes me happy & proud of him. I would imagine it would be quite easy to do nothing during this time and just let time pass without much thought of bettering one’s self. I am thankful he doesn’t seem to be taking that path. He has read 2 books in the last two weeks.

If you knew my husband and knew how much he doesn’t like to read you’d understand how incredibly proud I am of him for that too.

It catches me off guard sometimes when he tells me things that make his day good or things he gets excited about. A couple of days ago they were having “lunch room pizza” (think of back when you were in elementary and had the rectangle pizzas) for lunch and he was quite excited about that.  I guess when your life is as his is now little things make you excited. In any case I am thankful that he can see things to be excited and thankful for, no matter how small they are….bread crumbs. I have been a bit sneaky this week and I have a pretty big thing for him to be excited about this weekend. My plan was that I wasn’t visiting again until July 3rd…But God!  We (his son and I) are leaving this afternoon (June 12) and will be at visiting this weekend, June 13&14. Today is Friday and I have managed to keep this a secret all week from pretty much everyone. Michael (my stepson) doesn’t know we are going and Chris doesn’t know we are coming. I absolutely cannot wait for him to walk into the visiting room and see us tomorrow. It’s going to be EPIC! I love surprises!!!

Chris and I started a Bible reading plan together so we are reading the same chapters daily & that is good for us. We write about what we read and how it affected each of us in our daily letters. It helps us stay connected and focused on God together.  He found a Bible study in his unit that meets on Monday and another that meets on Tuesday, he is enjoying those.  He and I have a pastor out of Dallas that we really enjoy listening to and his church puts sermon transcripts online & I print them and send to him. He loves that. I send him encouraging books and devotions. I try to do whatever I can from the outside to help him on his walk.

It appears Chris is moving to a different room within in his unit, I think that is happening today actually. That makes me apprehensive, a lot of things make me apprehensive. One of the guys in his room doesn’t seem to care for him much & it makes things a little uncomfortable sometimes. He never told me that before and he only told me because of the possible move.  Some of the guys he has met through the Bible study are in the same room and one of them is leaving any day now.  The guys in the room have been looking for a Christian guy to replace the one leaving. They asked Chris if he would be interested in moving if it was approved and last night he said it looked like that was going to happen today. I just pray about it. If it’s God’s will let it be done! And if not I pray that things get better with the one guy in his room.  He said something the other day about his “Brothers in Christ”, I have NEVER heard him say those words ever before so that was good.

I can tell by some of the things he says that he is growing in his walk and that is answered prayer.

This post was a little different from my usual ones.  This one was more about the day to day survival in this new journey, a glimpse into what goes on during our days…well it was mostly his days. It’s a bit less deep and bit more boring than the others.

So I will end here and wish you all happy weekend.  But before I go I would like to share one other thing before I go…

A wonderful friend shared a post a couple days ago and it contained this quote:

No matter the jarring, a jar of fresh water can’t spill filthy water.

I just love that and it really hit my heart. Over the last 18 months there have been many times when my emotions have got the best of me and I have been very hurtful and angry towards my husband during those times. There is/was filthy water (hurt, anger) in my jar (heart). I’m healing and those times when I lose control have happened much less. I am working on it….purifying my filthy water with Jesus.

 

(Editor’s Note: AMEN!)

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