Saturday, June 17, 2017

What's my purpose?

Yesterday, I received a comment on my blog and as I sat there reading it, I wondered if this blog was still serving a purpose. The reason I started this blog so many years ago was because my husband was in prison in Texas and I needed a way to try and deal with that so I decided to write things down and before I knew it, this blog was born and, I have to say, it has been quite therapeutic for me. I was able to document how I felt, what I was going through and, it seems, help a few people as well.

If you have followed my blog at all, you already know that my husband, Cody, took his life on September 5, 2015 and I have missed him every day since. I miss what was and what could have been. I miss celebrating his birthday and Father's Day, even though he hated a fuss. I miss Christmas with him and all of the other holidays that come and go but most of all I miss just standing in the kitchen and talking. It was one of his most favourite things to do. I miss his voice. I miss that southern drawl he had and I miss when he used to say "can I ask you a question?" Will this sadness ever go away? Will the guilt that I feel for not being there for him ever lift? Did my husband know, I mean really know, that I loved him? For now, these questions remain unanswered. I would like to think that my feelings of sadness and guilt will continue to lessen with each passing day but right now I can't escape what I feel and that's OK. Feeling these things reminds me that I loved hard and I loved well and there is no guilt or sadness surrounding that.

I want this blog to be a reminder, not only to me but to anyone else in a similar situation, that nothing in this life is impossible if you just believe.

Keep your head up and your heart strong!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

When does it stop?

It's been a little over 6 months since my husband, Cody, committed suicide and while some days are better than others, there are some days that test my resolve to stay the course. I find myself just sitting and thinking...thinking about what could have been, what should have been, what isn't and won't ever be.

The truth of the matter is that Cody and I had been estranged for about a year before he committed suicide. I had moved back to Canada and he was still in Texas. For the first few months after I returned home to Canada, he would call and ask me to come back to Texas saying "I miss my wife" but it just wasn't something that I could do although I thought about it all the time. Truth is, I missed my husband. Not being with him left a huge hole in my heart. Afterall, I had squared it up all that time he was in prison and I was more than ready for my life with him and I knew he was ready for his life with me.

Anyone that has followed my blog with any regularity knows that a while back when he was in prison, Cody, wrote a post for my blog and in it he talked about having a conversation with the devil on one side and an angel on the other side. He had thought about suicide then and decided that his life with me was worth all of the fear, the stress, and the time apart that we would both go through and for a while it was exactly how we envisioned it would be.

Little by little, the devil crept back into his life, into his mind and into his heart and there was nothing, absolutely nothing I could do to convince him that the angel he claimed I was, was enough to fight the demons that would eventually be the reason he took his own life. So here I am, 6 months after his death thinking, hurting and always wondering did I do enough for him? Did I try hard enough? Did I love him enough? At some point, and I haven't come to that point yet, but at some point, I will have to let my guilt and my hurt go and realize that I did do enough. I did try hard enough and I did love him enough...the devil just loved him more!

Friday, September 11, 2015

See you in the next life

It is with a very heavy heart that I write this tonight. Less than one week ago, the man that I loved more than any other committed suicide. My husband,the love of my life, is gone and I am so very sad. I am sad at the thought that I will never again hear him call me "babe" or grow old with him or watch our grandchildren play in the yard like he said he always wanted to. He wanted to sit on the porch like old people do, in a rocking chair, watching the Texas sunset.

As all who have read my blogs know, my fight for my husband and for his freedom was a tough one. He was in the United States and I was in Canada. It was hard and it tested not only his resilience but also our commitment to and love for one another and after 18 long months and 3,000 miles we were reunited and nothing was going to keep us apart...nothing but this.

Cody always used to say "I wish I had met you sooner. Maybe in the next life we will be high school sweethearts and we will be together for all our lives..this one and the next and the next after that."

So, to the love of my life...see you in the next life. I will be looking for you. I hope you find me quickly.

Rest in Peace, Cody.



Thursday, March 29, 2012

So close yet still so far

I am sitting here in my pyjamas and I should be excited to be leaving for Texas in four days and to be picking my husband up in six days but I am not. I found out last night that there was a possibility that my husband might not be coming home when we originally thought and today that was confirmed.

His release day has been delayed by nine days and while to some that may not seem like a lot, to me it is a lifetime. I have not seen my husband in a year and a half and I miss him most days more than my heart can take so this delay is a huge disappointment for me.

All the plans that I have made, the flights, the hotels, the car rental and child care must now all be changed and may need to be changed again if TDC decides to change his out date yet again. I miss my husband and I want to see him and I want to see him in six days not 15 days.

My husband has been through more in this lifetime than any other man that I know. He is a survivor and most, if not all of what he has been through, has been alone. This is the one time in his life that he has someone that loves him unconditionally and would go to hell and back for him and the fact that he now has to wait an additional nine days to be released from prison is no doubt very disappointing for him as well.

While this setback could and maybe should have me questionning my resolve and if I have what it takes to see it through to the end, I will not now or ever let anyone keep me from my husband. He will always know that he can count on me and that I will never let him down. No matter what, we are we and it is that commitment and unwavering faith we have in each other that will get us through this. Together, we are unstoppable.

While my husband may just be a number to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, he is much more than that to me. He is my best friend, my partner and the love of my life but more importantly he is now and will always be...the best man I know...still.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Me and You

It's a little after 9:00pm and I am sitting in my room trying to write you a letter and listening to some music. I heard a song today that I haven't heard before and it really tells the story of you and me perfectly.

Ever since you were given your out date, I have done nothing but think about these past 19 months without you and I often wonder how I have gotten through this time without my husband and best friend. I am not sure that the answer is as complicated as strength, commitment or having faith. It's much more basic than that. I think it's as simple as I love you and would do whatever it takes to be with you.  If there is any reason at all that I am still here and still standing that is it.

Strength alone cannot get you through this time and maybe if I were a different kind of woman, I would have packed in a long time ago but what you and I have is far from ordinary. We have the kind of love that people dream of and wish for. Has this time without you been easy? Not even a little. Is it worth every sleepless night and every tear that I have cried? Hell ya!

In a little over a week you will finally be free and we will be together. We have weathered this storm together and we are unstoppable. We are connected. We always have been but more importantly we were meant to be me and you.

I love you Cody and I'll see you when I see you.

~~ Me and You ~~ by Kenny Chesney

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Missing her still

Well today is March 17, 2012 and this marks the 7th birthday that I have spent without my mother. As anyone who has read my blog with any regularity knows, my mother died unexpectedly in November 2005.

Her birthday is today and even though it has been 7 years, it still feels like it was just yesterday that I said I love you for what would be the last time.

In a letter that I sent to my husband last week, I was telling him how much I missed my mom and I asked him when this would get easier and while I haven't received his reply yet, I am sure he is going to say something like "I know this day is going to be hard on you. Just know that I am with you always and so are your memories of your mother. No one can take those away from you." I think he will also say something like "I don't think that this day will ever be easy for you but I do think it will become more bearable as time goes on." Yes. That's what I think he will say. I think he will also remind me that this is the last one that I will spend without him and that gives me great comfort.

Knowing that my husband is always with me, even from 3,000 miles away has given me the strength that I have needed to get through all these days without him. I just keep reminding myself how truely fortunate I am to have him in my life not only as my husband but as my very best friend.

There isn't a doubt in my mind that my mother would have loved my husband and he would have loved her. While their love of football would have surely connected them, I think that their love for me would have cemented them. My husband told me once that one day they would meet and he would get the chance to thank her for giving him me. So, even though my mother has been gone for 7 years, I am now and will always be...missing her...still.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

The Last Call

Well after 109 days I finally got my last five minute call from my husband. It was 10:10pm and I was just about asleep - you know when you are not quite awake but not quite asleep either. I sleep with the phone right by my bed so when the phone rang long distance I grabbed it on the second ring. I didn't recognize the area code but I knew it had to be my husband.

I quickly answered and I heard the operator say "You have a collect call. Press one to accept the charges." I was so nervous that I had to look twice at the phone to be sure I was pressing the number one and once I was sure I held it there for a good few seconds so that there would be no doubt that I hit the number.

When I said hello there was no answer so I immediately thought that I hadn't held the button down long enough and that he wouldn't be able to call back. I said "hello" for a second time and there it was - the voice I had longed to hear for the past 109 days saying "hey". It was just like I remembered - so strong and sure and so very comforting to hear. His voice absolutely melted my heart.

I didn't know whether to laugh or cry so I did a little bit of both. I wanted to remember everything he said but really all I focussed on was the sound of his voice. I knew if I cried too much that our five minutes would be wasted so I did my best to hold it all in and I think I did a pretty good job of it until my husband said "ok baby we have one minute left so if there's anything you want to say to me you gotta say it now". I immediately felt the tears welling up just as I feel them right now as I am writing this and just like every time before this, all I could say to him was "I love you" and "I miss you" and all he could say to me was "I love you too. Tell the girls I love them" and "I'll see ya when I see ya".

I have missed hearing my husband's voice every day for the last 19 months and while it will only be a matter of weeks until I hear it again, for me it will be an eternity.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

The Little Things

Here we are and it's Sunday again. So, that means my husband is one more week closer to coming home. I find that's the best way to look at things. Glass half full and not half empty.

Ever since my husband was granted parole, I have had a lot of thoughts running through my head that maybe most people who don't have a spouse in prison take for granted. One of the things that I can't stop thinking about is the sound of his voice. I have heard my husband's voice twice in the last year and I miss it. I miss the way he says "hey baby what's up?" and I sure as hell miss the way he says "I love you". The last time I heard him say that was November 17, 2011. I also wonder what he looks like now and how much he may have changed. Undoubtedly, he, like every other inmate has lost weight and maybe aged a little bit under the stress and strain of every day prison life but one thing I know for sure and that is that nothing will ever change the way I feel about him.

I would imagine that, after all this time, he is just as anxious and nervous to see me as I am to see him. It's been nearly two years since we have seen each other so I would be willing to bet that the first time we see each other will be overwhelming for both of us and honestly I can't wait for that moment. The moment when our eyes meet for the first time and we finally get to say everything that we have wanted to say to each other for so long and to finally be able to say it in person and not through a letter or a five minute phone call. I don't want to forget anything about that moment and I doubt I ever will because that moment in time will be the start of our life together and there is no looking back from that point on.

Like I said in one of the first blogs that I ever wrote: some go to prison hard and come out harder, some go to prison hard and come out better. My husband went in hard and while prison may have changed some things about him temporarily, the very heart of the man that I love remains and that only reinforces what I have always known; not even prison will change who he is and that is still the best man I know.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Keep getting up

As I sit here this morning, reading through all of my facebook posts, emails and blog comments, I am reminded how hard this journey is for the loved ones of those doing time. This blog is dedicated to those of you who are struggling to find the strength to get through this time away from the ones you love most.

I have often been told how strong I am to be doing this time without my husband or the support of my familly and while receiving a comment like "you are one of the strongest people I have met on this road so far!!" is very flattering, it is also very humbling.

I am no stronger than any of you. I am no different. Yes, my husband is in prison 3,000 miles away and yes I haven't seen him in over a year and a half and I haven't talked to him in over 3 months but does that make me stronger than any of you? No it doesn't. We all have our crosses to bear in this life we have chosen and no one person's pain is any greater or less than the others. You are all strong men and women. You just don't know it yet.

I have heard a lot of people asking God to give them the strength to endure what they must because of the life they have chosen and while prayer is always beneficial, I am a firm believer that God doesn't make you strong; the circumstances God gives you do. You will either rise to the challenge or fall flat on your face and if you do fall you must rise again and again and again.

Choosing to love an inmate is just that - a choice - and nothing about it will be easy. The time, the distance, the worry, the stress and the limited communication are enough to keep the strongest person down. However, if there is anything that you will learn throughout this journey it is that you are stronger than you think you are and stronger than anyone gives you credit for.

It's the easiest thing in the world to stay down when you have fallen. It takes true strength to keep getting back up. So to all of you who have fallen, remember this. I believe in you more than you believe in yourself. You will have days when you are squared up and ready to take on the world and you will have days when all you want to do is stay in bed with the covers over your head.

I guarantee that you will have more strong days than weak ones. How do I know? Because I have been where all of you are and I am still standing. This bid with my husband has not broken me so don't you dare let it break any of you either. It's ok to fall once in a while and it's ok to feel weak. You just always, always have to...keep gettin up!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

A Memoriam for my Grandmother

Tomorrow marks the first anniversary of my grandmother's passing and I can already tell it's going to hit me very hard. I've been thinking about this day coming for weeks now and the closer it gets the more I feel it. My grandmother died of congestive heart failure on February 13 at around 1:00pm at the age of 93.

My grandmother was born on April 3, 1920 and she was the oldest of 10 children. She was married to my grandfather for nearly 55 years before he passed away in 1995. My mother was their only child and she passed away in 2005. So, here I sit on this day with the memories of not only my grandmother but my grandfather and my mom and right now, it's a little too much to bear but I will because really there is no other choice.

I remember the last time I saw my grandmother. Her eyesight and memory were failing and as I walked into her room, she just sat there and stared at me for a second. As I came closer to her, she said to me in a very soft, sure voice "I know your face" and I started crying because the thought of her not being able to remember me was devastating. We had a bond more like mother and daughter than grandmother and granddaughter so if she no longer had those memories of us, I am not sure I would have been able to accept that. We talked a lot about things we had done together and our favourite memories were of when she would come home after work. You see my grandparents and my parents shared a house. My grandparents lived downstairs and my parents and I lived upstairs. Every day after school, I would sit out on the step and watch for my grandmother's blue Impala to come down the street and pull into the driveway. I was just so excited to see her. We would go into the house together and she would change into her after work clothes and we would make a snack in the kitchen and then go into the living room and talk about our days. We did that every day for years and I loved it. We went shopping together and camping and to McDonald's. She taught me to cook and to sew and even to knit. We even caught frogs together when I was about 7. She carried the pail and I caught the bullfrogs. We were always together.

I remember the last words my grandmother said to me. She had never met my husband so I was telling her all about him and she looked me straight in the eye and said "Does he love you?" "Yes, nanny he does." "Does that boy make you happy?" "Yes, nanny he does." "Is that boy good to you?" "Yes, nanny he is." "Then I am happy for you both and that's all I can ask and I love you."

While not having my husband here right now has left me feeling at a loss, there is something that he said to me the night my grandmother died that I have never forgotten. He said "your memories of your grandmother are your own and nobody can take them away from you. You need to remember her in your own way. Her body may be gone but she is always with you."

So, while tomorrow will be a difficult day for me, I do take comfort in knowing that not only are my grandparents and my mother always with me, but that this will be the last anniversary I will spend without my husband and that can get me through anything.