Friday, December 30, 2011

The Vote is in....

If you've been following this blog for any length of time, you know that my husband has been in review for parole for a few weeks now. His file went before the parole board on December 21 and I have been on pins and needles ever since.

I've been trying to stay busy and I've been praying an awful lot and hoping for the best and preparing for the worst. The question I have always had is how do you prepare for the possibility that you might be without your husband for another year? How do you get into the right frame of mind to deal with that potential outcome? I refused to believe that I would be without him for another year. I just couldn't picture it and quite frankly, I didn't want to so when I found out that his case was finally going to a vote, I wouldn't let myself think that the worst was going to happen.

My husband was less than hopeful about being granted parole after only serving 17 months on a 12-year sentence. I had always told him that I had hope enough for both of us and on more than one occassion he had said that hope is a sucker's bet. I know as sure as I am sitting here, that he was trying to prepare himself for the possibility that he would not be coming home this year.

You see, my husband would rather suffer through something than ask for help and he sure as hell would never hope for anything. He has always lived by the code that "if it's meant to be then it's up to me" and this time would be no different. He made a promise to me very early on that he would do whatever was necessary to come home to me as soon as the parole board would let him and he more than kept that promise. He did everything that was expected of him and then some. He became a trustee within the first six months of getting to prison; he held the highest job on his unit and in the 17 months that he has been in prison, he has been written up only once for being out of place but he appealed and won so the case was dismissed.

When it came time to parole, I really think my husband humored me when I suggested hiring a parole attorney to represent him. He knew I wouldn't back down and that it was useless to fight me. I swore that I would do whatever I could to level the playing field for him and if that meant hiring another lawyer, then I would. My husband had told me that all legal decisions were mine so I did what I thought was best for him and for us.

There is no greater feeling of helplessness than knowing that the fate of the man you love more than anything is in someone else's hands but I had to accept that it was out of my control and that was very hard for me. I had given my husband's parole attorney everything he had asked for and then some but was it enough? Did I forget anything? Had I really left no stone unturned? Did I do all I could? Hell ya I did! My husband was granted parole this morning and he will be home in a few short months.

So while to some, hope is a sucker's bet, when you square it up the way my husband did, there's no way you can lose.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Waiting Game

On Wednesday December 21, I received an email that I thought would never come. My husband's parole attorney contacted me to say that he had presented my husband's file to the Parole Board and that we should have a decision in about a week.

When my husband first went to prison almost 17 months ago, I knew when he would be eligible for parole so I set out to find the best parole attorney that I could afford. I was relentless in my search for the perfect person to entrust with my husband's life and our future. I researched parole lawyers until I became an expert in who they are and what they do. I checked out websites and references, sent emails and made phone call after phone call until I found, what I consider to be, the perfect man to represent my husband.

How did I know he was the one? Well for one thing, his office called me back within 30 minutes of receiving my email and to me that was huge. His assistant was very kind and considerate to the fact that I was so far away from my husband and reassured me that everything would be alright. We spoke for quite a while and not only did he reassure me but he never once mentioned money which I truly appreciated. He explained the process to me and what needed to be done. By the end of our call, I had pretty much made up my mind that this would be the firm to represent my husband. Now the question was would my husband agree? My husband has always been less than trustful of lawyers so how this one presented himself to him would be the deciding factor. If he didn't come across as genuine then I knew it would be a no-go and it would be back to square one. I would not go against what my husband wanted because I trusted his judgement more than I trusted my own.

My husband was sent a questionnaire and about two months later he met with this attorney at his unit. His opinion of this lawyer was bang on with my own. He said the lawyer seemed very genuine and knowledgeable and when I asked if he wanted me to hire him, all he said was "I trust you with my life and nobody wants me out more than you so this decision is yours." You see it is that blind faith that we have in each other that makes us "we". I will do whatever is necessary to protect him and there is not a doubt in my mind that he would do the very same thing for me.

My husband is eligible for parole very early in the New Year so it was very crucial that we started preparing as early as possible so I immediately set to work getting together everything that the lawyer would need for his presentation to the Parole Board. After several months I had it all; everything and then some. Nothing was left to chance and I left no stone unturned. Now that the file was complete, we would have to wait for the parole review process to begin. My husband finally met with the Institutional Parole Officer on his unit December 5 and his attorney made his presentation to the Parole Board on December 21.

So, all of this waiting and wondering, struggling and stressing, missing and crying has come down to this one moment. It's judgement week and while I can't talk to my husband and reassure him, I know he is thinking about me just like he knows I am thinking about him and while this is by far the most stressful thing that has happened to us in the last 17 months, we...will always be...we. No matter what.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Christmas Wish

It’s been a little while since I’ve posted and that’s partly because life has gotten in the way but also because this time of year, which should be a time of celebration and family and togetherness, has just reminded me that my family is not whole this year.

This is the first year that I will be without my mother, both of my grandparents and my husband and that reality is hitting me like a tonne of bricks. I am overwhelmed at the thought that the three people that helped to make me the woman I am today are no longer on this earth and the most important man in my life, my husband, is in another country sitting in prison for Christmas with his closest family 3,000 miles away.

For weeks, I have been trying to get into the Christmas spirit but it’s just not working. The shopping, the wrapping, the baking and the Christmas music just doesn’t seem to make a difference this year and while I am thankful for what I do have and that is a husband that loves me more than his own life and 4 children that are every bit the image of their mother and father, I want more. What some take for granted would be a Christmas miracle for me. My Christmas wish would be to have my husband home and not just on Christmas but every day. I want his face to be the first thing I see every morning and the last thing I see every night. I want to hear him say I love you every day and I want to see the love he has for me in his eyes when he says it. I want to sit down to dinner at the table with him and talk about nothing. I want to go for a walk with him and I want to hold his hand. I want to go for a long Sunday drive to nowhere in particular and I want to sit with him by a fire and watch the sun rise and set. But what I wish for most is to never miss him again because I have done nothing but miss him since August 4, 2010.

So, while this Christmas will undoubtedly be the hardest Christmas I have ever had, it also brings with it the promise of a better life to come; a life of happiness, togetherness and more love than I have ever had in my life. I just have to hold on a little while longer knowing that my Christmas wish is just going to be a little late this year but it is coming.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

What are you gonna do?

By now, most of you have read my husband's guest post and by the number of hits it's received, it seems to have had a significant impact on those that follow my blog but it has had no greater impact than on me.

A few weeks ago, I asked my husband if he wouldn't mind writing something for this blog because I thought it might be nice for all of you to hear from the man I write about in his own words. I told him that he could write about anything he wanted. I never really thought he would write anything because it's one thing for him to tell me how he feels but it's another thing entirely to tell the whole world so I was surprised when, in a letter that he sent me, I noticed a single stand out paper with the words "My blog" written on the top.

As I read the words he had written, I was immediately taken back to the days that my husband was being hunted by the law and the desperation he was feeling. I remember his phone calls. I remember the worry I felt and I sure remember how close he came to not being here. He had always said that he would rather die than go to jail. I remember hearing the desperation in his voice when he would call just to see if I was alright. I remember the fear and the absolute helplessness that I felt trying to convince my husband that he was the most important thing in my life and how I needed him to be here. Those four days that he was gone were the worst days of my life. I didn't sleep. I didn't eat. I paced the floor waiting for his next call not knowing where he was at any given moment or if he was alive or dead.

I remember meeting my husband in his attorney's office and him asking "what are you gonna do when they take me back to Texas" and without hesitation I said "move to Texas". I really didn't think he believed me at first because he shook his head with this little grin of doubt on his face. I told him that when I said I was all in, I meant it. I meant it then and I mean it now. My husband was then and will always be one of the most important things in my life right alongside our 4 children.

That would not be the first test we would face as husband and wife. My husband would subsequently be deported from Canada and then extradited back to Texas where he is now 3,000 miles away from me.

Over these last 16 months, he has come to never doubt my commitment to him and to our family. There is nothing more important to me in this life than my husband and children and I am sure that on more than one occasion I have shown him my true colours and while I am a Canadian to the core, my heart belongs to a Texan sitting in a Texas prison.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Guest post by my husband, Cody

Well Kim has asked me to write a little something for her blog. I'm not as eloquent with the formation of words as she is but I'm going to put pen to paper and see what comes out.

"A soulmate is an ongoing connection with another individual that the soul picks up again in various times and places over our lifetimes. We are attracted to another person at a soul level not because that person is our unique complement but because by being with that individual we are somehow provided with an impetus to become whole ourselves."

This quote is important to me because anyone can be a wife or a husband. However, soulmates are hard to find. I've found mine in Kim. It took me a while to find her; 37 years and a different country but I did. I wasn't always a good guy. In fact, I danced with the devil quite often throughout my life.

There were times I didn't want to live anymore. I just wanted to give up. Kim knows how close I was to jumping off to the end and as I sat there having my debate with the devil and the angel one thing stopped me - Kim. She wasn't physically there but she was in my heart. I had finally found her and not long after, the law found me. I swore I'd never go to jail and that I'd rather die than do time. I was on the run and I put her through hell. I had to make a decision so I just thought about her - her smile, her smell, her patience with a man set in his ways; the way we talked about everything, something I've never been able to do; how she didn't judge me. She loved me. She stood up for me when no one would.

I had asked her one day, trying to push her away, "what are you gonna do when they take me back to Texas?" All she said was "move to Texas". In that instant, I knew she would. I knew I would have to go through some hard years to get back to my soulmate. How could I be a coward when she was so strong? Let's just say the devil lost and my Irish Angel prevailed.

Literally, I owe Kim my life, but it's our life now. Somehow she made me a "we". I don't think about my past anymore because my future is too bright. Kim filled a big hole in my heart. I truly wish everyone could find what I've found. She made me whole which brings me back to the original quote.

Now, to my sweet Irish Angel: "I love you like crazy and nothing else matters. I'll be home soon baby. Till then see you in my dreams."


Thursday, December 01, 2011

The Quest

I received two letters yesterday from my husband which, just like always, made my day. I am usually writing about how I feel about him but today I thought I would give him the floor and allow him to express how he feels about me. So, here is a small excerpt from one of the letters I received yesterday.

"I hope you know that you can always take my hand and I will try to make it better. That's my sole purpose in the rest of this life we have - to bring you joy. I think about my past and how I was to women. It's like I knew that they weren't you. I didn't even know you but for some reason my mind knew. That's why my journey has been so long. We were so far apart for so long but I never lost the picture I had in my head of the perfect woman for me. I had given up and was going to go through life miserable. You made me want to live again. Live for me, for us, for our kids. I realized I would have it all; everything I'd been searching for. That's why when you said you'd come to Texas I knew that even the devil couldn't stop us. I got the devil's number and he lost and I won. That's why the hell I'm in now I know will be worth it. I already know. I won. Now I'm going to get all that's mine. Nothing can stop me because I have you. I'm in prison and this is the first time I've been free in years, if ever. I want you to feel that way too.

I promise next life I'm going to find you sooner. Of course, it took my 38 years and another country to find you so maybe next time you can be in my hometown and we can be highschool sweethearts. I'm just really glad I found you is all. All I know is now that I've found you, I'd rather die than go without you. I want you to know that.

I love the Tim McGraw song "Everywhere" and you're right that it used to remind me of someone. That someone has always been you; your soul, your aura, you. Now I just have a beautiful face to go with the rest. I hope you see. As bad as I've been, it's been my quest for you that made me that way. I'm glad I never stopped looking. One day I hope our kids find what we have. I hope they know what we went through for each other. Love isn't dead. The quest for it is. I did it though. I never stopped and neither did you. We have it all in each other.

I love you."

~~ Everywhere ~~ by Tim McGraw