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.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

We will always be we

Well here we are and it's the beginning of February and that means that in just about two months my husband will be coming home after being in prison for over a year and a half. I find now that we are so close to being together and having all that we have ever wanted, that time is going by at lightening speed. There is still so much that needs to get done but if I know me, and I do, it will all get done.

I have to admit that the thought of seeing my husband after nearly two years has me excited and nervous and happier than I have ever been. There hasn't been a day that has gone by that I haven't missed him more than I thought my heart could take. I have talked about him constantly, fought for him relentlessly and prayed for him nightly. I found that the only way to get through this time without him is to put my love for him and his love for me right at the centre of everything I do and to never ever forget that everything happens for a reason.

So now the for real plans are being made. Our hopes and dreams are so close to becoming reality that I can almost touch them. There is no more waiting to see if he will come home this year but rather when TDC will return him to me and believe me I am never giving him back.

As I said 6 months ago, in one of my blogs, "He is on my mind every minute of every hour of every day. We are connected. We always have been and always will be. He loves me more than words can say. I love him like no other. Together we are unstoppable. Back to back. Our love is undeniable."

While some may say that nothing in this life is certain, there is one thing that I know without a doubt is certain and that is that we will always be we and nothing else matters.