It’s only 10:30 in the morning and I`ve been to the post office twice already. I went to send Jeremy some mail, early before I ran my errands, and checked my p.o. box even though I knew it was too early for anything to be there. I ran my errands, went back to the post office to check again and still nothing. I stood around looking like a stalker for about 20 minutes, checking my box what seemed like every 30 seconds, then I told myself to go home. I`ll check again, of course, but I came home so that the post office employees didn`t think I was plotting something. Letters are the most important form of communication right now. They are my only real direct contact with my husband on a daily, and weekly basis. Sure, he will call me next week for our one phone call a month, but I live for the mail right now. It got me thinking back to when this all started. What is this? This amazing, crazy, life changing love. It reminds me of a time when all we had were letters to get to know each other and communicate. We started in letters and here is how it went for anyone that is curious.
I tell some people that I knew Jeremy before prison just to ease their anxiety about my being married to a prisoner, but the raw truth is that I started writing to Jeremy after he got to prison, and I never knew him on the streets. A lot of people wonder how this happened, and assume I sought out some prisoner writing service, but that isn`t what happened.
When I was 13, I started becoming strangely interested in true crime. Let me first say that I do not condone crime or anything of that nature. I simply embrace the bizarre that life has to offer, and I`m generally interested in how people work, why people act the way they do, etc. I guess you could say that I am fully aware of the dark side of life and I`m not afraid to get close to it. I was always interested in subjects that may be considered “taboo” or “weird” and it doesn’t bother me to admit that because it is who I am. So, when I was 13, I started to write a few people in prison, and when I was 15 I got suspended from school for having true crime articles on my binder. Kids like the “strange”, and there were other students doing way worse things than having a few newspaper clippings on their binder, so I quit regular school and enrolled myself in independent studies at 15 . This meant being at home a lot, teaching myself, and ultimately left me with a lot of time on my hands. So what did I do? I wrote more people, got Jeremy’s address from a friend I had online, and I wrote him. Didn`t really expect a response, and to be perfectly honest I did not know who Jeremy was, what his crime was, or really anything about him. My friend said he was nice and I should write him. Done!
Well, when I got a response to my initial letter, I was definitely let down, because he gave me a hard time about writing him, asking me questions like “Do your parents know you’re writing to people in prison?”, “Don`t you have any real friends?”, and “You know that some people in prison are manipulative?”. Ugh. I was annoyed at his seemingly parental like inquisition. I was like, “Screw that guy”, and I didn`t write back immediately. Sometime later I decided to reply and tell him it was okay that I wrote him because my mom didn`t care, and after that first initial exchange he started to relax and we started to write regularly about our likes, dislikes, music, interests, etc.
I was a bit of a wild child at the time and definitely not looking for a relationship. I was 16, confused, and just trying to survive teenage angst. He never crossed the line, and was always super respectful of both my age, and just me in general. We were strictly friends, he gave me solid life advice, and I`m sure I entertained him with my ridiculous ideas about pretty much everything. We wrote on and off, sometimes not exchanging a letter for months, and then it happened. I found myself obsessively waiting for his mail, quite like I am now, sometime shortly before I turned 18. We started writing more frequently, sending several letters per week, making the conversation impossible to keep up with. We both knew what was happening, but we vowed to be single forever and we actually created a little club, where the only two members were him and I, called “The Lonely Hearts Singles Club”. Cheesy? Absolutely. This was a cute and roundabout way of telling each other that we would be linked for life. He knew it long before I did.
After a lot of mail, and a couple of very expensive 15 minute phone calls, he wrote me a letter that changed my life. I don`t have this letter anymore, and I`ll explain why in another blog, but this was the letter where he dropped all defenses and told me he was in love with me, that he wanted to be with me, and that he truly could not imagine his life without me. I must have read that letter a thousand times, wearing the paper out from taking it out of the envelope over and over again. I knew when I read those words, that I was in trouble, and I immediately wrote back and confessed the same. We were no longer singles with lonely hearts, but two people who were about to embark on a crazy life journey together.
After I turned 18, Jeremy sent me a visiting application and I was approved in March of 2003. My mom drove me out to see him and my life has not been the same since. The End. Of this post that is 🙂