Tag Archives: my truth

Sunday January 22nd, 2017

I’m not going to lie. I never imagined that being the wife of an inmate was going to be this hard. I used to watch shows about prison romances and I thought to myself “This is great! I get tons of time to myself and I get to be married to someone amazing who won’t steal the covers”. You see, before Jeremy I never wanted to marry. I didn’t. I told my mom I didn’t want to get married. I didn’t think it was in my cards to be with anyone for many reasons. Mostly because I thought I was too difficult, or too damaged, or too much. I needed someone who was everything I needed them to be without question and I knew I wasn’t going to find that, so I didn’t want anything.

Last night I was paging through this book I got on Palmistry(read: Palmistry. Not fortune telling, but an art that CAN tell about a person. Did I lose you? Am I nuts? I prefer open minded to life’s mysteries) and it explains that your non dominant hand(for me, my left) is the hand you look to see what was there at birth for you and your dominant hand is the hand of “now” and the path you’re on(there is a whole explanation of why, but you can read the book if you want to know). Anyway, my birth hand does not have a heart line. I compared my hands and just looked at them for a long time. No heart line. My “now” hand has a strong heart line and I believe wholeheartedly that it is because of Jeremy. We found each other by chance. By the chance of me being some strange teenage girl who wanted to write people in prison. By the chance that someone I talked to online told me Jeremy was a nice person and that I should write him. By the chance that I wrote that letter and I mailed it 17 years ago. By chance. Or by design?

Back to the present, though. The last few years have been difficult for me. I have felt more depressed, more lonely, and more lost than I ever have. Being in Nevada and away from my shore of home(I don’t know what home even is anymore. I guess it’s Jeremy but I still miss…somewhere)has taken a lot out of me. Sometimes it destroys my spirit to ashes and I am left with some form of myself that I don’t recognize. This all sounds dramatic, I know, but I’m a person who feels a lot, all the time, and I know my story and my relationship and the trials we go through are powerful beyond measure and I think it’s important to share that. Anyway. What rises from the ashes? The Phoenix. It sort of feels like that, all the time, and it is emotionally painful, and then I’m rising. Funny how that works. Life pushes us to the very brink and then backs off so we can repair. Or does it not back off and we just get so much stronger?

I keep thinking of this quote I read somewhere, “The greater the affliction, the greater the reward”. Now, that really sounds strange, doesn’t it? But…this quote. It gets me through sometimes because I have to believe in my cause and if I’m suffering, I have to believe that it is for a reason because I’m still here, still doing, still waking up and working my way to the end of the tunnel where the light is.

Which brings me to present life. I’m looking for a new place to live that has a bit more space and I went to see one yesterday and for some reason I just blurted out “I like this place. It feels safe and I want to feel safe because it’s just kitty and I. My husband is incarcerated”. I told the realtor that. This realtor I had only met once before, briefly, for about 5 minutes. I usually try to get a better read on people before I drop that bomb, but I dropped it right there in the kitchen of that rental.

There is always a moment, where I’m sure someone is going to verbally crucify me with their words or give me a look that makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. My mouth got super dry waiting for her to say something. I was so nervous. Her response? “I get it. It happens”. She proceeded to tell me a story about how someone she knows is in prison and that things happen sometimes and humans make mistakes and she is not judging me.

After the showing, on the walk out to the parking lot, she commended me for sticking by my husband and let me know how “cool, strong, and sweet” she thought I was. She offered a friendly ear if I ever wanted to talk and she said she had to hug me and she did.

While my life feels like an uphill climb somedays and I am absolutely battered emotionally by the missing parts of “us” right now, there always seems to be a little nudge, a little sign, a little voice that tells me “the greater the affliction, the greater the reward. Keep going, you’re almost there”.

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At death’s door

What’s the truth? What’s the one inevitable fact about all life on this planet? That we are going to cycle out of this form and die. We don’t know when, we don’t know how, but we do know that when our time comes, we are going to be taken and returned to the earth and to the universe. We are going to be returned whether we have done good or bad, whether we want to or not.
I used to be so scared to talk about death, to talk about truth. The last 15 years with Jeremy have directly, and indirectly, taught me to embrace some pretty heavy truths about life, love, and the pursuit of both. When I look into his face, I see life and death, heaven and hell, every duality that exists. We live and love on a line, a precipice, and we balance as best we can without falling into the abyss. But death is there, death is everywhere, and we are embraced by it and almost have to embrace it back to really know the joy of life, even when it’s a life spent in prison.
Prison is a place of hard times, hard sentences, and the hard reality that death is ever present, sometimes in the most violent ways. I’m not ignorant to the fact that my husband could be murdered at any time, and his being targeted before makes this a heart stopping fear that I live with daily. It doesn’t take hold of me and render me unable to function, but it’s there. I sit with these truths and they become the foundation on which I build my ability to cope with this harsh experience.
Every time there is a death at the prison, murder or natural causes alike, I hold my breath while I scour the Internet for name information. I don’t spin out of control in anticipation of what I will find, but I poker face the shit out of my emotions and try to be as rational as possible with undercurrents of acceptance. What is death? It’s a transition. It’s a reality.
It’s timing is unknown.
My heart has been steady pounding in my chest, more intensely each second, as I write this. I am thinking of the realities of life and love, more specifically my reality with Jeremy and how scary and raw and maddening it can all seem sometimes. I am thinking about how I worry about his safety constantly, but don’t let it consume my being. I am thinking about how, in this life of such uncertainty and at times gut wrenching circumstances, that I found someone I can say I truly loved before I departed this world, whether it be tomorrow or 70 years from now. I think that finding that love is the purpose of life, no matter where you find it. Did you find it on a park bench on a sunny day? Did you find it in the grocery story while you were smelling the lemons? Did you find it in a prison half of your life ago?
“We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that death will tremble to take us”-Charles Bukowski
We are laughing at the odds and it’s a beautiful reminder that life is oftentimes difficult, but as everything is, the difficult times are fleeting.
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