Little Victories

 

1/27/14

One need not always trust in the 'large' things -  Isaiah 31  King James Version (KJV) 31 Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong; but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the Lord!

One need not always trust in the ‘large’ things –
Isaiah 31
King James Version (KJV)
31 Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong; but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the Lord!

I’m reading your letter to be about how you feel imprisoned, somewhat like  I am experiencing, although our prisons are different. No matter what either of us does, we can’t escape. This is God, working on our outer selves, which is essential to allow God’s Spirit to be released. Praise God for how you’ve been able to surrender to this discipline, and for learning patience with our children. I’m so glad to hear the boys are branching out, and aren’t so afraid to do their own things. I’m so proud of their growth amid all of the things they’ve been through. I just pray they see how loved they are by God, and are being taught by Him in so many ways. God is working on Nate so he can learn to discern who his real friends are, and to not feel ashamed for speaking out against injustice at school. God is using my suffering to teach them, to reach others, as well who need to realize the anguish and injustice in their own backyards.

I have to admit, I’ve been under attack now for over a week. I’ve not been happy with what God is allowing to happen in my life. I stay confused and blocked from understanding what is happening to me. I know I have to work through it, and am battling this selfish outer man. You have been so encouraging throughout this whole ordeal, and  know your love for me is real. I just feel so weakened and alone lately, and have to just give it to God…

I’ve noticed my eyes become blurry after reading awhile.  I have to pull the book or paper away from my face to be able to ready clearly. I used to have 20-15 vision, but only God knows what being in isolation has done…

I’m watching 60 minutes and listening to how there is such a shortage of psych0logists and therapists across the nati0n; and stories like what you’ve been through recently with our boys. Then they talked about how there are lack of beds in the institutions for the extreme behavior needs like what we experienced with my two children that led us to end up like this, due to not having adequate care in the mental health fields. If you can google this, maybe you will find some support sites so you have other people to talk to, and can maybe even get some help with our case. Isn’t it amazing how much has to happen before things like this come to the light?

Speaking of lights, this crew tonight is the one that often leaves our lights on until midnight, which was the main reason I wrote the grievance about not having any relief from the lighting. Tonight, though, they went out at 10:38 p.m., which is so wonderful! Even the little things feel like big victories!

 

God’s plan may not make sense right now…

12/12/13
We are more connected now beyond what most can understand.
Reading your last letter put me there with you and our boys.
I could feel Nate’s pain through each word you wrote.
I wept so hard for him, as I felt his pain.
It never gets easier to bear. But, you and I truly did our best.
If nothing else, it was mostly my fault. I felt so bad because we’d had no choice but to send DJ back to that hellhole with his mother. We just couldn’t get any help from the mental health system.
There is never enough to go around for these kids(kids with special needs), as the funding is always cut to line someone else’s pockets further up the chain.

I was just blinded by wanting to show Daniel Jr. love; I needed him to see that I cared for him. I was so excited about being a project manager, having a job ‘back home’ after being up north for that time away from Southern people and family; it felt like a new start.
I also didn’t want him to feel the way that my dad made me feel, that I was nothing, worthless…
When we moved back to North Carolina, I had hoped that perhaps we could start over, maybe do family therapy, try again to get some help and find out what exactly had been going on. We just didn’t know.
There was so much confusion, and Carolyn always kept the older kids riled up and starting things at home; it was hard to keep things calm.
Nothing I can say will change what happened, I just pray to God, for it all.

I pray, for all of my children to receive healing. There is nothing I can do in here, but pray, the hurt is so strong knowing that we just weren’t fully aware of the extent of the damage that was occurring. God forgive DJ for doing those acts, and I pray Veronica, Nate and Alex will learn to lean on the Lord to give them hope. Their faith will grow as ours has, and even though God’s plan may not make sense right now, it will in time, according to His purpose. Nothing I can say, as a man can make anything right. My love has become so much stronger knowing Jesus’ love is so much more than we can understand. I wish I could hold all of them, my children, and give them comfort where there is none, and let them feel their daddy’s love again. May they feel God’s love around them, giving them comfort.

They are still tearing off the holiday stickers that you put on my envelopes. But, at least they aren’t marking out the bible verses you write on them. I am listening to the Christmas shoe song. It always makes me cry to hear that. I miss my mom so much. She never had much, but she always tried to give more than she had. Those little gifts meant so much to her to be able to give to her children and grandchildren. It wasn’t the toy that mattered, it was what was in her heart. She was so giving!
helping-others

$12. for an ounce of coffee?!? (24 stamps)

coffee

Now, I am in here six months, SIX, and can’t buy toothpaste. Forget coffee.

I got the ICON version of canteen today, 2 boxes or 12 cough drops, 2 sets of ear

plugs, and 3 batteries, as well as 17 postage stamps. I ordered the stamps in

the hopes of trading for some coffee, as we certainly can’t buy that in seg! My ‘neighbor’ wants 24 stamps for one and a half ounces of instant coffee maker. That’s IF he fishes it to me. I will have to wait until he decides to do so. Here is a list of what inmates in ICON can ‘order’. Note: NO FOOD.

ointment   menthol   lozenges   antifungal cream   pimple lotion   Blistex Noxzema   ear plugs   batteries   shower shoes   Braun Razor   replacement blades   foils   a plastic watch (worth about $6. )for $9.17.

Oh stamps, and denture cream, which I will need if I am never going to be allowed to buy toothpaste..lolol…if we don’t laugh, we’ll drown in tears in here…

God, I hope my cousin was able to order that food package before I was sentenced with ICON. I just wish she would write me back to let me know what was going on with her. I need to get my family’s addresses and phone numbers because when they put me in here the guards took my address book and threw it away. Now I can’t get in touch with anyone. Not that I can call before February, but I could at least write some of my family members up north…trusting in God…He’s in control.

10-26-13

I have just lain around today, not wanting to move much. I took a shower and now feel better to try and write. Getting a bath every other day doesn’t help, but the swelling is very painful, even above the incision, and the area is very hard. I am still getting wheeled to and from, but the weighted handcuffs don’t help.

I still didn’t get my coffee after paying my stamps, so I better get it tonight.  I won’t have but one stamp left, so I want to get this out tomorrow, and then I ‘ll have to wait until Friday to buy more.

Oh, now my neighbor admits it was only 10 stamps for one and a half ounces of coffee grounds. It was 20 for the whole bag, so he gave me six stamps back.  Is this insane, or what?

It is so cold behind concrete…

10/21/13

I am glad to hear that the Innocence Clinic is still working on my case, as it’s been almost a year since

prison, injustice, lost love, spirituality, hope

Inside these four walls, the sun doesn’t shine

you took them the files. Maybe they have more options to approach than the one in Raleigh, as there was no DNA at all to compare because I never did anything. Many states have had to go back and compare those on death row with past evidence, and many of these men are getting exonerated. Without any evidence, why am I even here to begin with, other than words of an angry woman pushing damaged children? Only God knows how long these things will take to come together, I just need to find a way to do God’s will.

I need to keep improving myself, and my communication skills so that I can speak more effectively about what needs to be done, as well as what is happening. I’ve asked God to give me the confidence to speak for Him, so I’m just waiting to be able to gain the ability to speak clearly and well. This pen is almost out of ink. I only had five pens, and I can’t buy any as I’m not allowed to use canteen until February. I hope they all hold out.

10/23/13

I was driven to an outside facility for a post-op check up and the doctor said I was healing fine and removed my staples. I do get to use the wheelchair in between at least, as I am hand/leg cuffed when walking about. The doctor said not to lift anything heavy, so I asked what was heavy to him. He said a gallon of milk…he said to be sure and not stretch my body much for the next six weeks. The only thing I’m lifting right now is myself, so I will do my best to be careful.

It was so great to be out and able to feel the sun; it was only for a few minutes, but nice, as I hadn’t been outside in a few weeks. Some of the small things, like just being outside and feeling the sun’s rays, is so important. Inside we can’t feel anything, and it is so cold behind concrete. Just to see God’s creations that the Sun helps to grow is not appreciated. It brings joy to so many people. We feel so sickly, hidden away from everyone. We ask ‘why’, but we must wait for God’s time, and accept that he is in control…but, I do miss it so much, the Sun.

I’ve been more hungry than usual, and I’m not working out. I did get your letter today, which was great, as well as the other two. I got the paper you ordered for about two weeks, and then I didn’t get it at all last week. Don’t know why.

 

 

We will be provided for, in His time

10/21/13

faith, God, hope


Ecclesiastes 3
(KJV) 3 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up…”

Well, they finally gave me ICON, so I’ll be in here another five months.

I will come up for a review in February; that’s when they can give me close ops for another

90 days or longer, if they FEEL it’s warranted. They are just hoping that by the time they let us out that everyone else outside will have forgotten about what really happened.

Your letter smells so good…yes, we do sometimes get to watch movies in regular population, but it is way after it comes out, like when it comes out on the FX channel, which is easily a year or two after it is released.

It’s just like you said, “God is holding us close to Him to allow us to feel His love, apart from each other, so we can grieve in our own ways.” I just ask that you pray before making decisions and let Him guide you through it. The more you allow Him to do so, the more He will be evident in your life. Have hope that this life is a way for you to gain understanding that all things aren’t as they might originally seem. He wants us to grow as believers so He can use us to help others come to God’s kingdom.

I love you so much, and want to be there with you, but we must wait for God’s time to be right. We can’t question Him. We need to stay obeident and trust in God. I cry when I read through your letters and know it will get better in God’s timing, not mine.

I sent you a letter on Sunday for Monday morning, and I will get this out tomorrow. It just takes me a while to have enough together to write. You know how boring it is in here. I’m only getting your letters once a week or so, so I wait for you to give me things to say…I know it would help if we could talk over the phone. We will just have to wait the 180 days to be free of the glass, and the silence.

I’m so hungry. At least I have a peanut better sandwich to eat. The pics of your cooking from your letters look so great. I miss them…I was given a veggie tray yesterday, and it had two biscuits inside. They were so good. I got two porkchops while in the hospital, and they were great, but now I’m back to my vegan diet.

The football game tonight will be on the radio, if I can just get it to come in…reception sucks in here, but sometimes the am stations work. It’s the Vikings against the Ny Giants. The Vikings lost to Carolina last week, so both these teams need a win badly. the Panthers play again on Thursday night, but it should come in better on the fm station. (Your letter smells so good it is radiating all over my room.)

Don’t worry so much about me, I’ll be fine. I know you love me and yes it does make me feel good to know and hear. I know that God is with me and you, and what we need will be provided for in His time….

I made it through the night

October 16, 2013

Dear Shel,

I made it through the night.                            

Phil.4:6-7"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Phil.4:6-7″Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

I haven’t had any more bleeding. This morning the doctor came to my room, so the CO wanted me to get in my handcuffs, but the nurse told him I had a large incision, so he told me to stop, and he called another Sgt. in and they had me lie on the bed and he handcuffed me, so the doctor could check me out.

The doctor said to move me to a room with a lower bed, and gave me permission to take a shower. It had been three days since my last one, so I really wanted to try. They moved me after lunch, and it was so great, as the bed is now nine inches lower, and I can sit and my feet touch the floor. I am getting less pain meds, and I am very very weak. The CO’s helped me move, and even sorted my things out so I wouldn’t have to lift, which I can’t anyway, so praise God for all of those that came today!

I love you and sure do wish you were here to take care of me like you used to. I feel cold and am very tired. Keeping the ice on me could have something to do with it, but I didn’t feel this cold before. Lunch was so terrible here that I couldn’t even eat it. The rice wasn’t even cooked.

I’ve taken a shower, and am going to medical to get my bandages fixed. I love you and can’t wait to see you again…

You just don’t appreciate your blessing until it is taken away

faith, hope, injustice, musings

“And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath,
but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord”
Ephesians 6:4 (NKJV)

Another day, and it just keeps running through my mind how excited you were  for our older son as he improved so much with football this season.   I hope things are  starting to improve at home. Does he still draw? I hope he will send me some more pics.

Wrestling would be great for him, especially if one of the coaches or some of the same boys were on that team, as well. Consistency seems to help him so much. I cried when I read what you had to say about N. I knew what was in the letter even before reading it about him. I miss them both so much, and I know that’s why they don’t write; it’s too hard to express how much they need me at home.

I’ve never said what the other inmates refer to as “being back in the world”. I always say, “going home.” Your visits help me to hold on to the idea of “home”, and being there again. You ask me to write, but it’s so hard to put into words how I feel when I see you through the glass. My arms yearn to hold you again, to run my fingers through your hair. This is how a man should yearn for his woman. It takes time to develop the type of love we have, but it is worth it in the end.

I remember coming home so many times to you waiting, and wanting me with your eyes. They are so seductive and open me up to your soul. I could always see your truth flowing from within. If the children were up, they would come running, screaming, “Daddy”, with such excitement, and the chicken whisperer would come up and put his head on my belly. But you would always allow them to come to me first, most of the time. I hope other men got this same type of treatment, because it is so good to be appreciated by your family when you come home from a long day at work, and most of my days were very long, 14 +hours a day.

You just don’t appreciate your blessing until it is taken away. Even when you bring the boys to a visit, the youngest comes running to me, as you never stop being daddy, even when they take you away. You still hold that same excitement, but I know you have to hold back, but then I can feel it when you press me so close. I long for your embrace, even when you use to squeeze my ribs out of place; which you did that one time…and you never let me live it down.  I worked like that for three or four days before the chiropractor found it and popped it back in place…

I am haunted though, by not being there enough. I should have been there to help you with all of those kids more. I should have listened to you, and been kinder. I was such a bully, and tormented them the way I had been as a child. I didn’t understand myself enough to be more considerate to them. I had so much healing to do. I am ashamed at myself for my lack of tolerance to all of their special needs. This hurts me deep down in my soul.  I allowed my inner child to dictate in those moments. I have asked forgiveness from God, but I keep picking that burden up. Reading the tibetan book helps me to see how close and precious family should be.

Family should be shown love above everything else in life, nurturing each part. God has shown me how a father should be to his children and wife. You were always so patient with me. I only saw that I needed to support the family with money, and now I see that God is first, then family, then self. So many men need to understand this, as our children pay for our mistakes, and then pass it on to the next generation. Tell the men to remember to support the needs of the children, not to exasperate them…

My First Instinct was to try and help

10/8/13

Dear Chicano,

It has begun. A new chicken legacy.

Who ever heard of chicks hatching in October?

You know my 85 year old mother…she said to keep the eggs collected and not allow that sad hen

men, women, hope, relationships

First chick, and egg that is struggling to hatch.

to lay this late. I prayed about this ever since ‘Laura’ was found on the eggs three weeks ago.

I had watched this young hen over the  summer when she hatched three chicks, only to lose two while running them around the yard. Your oldest, the chicken whisperer, and myself, would run outside in rainstorms and catch her and the one chick, who would be soaking wet and hiding under a bush, and corner them so we could put them in the shed to dry.

She had tried earlier in the spring to hatch a group of eight, but ended up abandoning the nest for whatever reason, and ran around broody and forlorn until this little group hatched in June. Her one biddie, Peeper, is still very attached to her mother.

Well, I thought about this, and I prayed some more, and I left Laura alone on the nest. I’m no dummy when it comes to chickens, so I knew we could put her up in the garage in a box with a lamp over the winter, and your oldest would tend to them, so I just let her be. I knew, in my heart, that she needed a way to get over the grieving, and that this was really important to her. So, I let her be.

How often in life, do older, or more respected  folk do their best to impart or push their wisdom on others, emasculating young men, or dis-empowering young women who have an inner knowing but continue to be beat down for going against the grain? Unless we have a deep, spiritual well-spring to draw from during the dry times, we can become worn out, dried up like old shoe leather. We find it hard to give back because we are give out. I pray that never happens to me.

I went to gather eggs yesterday, and could hear Laura talking to her eggs. It is so amazing to me that people cry for miracles yet turn away from the multitude of gifts that God offers daily, as few are brave enough to open their eyes are receive.

How is it that a simple year old chicken can sit on 14 eggs, and know who is getting ready to hatch, and begin to coax them into the world? She knows if one is too hot or cold, and will turn either them or herself to adjust to their needs.

I was nervous when I saw two eggs sticking out from under her, as she is a banty, and was worried that there were too many eggs for her to cover. But, I also trusted Creator through Nature to take care of it. Perhaps she knew they weren’t healthy, or maybe they were too hot?

Today when I entered, I heard the inquiring ‘peep peep’ that let me know they were beginning to arrive. How exciting! And, her little Peeper was in the nest box with her! I think she decided to be a second incubator, so the chicks and the eggs would be warm, and Laura wouldn’t have to stress to handle the large load by herself. This can also be a dangerous time, as rats will quickly steal away chicks from under the momma hen at night while she is on the ground with the nest.

I was very excited, and just lifted a wing so that a fat little chick rolled out. The proud momma pecked her on the head so she could sit still for me to gently pet and talk to the little one. There were actually three, with another egg trying desperately to  hatch. My first instinct was to help it, but I know, as a farmer, that one has to let the birthing process come in its own way.

I feel that this is where God spoke to me today, as He finds a way to, everyday, if I just listen…

living things must suffer if they are to survive in this world. The ones that struggle from eggs and capsules(like butterflies), are very soft and wet. It is crucial that they continue to draw from the valuable nutrients inside their particular casing. During this time, they stretch, strain and push their various body parts to and fro, strengthening, drying, working their bodies so they will be able to function once out of the shell. I left everyone alone, but came back a few hours later with your chicken whisperer, (CW, for short).

“Oh mom,” he sighs, as if I should know better. “You just need to open this up a little bit here, and loosen the membrane up there…” and he worked while talking, and then stuck the little fella back under the worried Laura. Just a few small cracks near the place where the beak had made its first hole, nothing more.

Tonight, late, around 11:30, I woke up, worried. That little chick could be dying, or dead, all because I didn’t bring it in and help it out, or wet the shell, or, well, I don’t know…something. CW was dead asleep. Forget it. So, I went to the baby boy, who grumbled and whined a little, but got up and grabbed his .22 and the little miner flashlight that sticks on your forehead, and off we went in the dark, cold night.

Maxi snuffled inside the shed, too, getting the chickens a little excited, but they’re used to the corgi sticking his nose around. There was Peeper, next to Laura, a little agitated by the light and such. I couldn’t find the egg at first, then, I saw it, half the shell was gone! It was still wrapped in some membrane, but much progress had been made. The shell was no where to be found. Apparently the siblings and momma had worked to get the chick out by themselves? I had put some scratch in the box so they eat when ready, and not be starving while waiting for everyone to hatch, so it looks like they were definitely trying to help, not eat it!

Wow. I asked the baby brain if he thought it was OK, and he said, (surprise), “Yes, mom, it is fine. Can we go to bed now?” From the mouths of babes….

chickens, spirituality, faith

Egg, with a little help, closer to being born.

Because Jesus taught in parables, I think the Father does, as well. You had to be put into the tiny egg, Chicano, so that you would be so close to God that there was no way to keep escaping in the daily distraction of life, the doing that you and I were so famous for. Even in regular population, you were teaching, working with others, going to choir, whatever, and still didn’t make time to grieve and heal your childhood, as well as the loss of the nucleus of our family. It has been horrible to have the children torn apart, with no way to make amends, to give them all therapy, or for all of us to heal. We both have to grieve in our separate ways, and I have to sit back and allow Divine Intervention to take place, to allow Creator to free you from your egg into new life.

I love you.

I breathe…

Dear Chicano,
Oct.5, 2013

I miss you so much that I don’t know sometimes

how I kept from driving off of the mountain two years ago, after grieving for almost a year, and the angel came and said, “Let him go”.

I really wanted to end it all; the pain of the lies after all of the hard work was so hard to bear.

There is so much hurt between us that I don’t know how to release it all.

I work on loving your family, even though they abandoned us, leaving us to fend for ourselves. I don’t want to hold this pain inside, and I’m slowly getting better. I understand there was confusion, many problems from long ago that keep us bound in shame and pain. It’s like trying to swim in quicksand.

It is painful to look at pictures of you, but I miss you so much that I can’t keep away.

men, women, relationships, lost love, musings,

It hurts to remember, but I can’t stop the memories, so I quit fighting.

Seeing you behind the glass, with your beard so unruly and rough, and your hair scruffy and sticking out, it was a shock. I’ve never seen you like this.
I understand, though, because you are so clean, when you say you’ll be like this for another month, as all of the men have to share one razor. I guess that is worse than the unshaven part. I think again to the three in the book of Daniel who would not bow to a false idol, who refused to turn away from God.

25 He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God. ~ Daniel 3:vs. 25

You are just as strong and able bodied now as you were then, fifteen years ago. Even moreso with the more vegan diet and constant exercises. It boggles the mind, how you persevere through it all.

God must have plans for us.

I breathe and hope they manifest soon.

We were a good team…

Isolation

…although I wasn’t fully into it as you were. I saw things through those false glasses that society often looks through. I was living for this world and not for Christ. More Christians need to get involved and stop sitting on their rumps. Society has almost gotten rid of Christ and everything we believe in about this country and people have got to not let that happen.
I love you with all my heart and miss standing beside you. They may have separated us, but we are still fighting. I will keep standing up for those who can’t. (letters from seg)