What will people say? I have asked my self this question a million times, at least once daily. Maybe I should stop right here? No turning back after hitting that golden, publish button.
Oftentimes, we can hold sacred information close to our hearts because of fear. Fear of harsh words, fear of awkward silences, fear of diminishing self-worth. Fear has convinced me that it is easier to suffer alone in silence. I can’t do this anymore, my heart just might burst at the seam.
So here I sit with my laptop, peach LaCroix and Phil Wickman on my play list- writing. What would you say if I told you my husband was in prison?
His name is Saulo, not #253032 (inmate number). When I see my husband I see love, eternity, faith, grace and strength. I do not see an MCL code, given to him when he was 16. I don’t debate or lessen his crime, however, I see beyond it. I see the man he has become, not a choice made at an early age in his life.
One of my favorite songs by the Sidewalk Prophets is titled, “Live Like That.”
I want to live like that
And give it all I have
So that everything I say and do
Points to You
This song reminds me of how my husband has tried to live his life the last 22 years. It is not easy for my husband to feel deserving of the grace and mercy of God, however, he tries to “Live Like That,” each day. We do not need more judges in our life. What we need, I especially, is warriors with compassion.
Its hard for me to share how difficult of a journey this is for me, when my husband has it far worse. On one hand I am extremely lonely, oftentimes going many days with no human touch. My husband never has alone time, everywhere he goes there are people and lots of loud noises. Imagine being in a high school boys locker room with 250 adult men…. Yeah not pleasant. I wonder if he dreams of being alone, while I dream of being in his arms.
I plan and cook my meals, fully enjoying a Keto diet, and take my supplements each day. My husband eats 1 to 2 meals a day, depending on the menu. Most of the food is soy based, started in a powder form and mixed to form some sort of meat appearance. He is allowed to order some food from a company called SecurePak, however, the food reminds me of shopping in a dollar store. The amount of food he buys each month is limited due to his income of $55 a month, only so much he can spend on food, when body care is essential.
One of the hardest things for me is trying to explain to others why my husband never shows up to functions, such as work parties. There are only so many excuses to make. Sometimes I feel like I am leading two different lives, one with my husband and then one without. Experiencing life on the outside of the prison alone wishing he were there. I keep telling him that I’m pretty funny, he is just not around to hear my good jokes.
Visit days have almost become a second sabbath to me, a rest from my worldly cares and a time to be with him. Saturdays are my visit days, so you could only imagine the excuses I make to miss most functions. I often wonder if people find me snobby or reclusive? You never really understand what inmates go through until you go into a prison to visit. Going to visit a loved one in prison is very challenging. The drive can be long to get to the prison and then the process to sign in can be very difficult, it really depends on how the officer is feeling that day. Some officers are very kind and make the visit easier. But there is always that moment when visit is over and you remember where your loved one will be sleeping that night. Most of my drives home are filled with tears and hopefull prayers that this will be over soon.
Back to my earlier question, What will people say? I still am not sure what will be said to me and about me. I am hoping to be able to offer hope to someone who is suffering as I am. Maybe I can be a voice for the many incarcerated men and women who suffer injustices each day? Maybe I can help erase the stigma that family face when a loved one is incarcerated? Having a loved one in prison is hard enough, we shouldn’t harshly judge others.
Whatever is said of me -I will, “Live like that and give it all I have.”
Elder Gary E Stevenson said, ” Whether you face physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual cyclones, I assure you that the Lord is with you. Your trials will allow you to rely on Him. As a result, your capacity to see the hand of the Lord helping you in the midst of the difficulties will be enhanced.”
That I believe!
#love #grace #benevolentbeautybybobbi