Could It . . .

Inmates sometimes get what they call the "fuck its," where they no longer care how much time they may have left, what trouble they could get in, they push the envelope and it sometimes turns into a downward spiral. As the wife of an inmate, I feel like I get the "could its." Could he really be home in under 200 days? Could he go back? Could he really be ready for the changes in his life he promises? Could this be it? The could its, effects me in a different way that the fuck its affect my husband. My could its give me a hang out, question myself, him and the situation while the fuck its give him rage to be careless. The could its make me wonder the what ifs and wonder what will my life be like. What if its not what he expected? Or what I expected? What if we can't get over this hump? Could this happen to us? I am sure a lot of women wonder as I do, what next. We have been moving along for this long but will it payoff like we expect? Our love can withstand this pressure, stress but can it withstand the true test of time? When my husband called today I had all of these questions but I know the answers, so why do these questions run through my head? Why can't I be content today? I know tomorrow will be a new day, a new horizon and it will work out, but what is it today? My could its are overwhelming me today, taking over my mind and corrupting my soul. Some days I don't even know who I am, what I think I am and now what I see looking back at me in the mirror. Yesterday I was strong, stood tall and today I feel helpless, hopeless, yet I know tomorrow I will once again gain that courage to continue on this path of love.

Common Ground

This lifestyle isn't for everyone. Some women prevail while some women fail. Mothers either choose to support their children through thick and thin while wives are put through the true test of for better or for worse. Every day life is consumed with something else, you can no longer focus on just you and your relationship you are now focusing on the "what ifs" and the "could its." And I admit somedays its not only hard to get out of bed but its hard to stay positive, upbeat or even to pretend too. This lifestyle is something I never dreamed of as a young girl, I am sure nothing my parents dreamed of me having, hell not Tom's either. While we can have constant negatives around us whether it be no financial help, lawyers, appeals, school, work the list can go on and on depending on the woman and the situation. One thing that helps me a lot is other women in this same situation. We all have this common bond of this taboo love of inmates, something we can't really explain but just know its right. While we continue down this path of hand written letters, 15-minute phone calls we sit and compare. Compare crimes, time, journeys and struggles. Shit, I will be the first to admit, I have not been labeled a "prison wife" for a fraction of what a lot of women have but I do know this is my life too. I know I am not afraid to admit my husband is an inmate. I know I am not afraid to preach the bad and the good of this situation and that love, love can still be behind bars. I won't be in this situation forever, or even years but for my "sisters" who are, I care for them, treat them with respect and let them feel how they feel. Not every single person is affected in the same exact way. What I may be happy about, one may be mad about and what may be a positive for her may be a negative for me. Whether my husband will be home in five months, five years or five decades that doesn't change that fact that I too am in this situation, that I too have struggles yet have triumphs. I want to stand with other women in rejoice to have one another to confide in, trust and understand, not belittle and judge. As loved ones of inmates we should be reaching out to one another offering information and resources because when it comes down to it we are already judged by the better bulk of America. I don't want to be judged by the same people who are living the same life as me.

This thing named Irene . . . .

The feeling of uncertainty can kill you. Its a black hole in your stomach, that affects every vein in your entire body. What seems to be a black hole lies deep within, making you feel helpless because that's what I am. Here at just after midnight, I cannot wonder what my husband is doing, where he is and if he is okay. You see right now he is in the middle of Hurricane Irene. The knots in my stomach get tighter by each passing minute. The unknowing of what is going on is killing me. You see while a lot of people say, "He will be fine," I am sure he will but the feeling, the possibility of maybe something does happen, its a sickening feeling. One day they are being evacuated, the next they aren't and to find out 500 inmates are evacuated yet your husband isn't one of them, sucks for the lack of better words. You see Tom isn't in a concrete or cement building with high walls surrounding him, he is in a low security unit, housed by trailers on the compound and with the recent tornado warnings, it intensifies the feeling that much more. I can't really explain the feeling of maybe something happening to someone you love, to your spouse. I feel like I just got him and I never want to lose him. I hate that this has to happen now, this year, it sucks. Tom would sit here and say I am overreacting and its not a big deal, but why isn't it? Why isn't it a big deal when something can potentially harm someone you love, fill your life with sadness or even make that much more difficult to live. Not hearing my phone ring all day was one of the worst feelings because while I assume he is part of the two million people without power I do not know for sure. I don't know what is happening, where what how and why - and the worst part is that he is in the middle of a situation that he has no control over. He can't come and go as he pleases, he can't take shelter in something or somewhere else, so where does that leave him? I wonder what is he thinking right now? What is he doing right now? Is there water creeping up his bunk? Have the winds affected the housing unit? All I can do is wait. Wait it out. Wait for the phone to ring. Wait to hear his voice. But in the mean time, I love him with all my heart, everything I am.

*UPDATE* While the two days were horrible, hearing his voice was amazing! It makes you realize how much you love someone and really don't want to lose that person! He was evacuated to a nearby person, I was suppose to be notified, but wasn't but then again they can't call 2,000 plus wives for an overnight stay. But he is okay, and we are back to "normal" well besides mail. =)

Today it really hit me, part of this "lifestyle" of being a prison wife isn't not being able to share accomplishments. Small things like cleaning out and vacuuming my car (which is kind of a big deal to me since thats his department) to something big, well big to me. Growing up I have always been creative, always creating, thinking of anything and everything and when I was hired at newspaper over three years ago, my passion flourished. My passion soon turned from drawing to graphic arts and my words of melody soon became news worthy pieces and feature stories. I have always wanted to step out from the newspaper business, as a freelance writer, and after a few years my first magazine feature is in Idaho Magazine in the September issue. I was excited to open the mailbox to see the large envelope which encased my three complimentary copies, I soon ripped it open to browse the colorful pages to see my name, my picture, my photographs anything really. I went into my apartment and sat on the couch and it dawned on me, the one person I want to share my accomplishment with isn't here. I wish we could go have a celebratory drink, hell I wish I could just hear an,"that's good baby." Now I know that will come in a phone call and he will tell me all the sweet things and the "I'm proud of yous" but it would be so nice to just have it in person.

I guess it never really dawned on me that things like this are taken for granted in everyday life. Even things when Tom scores a 90 on a test in his trade class, or even something simple like a good cooked meal. The small things are really what count and I miss them.

I wish he was here just to read it and look at the photographs in person with me rather than me making photo copies and mailing them, allowing someone else to read them first and then him. I hate the process, I hate the distance but I love this man. I know one day soon the accomplishments will be grander and greater and they will sprout both he and I, and in return we will be able to share in these wonderful things in our life together. Right now I will copy the eight page spread send it in an envelope and I know he will appreciate it, say he loves it, but I am sure he wants to be home to celebrate these small moments just as much as I want him here.

Halfway to the Top

154 days spent sleeping alone in bed
154 days without breaking bread together
154 days without a conversation being recorded
154 days filled with lined paper and 44 cent stamps
154 days of waking up alone, falling asleep alone and just feeling alone
154 days of unknowing what the future really had for us

Today, Tom has been away for 154 days to be exact. 154. It seems like forever yet its just a few months. 154 days, I don't even know what its like to lay next to him anymore, not to mention I haven't seen him in 143 of those. Sometimes I sit, close my eyes and try to imagine his face, the way he laughed, the way he looked at me - yet those times seem to only come in my dreams which I soon forget them, and the feeling they give me. While Tom has been gone for 154 days, he has 155 left. Yes, only 155. Which means today is halfway. Today is the day we have reached the top of that mountain, now to only descend to the bottom, which is a positive!

155 days until I can really hug him
155 days until I can finally fall asleep in his arms again
155 days until I realize why I have been doing this the whole time
155 days until I can spend my first night with my husband
155 days until I can be free, and really happy again

I have been looking forward to our halfway mark. Having a countdown of how many days he has left and a count up of how long he has been gone on my phone, I seemed to have plagued myself of the constant reminder of this. BUT starting tomorrow, he will have less days to serve then he has been gone, thank you Jesus!! See a number like 340, 250 etc etc is so overwhelming and to finally get to a place where we are on the other end is a great feeling. Lets be honest 155 days may seem short to others, long to others - but none the less, I am happy that in just a few months he will be home. And when he is finally home, I will feel on top of the world rather than a mountain. This is a real test of love, whether it is decades, years, months, weeks, like Tom says you can really see who is on your side once you get locked up. I know in 155 days this nightmare will be over and we will finally be able to live of our lives without fear. I can't wait. Only 155 days.

Save Me

It is amazing to me how love can affect you. How love can change affect your life. Where you think your life is one way, going a certain way and then everything changes all of a sudden. Like me, I was working just focusing on my life as it was and then a train hit me. That train was Tom. I once told Tom "love is overrated," as he reminds me all the time.

I once was in a dark place in my life. My nights consisted of drinking, anything with alcohol percentage over five percent, my demons consistently followed me, creeping into my daily life, my love life, my head, my thoughts. My tunnel had no light at the end of it and somehow I was recovering. You see I am good at hiding, hiding my struggles, my trials and tribulations - I hate when people say I am sorry, as if they pity who I am. I hate the attention hurt and pain can bring from others, its just not me, so I have trained myself to be stronger than I need to be and sometimes should be. But none the less I overcame that day I sat at the edge of my bed, contemplating, taking my life with the revolver that rested in my hand. I had already sunk to my bottom, rock bottom in fact and it seemed like there was no chance for me to be free.

I have overcame that day, moved on from the drinking and the demons. Part of that recovery was myself, learning to love who I am, learn exactly who I am, and then Tom came along. Between Tom and I, he most certainly has the "past" yet I seemed to be the broken one. His hurt was worn on his sleeves, the scars, the lines on his face - all shown his true strength. The inner strength has had to develop almost on his own to be the man he is today. I feel broken compared to him, how can this one man who has seen things I don't want to think about, be more together than me? Somehow he was. Somehow he fell in love with me, I fell in love with him, he saved me.

He saved me in the way of showing me real love. I have never in my life felt this love, this type of never dying love. A love that sees past our hard times, bad times and still come together to appreciate one another. He saved me in the terms of believing in me, which gave my the courage to believe in myself. Its like Tom swept in with an S on his chest, and not taking me from my pain and hurt but saving me from my pain and hurt. I couldn't imagine where I would be without Tom, and I would like to think he would say the same thing. But when it comes down to it, he's my hero. A man that stepped up showed my love, showered me with respect, listened and if he can't he at least tries to understand. So I wonder where I would be without him, without his love? It probably wouldn't be pretty, or slightly good for at least in my mind.

I thank him almost everyday for loving me, coming into my life and for being him.

Forever and a Day

Forever my days are spent loving you
I miss everything about you
Some days I have to slow down my breathing
So I can get a grip on my heart
I can't wait to hold you in my arms
My apology for the days we have that are bad
There are many ways of making it up to you
Just like the many ways to love you
I can't wait for my special day with you
Better yet I can't wait to just hold you
Just to spend forever and a day with you
Makes my love for you grow by the seconds
So I want you to know 4-Life, From the bottom of my heart
I am blessed to spend, Forever and a day with you!"
Could I ask for anything more?
This is why I continue to fall in love with a man over again when I haven't seen in over 100 days and a man that I can only talk to in 15-minute intervals. This couldn't have came a better day, really. While Tom and I are looking at our halfway mark this Thursday, Tom could have came home this week as well. I know it is bittersweet. I have always preached "everything happens for a reason," but why this? Why did we have to catch 180 more days? Really? But like like we say, "it is what it is." While it would be fabulous to have him here, we both know its obviously not in the cards and when it comes down to it, it may not be in the cards until his release day.
Reading what he wrote makes my heart melt, because its positive that we are halfway done, yet still have XXX days left. Its hard because reality hits whens we both realize we have done so many days already and are still in the three digits. And maybe we both just realized that this past week. Tom writes this gets harder and harder and it always makes me wonder, what if.
"I'm sorry to put you through all this and like I said before I promise to never leave you again! Now also I lay here at night wondering how its going to be when I do get home. I know this is hard and its only been 90 days and I worry some times that something will happen in the next 200 or whatever days. I know you say you are here to stay and you have been supportive as hell through this but I have seen it a hundred times where it starts out great and the letters and money and phone are coming in constantly but then it gets close to the and and they say they met someone else and they just kept up with everything to make sure you were okay till you got out or they say that they are scared that you may go back or do something stupid to get you sent back and they want to end it now before it happens. Or worse off, all the love just fades away and thats the one that scares me."
He wrote that back in July but seems it be in play now. While we are still both supportive and love is not fading, its hard to maintain a relationship hell a marriage under these terms. The whats ifs, the what if he gives up, what if he can't handle it, the coulda, shoulda, woulda's all come into play. But while neither one of us can admit that this is easy, a piece of cake, we are still here. We are both trekking through this slowly but surely and poems like this, make it worth while.
So maybe the "everything happens for a reason" was to bring us closer, learn more about one another, really explore our goals, philosophy of life or finally just realize how much we really love one another. Whatever the reason may be, it is what it is. I still love my husband, I am still supporting him 120 percent, and when that day finally comes of him when I can finally have his fingers in between mine, I know we both will look back and say, "Look at what we did, can you believe it." Because when it comes down to it, its love.

Miss You So Much

"Oh well as long as I have you that is all that matters to me! So do you know how much I miss you babe? Damn, I wish for one night we could just be together and be able to fall asleep in eachother's arms again. I'd be able to do the rest of this on my head if we would be able to have one night together! But believe me, when this is over I will never leave you again and we will cherish everyday from that day on together! I don't ever want to be apart again like this. It's killing me to be here with a bunch of idiots and not to be with my wife." - August 13
"So anyways have I told you how much I miss you today? Well, I'm miss you like crazy today! damn I wish I could at least see you, the pics are nice but to be able to see you in person would make this so much easier for the both of us. When I call and you say that you had a bad day cause you were really missing me, I try to really play like I'm ok but inside its really killing me! Damn it kills me not to be able to see you. Everyday I wake up in here gets harder and harder but I try to remember that everyday I wake up in here is one day closer to being home with my wife. So I have to be strong cause it only hurts worse when I realize how long we have been apart and how much time we have left till we are back together again! With that being said all that is left to say is babe, we have to be strong and never broken! This will pass and we will make it. I love you with all my heart baby." - August 14
I can't begin to tell you how this affects me, reading this makes my heartache. Its aches because I feel exactly how he does, it aches because I wish I could see him everyday to take away his pain. This feeling has to be one of the worst, seeing someone you love so much in pain, lost and you really can't do anything to change it. While he gets letters daily, photos, newspapers, books, copies of my blog its not the same. For me, I don't get photos, I get letters and calls - its been over 100 days since I have seen my husband. The distance has killed us, when he was here in county jail I saw him six days a week since there were no visits on Thursdays, now he gets none. I wish I could fly tomorrow to surprise him, to just show him how much I love him. The 2,500 miles that separates us seems to be like a brick wall, no passing it.

Reading the words "harder and harder" is like a dagger to my heart, a rip in my soul because it should be getting easier, we are almost at our halfway point. The word harder is like a what if to me, what if he gives up, what if it gets too hard for him, what if, what if, what if. All we can do is close our eyes and daydream, or with any luck see one another in our dreams.

Tom and I have over 100 days left until we see each other, while it isn't a long time for a lot of women, it is for us, he has already been gone for 148 days. It seems like forever since he has been gone yet years until he is home again. All we can do is try to stay strong for one another, strong and never broken, that's it we have been so strong and never broken. We can only stay committed in our marriage and like he says cherish each day when he gets home.

But in the mean time, what do you do?

Head In the Clouds

Today I really missed Tom. It was just one of those days that it's not a "bad" day you just can't get your mind off of him, and any other prison wife will know exactly what I am talking about. Its like everything you see reminds you of him, every song is your song and you just wish he was coming home tomorrow rather than 161 days from now, but what are you gonna do right? Today I caught myself looking into the sky, wondering was he looking at the sky at that very moment too? I seem to do this a lot. Like is he looking at the moon when I am? Is he missing me right this second, is he laying on his bunk wondering what I am doing while he listening to his long awaited radio? The clock assumes my time, whether its getting home to answer the phone or to just wonder what he is doing at that time. Like right now its 11:43 p.m. in New Jersey, which means he is probably fast asleep after reading a chapter in his book, listening to the Eagles games. God, this man has my head in the clouds, but the best part is watching the sunrise, clouds pass and the sunset, knowing another day is closer to having my husband home. A day which I have been looking forward to for 147 days now (I think that's how long). Once I got onto the phone with him tonight, I could feel the smile from ear to ear and hear the smile in his voice, was worth all of the missing him. Laughing with him, teasing one another and just to hear "I love you" and "I miss you" for the last 60 seconds over and over, makes me not even want to hit the end button on my phone. I love Mr. Lewis and he is worth everyday that has already passed and all the days we have ahead.

I feel like people ask me this all the time but without the words, they think it, they want to ask but they never muster up the courage. So is this what I believe in, or am I settling? This situation is nothing I ever thought I would be in nor something I even imagined I would agree to. If you asked me when I was 16, 18, hell 23, would I marry a man in the Lemhi County Courthouse, while he wore black and white strips? Would I take the chance and put all of me into this? I would have said no, never.

So at 25 here I am, married to man in prison, so am I settling or do I believe in this?

I have always been a lover, I love hard, I love for real - so that is what I believe in. I am not settling. The only think I am settling on is allowing this situation get the best of me, because when it comes down to it, this isn't for the weak. This is for the strong, the willing, the ones who are ready to give it their all - not ones who easily give up. While a lot of people may weak women marry men in prison, weak women stick with a man in prison but its takes a very solid person to put up with the visits, the calls, the letters and lack of communication, love, affection. Its like trying to get pull a warm-hearted feeling from a cold empty place.

I believe in love, the commitment of marriage and that is why I am here in this position. I am in this because I believe in the man I married, I love him and I wouldn't have married him especially in these circumstances if I didn't have the faith and love from him and for him.

Settling is something in a court case, a payment, there is no settling in my marriage, this right now is what I believe in. I know once these days go by and he is home again what you call settling you will then call destiny.

"Never will I do that!" I once explained yet here I am, an hour and half later here I am with "endless love" on the inside of my ring finger and "T & A 4-Life 4-7-11" on the opposite side.

Yes, I got our initials tattooed on my ring finger.
Explanation? Love. Commitment.

T & A for Tom and Annette
4-Life for him, he always signs his letters "Your Husband 4-Life"
4-7-11 for the day we said I do.
Endless Love because that is what this is endless love
Tom kinda wanted me to wait for him to get it done but to me it's something I wanted to do on my own, something to show, to prove my love, my devotion.
And Here It Is. In raw form, in fact with traces of the stencil.

While our marriage is permanent so is the ink that will forever remind me of my wonderful husband. Every time I look down I will see this, and it will only remind me of the amazing man I met and married, the commitment we share and the trials that we have already had to face. Some people may think it is a bad idea, that marriage isn't guaranteed, that things happen but you're right things happen - like love. Why do people always assume the worst, why not the best. Tom and I have already been through a lot, we have already had to struggle for 145 days of our marriage, yes 145 days. Yet that is okay. I am okay with the situation because I know when he is home we will have the life together and that's all that matters.

I love my husband, I am committed to him 120 percent.
We only have 164 more days, another day down is another day closer
to having each other into our arms.

Tom has left an impression in my heart, something that will never cease,
a print on my soul and now forever on my skin, a permanent stain.

One Small Day

Sometimes I don't understand how you can feel so on top of the world and then BAM, so down, like six feet under, numb, paralyzed, like sleeping and not waking up again. The ups and downs and joys and hurts of this situation is draining, and no one understands it unless you are in it. I can't explain how much I love my husband and yet be so down all of a sudden or the joy of hearing the phone ring to the hurt or extra charges or a failed appeal. I try so hard to act like I am okay but when someone asks, "How are you" or "How much longer" I just smile and answer like it doesn't phase me.

I try to seem strong every day, for myself a lot of the time. No one sees my struggles just my troubles - the troubles of trying to juggle three plus jobs, balancing having a husband on prison and 2,500 miles away. Its a lot and sometimes I am fooling myself and I just gotta break down. Welcome to my day.

I can't even pin point where in my day I was fine then went to irritated, frustrated, depressed and now just sad. I think its the time I come home. I had a great time with my best friend last night, much girl time full of laughter, going to work and then coming home its hits me like a brick wall. A brick wall of reality that Tom isn't here, he won't be for months and I am alone. Loneliness is something I feel a lot, its hard to have that person in your life, your best friend and your lover but who isn't there with you because of circumstances you can't control it. I think I hit the wall when I feel left, I feel left by friends its like as soon as I got married or they found out where Tom is - I didn't exist and that hurts. It hurts to be judged, when you can still be happily married but they just see the cover of the situation and they never ask anything, they assume.

Some days its hard to stay strong or to even smile, all I want to do is break down, cry, yell, kick and scream but I can't. I know I have to keep my chin up for me and my husband. I have to stay strong because so many people want to see my fail. The things that keep me going is my husband first and foremost, his always encouraging words, my true friends and not always understanding but supportive family. This is a constant fight but I know we will prevail, its just one small day out of the total XXX days.

More than the Moon

"Happy Anniversary baby! Four months and going strong! After this nothing can stop us baby. I'm so happy that April 7th we made the decision to spend the rest of our lives together. That is one of the best decisions I could have ever made in my life! To marry a woman who is everything that I'm not. She is reliable, funny, strong willed and caring. She keeps me together when I want to crumble. She picks me up when I fall down. And she is there when no one else is. She is my wife till death do us part! I love you with all my heart baby always and 4-Life!"

Tom was right, after this, nothing can stop us. This has definitely been a test of our love, dedication and a test of our commitment. Yeah we have only been married for four months but four months he has been locked up, four months of collect calls, letters, and four months of complete devotion. Everyday I think of how blessed I am to have this kind of love, this man - while others see him as just an inmate, just an offender I see him.

I see the potential in him, yet I see the pain, I see the love he has and the love he needs - I see past his bad decisions and encourage the right ones, because what matters is the present and the future. We let the past be the past, bury those skeletons and move on that is what keeps us as a unit.

April 7th I married my best friend and I wouldn't change it for the world. April 7th I made the right decision by marrying him. While he says I am everything he isn't like funny, strong willed, reliable and caring - I see all of those things within him. Four months really doesn't matter, what does matter is that love we share, the commitment we have for our marriage and focusing on the future. I love him more than the moon, at this point that is the only thing we share, the moon. Seeing the same thing thousands of miles away, I wish it was just that easy to see him. But one day soon we will be able to share the moon together, with one another, and I pray for it every single day.

My Life versus My Priorities

Some days just suck. Not because of work, or non-sense drama from family and friends just because Tom isn't here. Things constantly remind me of him whether its a smell, something I see or a stupid joke I know Tom would laugh at. Like the Taco Bell mild sauce, he would get it, he would laugh and I miss that! Funny things he says or does, or things that makes me laugh and smile.

While my life was thrown through a whirlwind in such a short period of time I wouldn't change it. Now my life is full of phone calls and letters and that's okay. Really. Sometimes people get my life versus my priorities intertwined. Yes, a lot of my time is consumed by collect calls, letter writing, letter reading, calling this and that person about an appeal, ordering books and sending money orders but that's my life. My priorities are my jobs especially because I need to survive. My priorities are my overall well being because Tom doesn't want anything but for me to be happy. And he would live without the list of things I do, but I do it because I love him.

Judging people say not to let my life revolve around him, it doesn't but he is my husband making him a huge part of my life. I still do me. I work, I have fun and Tom is apart of that. People say I shouldn't invest so much time in this right now because I may regret it later, what is that? So are they saying my marriage will fail because of where my husband is? But how am I suppose to make my marriage work without putting any effort into it?

It blows my mind how naive people can be in my own life. Tom makes me happy, I make him happy, its memories of laughter and love that keep us going, that keep our marriage a float along with the phone calls, letters and pictures. Besides whoever says that they have never put someone they love in front of something or someone else, is lying. Sorry but its true. Divorced or married, happy or miserable its happened.

So I miss Tom today. I wish I could laugh with him in person than wait until the phone rings but even though I miss him I am still alive this situation doesn't control my life, doesn't control who I am. I love my husband <3 And when it comes down to it I am going to fight for our marriage and for our happiness.

If you're a bird . . .

Doesn't everyone just love this movie? Okay well besides a lot of guys but it's a beautiful love story. A young woman from a well off family falls in the love with the man that just makes cents an hour and when her mother steps in, years tear them apart but love prevails and the two end up together till the end, literally. I love this story but I am a girl and I love a lot of love stories! Watching this always makes me cry and just made me think of what my "love" future would be. These stories seem to be fiction, things like that really don't happen, but they do for some people.

I interviewed a couple February 2010 who had been married for 72 years, yes, married for 72 years. Tom and I were dating at the time and insisted that he went, and it was nice to see an older (both 90) couple still so in love. And while they didn't have a story of years being apart or rich versus poor, their love story was extraordinary. Could you imagine being married for 72 years? Amazing. And sitting there with Tom made me wonder, would it be him? Would Tom and I have that kind of love?
Now months later, we do. Tom and I can't say we met as teenagers, or married at the naive age of 18 but we can say we have that love. So yes, these amazing love stories happen, maybe not so much like in the movies but they are true and I am one of them. People judge Tom and I, our marriage and the fact that Tom is in prison but what they don't understand is real love. A lot of people just don't understand until you are in that position, really, they preach they would never, could never but then they do. I was one of them. I had a list of must have's and has to's and guess what? Tom had what maybe one, two. Male and with a pulse. It's true.
But luckily I crumbled up that pointless list and fell madly in love with what is now my best friend. Sometimes you have to look past the exterior and feel something, like Allie and Noah. She looked past the fact that he had no money, really wasn't going anywhere and they fell in love. They laughed and fought but loved. Tom and I haven't really fought but I am sure as time goes on we will, but we laugh like its medicine and love like crazy.
So now when I watch these movies I understand. I understand that love because I have that love. I am so deeply in love with my husband I would do it all over again. All over again. And I know my husband loves me which gets me up every morning, happy throughout the day and puts a smile on my face when my head hits the pillow at night. I am so grateful not only to be married to my best friend, but to have this kind of love. And I know if I were a bird, Tom would be a bird.

Four Months

Today Tom and I have been married for four months, seems like yesterday that I walked up those steps to the courtroom, my heart pounding, I was so nervous. It also means Tom and I haven't seen one another in just under four months, he was extradited just days after we said I do. We miss each other so much that sometimes the $4.95 phone calls and daily letters don't seem to be enough.

But in the past four months, Tom and I have both grown immensely. In the past four months I have really realized what marriage is, and while we haven't really been able to fully experience it, the situation that we are in is hard. Having a husband who is serving time in prison is a true test to your marriage, your commitment and yourself.

Its not easy maintaining a marriage while he is incarcerated especially 2,500 miles away in New Jersey, which means no visits. Commitment is key to our marriage, we fully trust one another and are 100 percent committed to each other. Our commitment includes being faithful, honesty and communication, and being able to depend on one another - more Tom depending on me at the time. I have to be dependable for Tom in daily letters, money on his books every two and answering the phone everyday. Its not just hard for me not having my husband but its hard for him being away without his freedom. I never want him to think I am not here for him, that I don't support him or have given up.

Its not easy to be me nowadays. When I said "I do" I accepted the fact that Tom may have to go to New Jersey and we really didn't know how long this would be, days, months or even years - but I knew I loved him and four months ago I became Mrs. Lewis. Becoming a wife without my husband has been weird and sometimes I don't know who I am. I consume my time with working, constantly, and I tell myself I need the money but in reality I just want to keep my mind busy. I want to keep my mind off of him, our situation and the days left we have. In the time Tom has been gone I have found love within myself that I never knew existed yet have lost a part of myself with him being gone. Its hard to be so in love with a man that isn't here, to fall in love and have him ripped away.

Four months down, only about five more, which is an upside to this day. I do not ever regret falling in love with the man I did or being prison wife, all I can do is look towards tomorrow, because one day down is another one closer to finally having him back in my arms again.

- The One & Only Mrs. Lewis

"You know that I love you and I will never ever leave you again like this. You know why I married you? Cause I knew you were the one! I knew that you were everything I wasn't and you make me better everyday we are together! I married you cause you are the most beautiful woman I ever met! You are so beautiful and I don't want you to ever change I love you with everything I am and that will never change. I fell in love with you the way you are now and that is how I want you to stay! I will always be proud of you! I'm proud to have you as my wife."

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No matter how far,
No matter how long,
I will always be here,
Always as your wife,
No matter how far,
Now matter how long,
You will always be my best friend,
My husband
A true love.
Thank you for being you.


After my day yesterday - locking my keys in my car, having to get a jump twice, burning myself, a notice that my car insurance is going up by $40 a month for no apparent reason, dropping and shattering a brand new vase - I was ready to quit. Quit something.

So I quit the day. Yesterday being Thursday, Tom usually doesn't call since I work from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. so I was a little disappointed that he didn't even try, even after my numerous telepathic attempts. =] At the end of the day I was irritated at the fact that my husband wasn't here to save me when I was a damsel in distress. While I am not mad at him, just irritated at the fact that this is what it is. I was made that I felt like I am doing everything on my own, that the insurance wouldn't be such a big deal if my spouse was working too, my car issues would may be a little easier if I didn't have to rely on friends - I was just irritated that he can't be here. And I am not mad at him or with him, I just want him here.

In the same horrible day I had we did have a glimmer or good news. Tom works five days a week and in addition to the $15 a month he earns he also earns credits for days off. He received a calculation of days and if he continues to work with minimal days off due to weather he will have a release day of January 26, 2012. Thank God.

We originally figured February 3 but could still climb from January to February since Fall and Winter in on their way. But while Wednesday we had 203 days left, Thursday we had 175. I was looking forward to breaking the 200 mark but now we are looking to 150 days or the countdown to be less then the count up - and of course the day he comes home.

While the facility he is at now looked over his charges and are still holding them, we still have an appeal in the process. But Tom and I have learned to not get our hopes up, so allow us to be happy with the final date and if its earlier then its earlier, we will of course be happy but we can't count on anything but each other.

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