"Have I told you that I love you yet today? Well if I haven't I LOVE YOU! And of course I miss you, terribly! Did you know I love you so much I'd walk across the country, swim the deepest waters, hike the highest peak just to tell someone I love you. Did you know you are my everything? Every day I wake up and thank God for having you, someone so supportive loving, respectful, caring, honest and more. Everything I need you have. Every night is lonely some nights its borderline suicidal but I sit back and think why would I want to give up something so wonderful so easily! I would be LOST without you. Over 100 letters exchanged, three months, four days, endless number of phone calls, seventeen visits, four concrete walls, one jealous ex, one glass window - is a basic rundown of all the things that have tried to come between us. Nothing will break us because what we have was meant to be. I am going to embrace this difficult time as just another test of our marriage's character. And another test means another triumph babe! I stay strong because I have a strong husband, I don't break because my husband is never broken. And together as a team the strength we have can overcome anything! I love you so much. Love, isn't it wonderful? God, I never imagined I could be so in love and it could be and feel so great! I am so lucky to have you babe!" July 14, 2011

I rarely share what I write, partly because I send them before I have time to sit and reflect. I wrote that letter six months ago, not a lot of it has changed, but some has. What has changed is my strength. Reading, "borderline suicidal" reminds me of how much I really struggled. I really missed Tom at the beginning of this, and yes, I still him but I have learned, I have trained myself how to deal with it. Some nights I still cry when I go to bed, rollover and wish he was there but in reality I want to live because he lives. I can't even explain what this lifestyle feels like, only a fellow wife could understand, but while it isn't glamorous or even accepted by most, I don't regret it.

I never regret marrying Tom because everything I wrote in July is true, still to this day. People wonder how Tom can be supportive in this situation but worried more about me than he does about himself. He is caring, loving and respectful - things you always want in a spouse. Past the 100 days, forget the glass, the concrete walls, phone calls and letters - Tom and I will always be able to triumph because of our honesty and our trust. I never look back and wonder what if, I wonder how come. I am happy that I listened to the "whispers of my heart" and became Mrs. Lewis because this love, this love is really amazing. That hasn't changed.

Tom and I haven't seen each other in over 220 days, I have lost count but when it comes down to it, these 200 something days are nothing compared to the forever we will have together. With that being said, I am still married to a strong man which makes me strong and I am not broken because he is not broken. We continue as a team to this very day even with the continuous struggles we have. My heart will never let me leave him. My heart continues to miss him and love him dearly. My heart whispers every night, "Goodnight babe, I love you," and my heart can hear his saying the same thing.

I never want to lose the whispers.

Today I came home not only to a nice two page letter from Tom but two heavy packages, they were filled with letters, cards, pictures, newspaper clippings. All together they were 26 cars, 5 random drawings, 12 little notes, 56 pictures, 1 postcard, a weird collection of newspaper clippings, and 377 sheets of double sided hand-written letters. They were all the letters and cards I have sent him since he left Idaho to New Jersey, April 11. Seeing the things he chose to keep and rip out of the newspaper, humbles me in the fact of how much I take for granted. The little things like a senseless note that just reads, "P.S.S. I just wanted to tell you I love you again," it kept, on the tiniest piece of paper. In the situation Tom is in, he appreciates the photos, cards and the little notes. It brightens his day - gives him something to look forward to and I am really happy that everything I have been doing means something to him. It is almost like a catch 22, it is sad to browse through the letters yet it's fun to see how far we have come. I am not really fond of reading my own letters that I write to Tom because I don't like to read me having a hard time but I do love to read the letters that are excited to see him, to finally have him home continues to give me hope that one day soon I will see him and to have home. Today I am grateful for the little things, the hand written letters I get from my husband, the beautifully drawn cards, the surprise phone calls the never ending appreciation from him.


"Have I told you that I love you? I do, you are the only one who has been there everyday through all this! You are the only one to listen when I have a bad day or laugh when I have a good day. The one to write me everyday and send pics to me. You picked me up when I was down. I love you so much babe, I'm proud to call you my wife! I don't know what I would have done through all this without you! You made me such a better man through this. Thank you for everything babe!"

Tom and I had no idea what last March would bring, nor did we realize really how hard it would be - well, Tom suspected. I think he always believed I could do it, but never thought I ever would. And that's okay because honestly some days I questioned myself, second guessed my choices - but over thinking and analyzing my decisions still kept me on this path. A path which I was able to learn and share with my husband on a level that we may have never been able too if the circumstances were different. Tom and I have been to the bottom of one another's hearts and to the deepest part of our souls - we have expressed our biggest fears and our hopeful dreams - which is what I think helps us. Helps us continue down this road "okay."

I think everyone at one point wants to know they have made a difference in someone else's life - and who better than your spouse? Tom claims I have made him a "better man" and yet he has made me such a better woman.

I always thought of myself as strong, outgoing and strong willed but I never knew how weak I was until I became a prison wife. When becoming a "prison wife" I was broken, it felt as though the world was against me - against us. The situation and the label put what I thought was "strength" to the test and I now realized it was weakness. I felt weak for the shedding tears that came without warning, the weakness showed itself in the loneliness I felt, the despair and the helplessness I felt for my husband. But as time went on my weakness slowly grew - it grew into something bigger, something better. I began to realize the tears weren't weakness, my loneliness wasn't weakness it was reality, the despair and helplessness wasn't weakness either - it was my life. I began to rebuild my confidence, rely on my husband and my true strength was showing.

Growing up, everyone goes through changes, parents divorce, family members die, some children experience sexual abuse or physical abuse and while I have had my fair share of "growing pains," I knew there was always someone else that had it worse than me. And even though the strength I thought I possessed was there it was more in my mind, then in my heart, my will or my soul.

So as a prison wife - my confidence was broken, part of me felt ashamed and I felt like everyone was judging me. But with the help of my husband, I learned who I really was. This past year has been pretty hard, everyday is a new battle and only a prison wife knows that its like to wait on the mailman for your happiness, how fast your heart beats when the phone rings or the feelings when your husband is depressed or angry and you can't do anything about it.

While this isn't the lifestyle I dreamed of or necessarily wanted - this is me and experiencing this has made me strong. Tom has made me a better person. He has showed me true love, the communication, the honesty and just the love he has is what makes me fall in love all over again. And while Tom doesn't "expect" me to stick around he knows I can do it, he reassures me of my strength. "You have been so strong babe, look how far you have come and you are still not giving up," he is part of my strength. He says he will never be able to "repay" me but all I ask for is his love, forever, because being happily married to him is plenty enough in my book.

I am a stronger woman because of the determination and real love I have for my husband, point blank period. I am stronger because I have a strong spouse, and together we are capable more than we probable know.

One Way Or Another

So this is what it feels like. I have to say I really thought that today would be hard for me. I thought that maybe I would breakdown, hurt from within, yet I feel confident - I feel strong. Maybe I cried all the tears I could this week days ago - maybe I am just content with the actions moving forward - but for whatever reason I happy right now. I know that my husband has finally put New Jersey behind us, it is no longer apart of "us" or our marriage, that I am thankful for. Tonight I am not sure where my husband is laying his head, all I can hope is that he is as comfortable as he can be, warm as can be and content. I am thankful for the fact the he is moving his way towards me and after 290 days I will finally see him. That I am thankful for. I feel strong in my marriage, in my relationship with a fantastic man. I feel confident that his smile will make my world 100 times better, I cannot wait. I am grateful that one way or another I will see him, I will finally get to see that smile, lock eyes and that I am thankful for. It seems as though we waited decades for this day, this very day, January 26 yet it was stolen from us. The happiness, the excitement - our time was stolen and while it may not seem fair to us, we are still alive, we still have each other- that I am thankful for. I am confident that Tom and I will be together, one way or another.

Dear God,

Dear God,

I know I haven't thought about you a lot, thanked you for anything lately but right now I need you. I am sorry I left you long ago when I thought church was over rated and my dislike for mass seemed overbearing. I thought maybe you would still watch over me while I continued on my day-to-day life. Sorry I haven't made time for you. Right now I need you. You see, my nights are sleepless, my mind in constantly running, headaches seem to be normal now rather than a problem and the tears come for no reason. While I haven't been the perfect child, I really hope you can help. The past ten and a half months haven't been easy. It went from three months to over ten months and now here we are facing something that is bigger than New Jersey, bigger than the ten months. I know Tom hasn't been perfect in his life and to be honest, there is probably more than even I know but this one time Tom was honest, he is now going to be punished for it. I know you know the love I have for Tom in my heart, and his love for me. I am not asking for a perfect outcome I am just asking for something better than we hope. We try to keep our faith that everything will be okay, but the light at the end of the tunnel is pretty dim. I want to have children, but I want to have children with my husband. We had high hopes and wanted a bright future, in what would be tomorrow. While we haven't made the perfect decisions in our lives, either one of us, both together as a couple and individuals - we need the chance to be happy. We have moved leaps and bounds to become not only a couple, but to have a honest, open relationship where we rely on each other and love each other more every single day. I know you have a plan, but I ask you to please allow that plan include Tom and I together to live happily and free - soon. I don't want to make promises of what would happen if we were okay or what wouldn't happen if weren't okay because I would still love you but please consider allowing Tom and I to love one another in the presence of one another. Please I just want my husband home.


Annette Lewis


A lot of people judge me and wonder how you can continue a relationship, hell a marriage while one spouse is incarcerated. It's hard. It's difficult especially when you haven't seen that person in almost a year, like Tom and I. The one thing that helps us, in our relationship is honesty. This week I have struggled to get out of bed, wrap my mind around of what's next, think straight or even enjoy the day. I toss and turn all night leading to sleepless nights and the constant headache that haunts me has been tired. So today while on the phone marked two days in a row that I cried on the phone with Tom. I always feel so bad because in 15 minutes I don't want to cry, I don't want to worry him, stress him out but this week I can't help it. The combination of families, lawyers, letters, signatures has my head spinning and the tears followed. Tom knows, he can tell when something is wrong with me and I am thankful for that because of course no one "wants" to talk about it but you need to. It helps. And the two of us being honest and open with our feelings and what we are experiencing helps us become closer and realize what we are going through.Tom and I both share the same fears yet we still have our own. He is afraid I will leave. I am afraid of more time. Tonight it hit me that it is always more time, more money and as it came out of my month, I didn't realize the effect it would have on Tom. It hurt his feelings. He shared his thoughts and feelings of him fearing that I would just walk away - that maybe one day I won't accept his calls because it is always more time and more money. I felt so bad for making him feel that way that I cried even more. I always want to be strong for him, with him. I never want to show Tom weakness, that I am okay, we are okay and that I love him and will always be there. And that's when he said, "You always are. Babe, you have been so strong. Look at what you have done and you are still strong. You are strong." And that's when it hit me, I am strong. He is strong and we are strong. I am thankful that Tom and I can stay honest with one another with our trials and tribulations. Thankful that when I hit rock bottom he can bring me up and thankful that he knows that when he is rock bottom, I am right there picking him up. Even though I cry and feel like an idiot for crying, Tom makes me feel better. And that I am thankful for. Even though the truth may hurt him some days he still accepts it, still loves me and I still love him.

306 Too Long

I look at Tom's "mugshot" and I ask myself, "Is that really my husband." It's 306 days since Tom and I have shared a read hug, a night alone and its been 280 plus days since I have actually seen Tom. It used to be really hard for me to look at his picture. The look in his face, his eyes. Its like he is crying out for something yet he can't say a word. Now I look at the photo and its like, my husband? I can honestly say that I don't remember what it is like to hold his hand, have his lips lock mine or what its even like to look into his eyes while talking to him. I look at the photo and ask myself, "Do I even know this man?" Does he know me. After 306 days, countless letters and endless number of phone calls it would seem as if that person becomes some sort of stranger to what you two used to have. Love shouldn't have to be so far apart for so long. 306. What I wouldn't give just to see his face right now. A year. Really? How do you try to continue to love and feel loved in this type of situation? 306 and it isn't the end. The scariest part for me is we don't know what the end is or when it will come. All we know it that we must continue down this road for one another, to stay strong for one another and believe and faith that one day soon, hopefully that this countdown will now longer be. That the 300 won't go past 400, hell 350. Something.

What it could feel like

Today would be four days until Tom was released, now the four days has turned into a countdown of the unknown. We don't know if he will be extradited or just moved to a different facility. But we do know he will eventually make his way back to Idaho, which makes us anxious because we haven't seen each other in nine months. So I am looking forward to seeing his smile and hearing his laugh in person.

I was so happy when we hit double digits, the big 99, and then I wondered was single digits would feel like. I never got the chance. It's almost like we don't even discuss how many days, its like unspoken knowledge. Unspoken that we were hurt in the process not only by the time we have been serving but also the hurt of now looking to a whole new bid.
I wonder what four days would feel like? What it would be like to be so close to knowing he is coming home, the excitement, the butterflies. I am mad that our chance to experience was taken away, that we no longer have that moment of me picking up at the airport or spend a weekend away - spending real time together.

Even though we are unsure of what the next four days will bring, I do know that our love will continue to grow and our bond will stay. Until then we must be patient and hope for the best, keep faith in ourselves and continue loving each other.

Demons through his mind

"Hey baby. I'm sitting here getting ready to go to bed but like every night since last Friday, it feels like one of those nights where my mind will be going a million miles a minute and I'll be up half the night worrying about the future. I told you I have a problem with dwelling on things far to long and this is def. one of them times. I'm scared to death that they will try to make an example of me and give me five or more years for this shit. What would happen to Olivia? She will not know her father till the age of nine or ten? And what kind of father would that even make me? A real piece of shit thats what. And what about you? Is it fair to ask you to wait for me? Your 25 with no kids and if you did wait then you'll be 30 by that time. Is that fair? Five years is a long time to wait. What is two years from now you decide that you can't do it and want to break it off? Is is fair that I took another two years of your life after this last eleven months? I'm scared of a lot of outcomes of this. I'm mad. I'm mad because I have come to the conclusion that I am finally done with this lifestyle and here I am facing a whole new bid! I'm disappointed in myself cause here I go again hurting everyone that I care about and my father's words playing over again, "The only thing you are good at is fucking up!" And the thoughts of how much easier it would be for people of I were just "gone?" - January 13, 2012

I knew Tom was struggling but I guess I didn't realize how much.

"Another day down and who else knows how many more are left to go! I just wish all this shit would just go the fuck away or just get over with already. I'm so sick of this shit already. I can't sleep right, I can't thin right, I just can't do anything right. I want to come home to you and get our lives started together already. Haven't we been through enough in our first year of marriage? Don't we deserve to have all this over with already. What more do we have to do? How much more do we have to take before enough is enough? There are so many questions that are left unanswered and we don't know how long till these questions will be answered. " - January 14, 2012

Reading this leaves me in limbo. I want to tell Tom everything will be okay, but will it? I want to profess my love for him but I know he hears it every single day, he knows I love him. He acts like I would just leave, people have children later and later nowadays, while 30 isn't the age I wanted to have children, but I wouldn't want to have children with anyone but him. He is my husband.

Sometimes its hard for me to lift his spirits. Tom gets in such a dark deep place that he literally has to be pulled out of it and that is something hard to do over a 15-minute phone call. I can't control the thoughts that run through his head at night as he lies on a thin mattress and barely there pillow. The worries circulate through his mind at a rate you wouldn't believe.

I feel so helpless not being able to help him not knowing what to say or do. Only so many, "It will be okays," and happy letters will help. Because at the end of the day he is dealing with his demons. The demons that convince himself that it won't work, it won't be okay. So tonight I am going to bed, praying my husband can straighten out the thoughts in his head and the next five days fly by so we can finally see each other again.

Happy Hearts

"As we grow up, we learn that even the one person that wasn't supposed to ever let you down probably will. You will have your heart broken probably more than once and it's harder every time. You'll break hearts too, so remember how it felt when yours was broken. You'll fight with your best friend. You'll blame a new love for things an old one did. You'll cry because time is passing to fast, and you'll eventually lose someone you love. So take too many pictures, laugh to much, and love like you've never been hurt because every sixty seconds you spend upset is a minute of happiness you'll never get back." - Unknown

Tonight this quote from someone unknown clever person (probably a woman) seems to really touch me. It makes me think of me and Tom and how you begin to just get into the motion of things especially in this lifestyle. People you love aren't suppose to hurt you but sometimes they don't mean too. That seems to be what Tom and I are experiencing right now.

Did we expect new charges after 10.5 months, no? But what can we do? Was it a disappointment, of course. Going almost a year looking forward to the date, counting down the days and such and then to be hit with this just 19 days before he will be home hurts but he didn't do it on purpose. He didn't intentionally hurt me. My heart breaks every time I hear more time. At first I would get nervous just to hear the phone ring because you didn't know what he was going to say, if he had good news or bad news. And that subsided as the days came down.

I have been really focusing on the what ifs, could of's when really I should be grateful we are still standing. We are still strong. I dread more time, but I know I am a strong woman. I know Tom is a strong man, and together we can conquer it. While its hard to stay positive, I need to be for him. And in the long run, it doesn't help anything. So tonight I am going to go to bed happy.

Happy to be in love. Happy to have such an amazing husband. Happy. You don't have to have a perfect life to be happy. Happiness can come from so many different things, even if your husband is in prison. Happy hearts still bleed.

Hell No

"Hey baby! I didn't have much to say yesterday after the devastating news we got and I was just sick as hell. To come this far and then find out that it may be starting all over again. WTF is this shit going to end or what? I'm so tired of this shit! I've finally made up my mind that I am going straight and done with this shit and then to get hit with this. I don't know if I have another one in me. I'll be 31 next week and then if I get found guilty and sentenced to 3, 5 or 7 then what, come out at 34, 36, 38 and try to start a family? I can't do it! You look back in my letters and see where I wrote and said if I got to prison that I was done and that shit may still hold. I will be damned to make you suffer more and ask you to wait for me again. How selfish is that? You, only 25 no kids. Yeah right! I can't do that to you! I wouldn't. Now after I'm done and if we or you decide to get back together that is another thing. Don't get me wrong, I love you with all my heart but sometime if you really love someone you just have to let them go. We will see what happens in the future but that is my view on it." January 7, 2012

"Talk about depressing! Today you told me my date dropped to the 26th, I would be home with you on that date that we expected. God damn it. Why does this shit happen to me? I'm finally come to the conclusion that I am tired of this lifestyle and yet bad things are still coming up. I'm tired babe, so tired. If it wasn't for you I would just give up right now! Be done with it all. I've done nothing since Friday but stress. I've never been there for Olivia's birthday yet. and how am I suppose to get custody of her with drug convictions and now a gun? No judge would ever do that. All my past charges I felt as though I deserved them but no this time, not this one. I'm just so sick and tired of this shit! what am I going to do? I can't do this! Its always better after I talk to you but I just can't get over it. Well, tomorrow is a new day. I love you more than yesterday but not as much as tomorrow. Love always and 4-life." January 8, 2012

It literally makes me sick. It brings back every single emotion January 6 brought.


To go so long and then to be slapped in the face with new charges was hard for me and I can't even begin to describe what it could feel like for my husband. To think he was so happy at one point, so happy just one week ago we had big plans for our future. He had high hopes for himself, but he just needs a break. One time. I have been advocating to Tom about being positive and strong during this time. And tonight, tonight I broke down. He could tell in my voice something was wrong, but I always try to be so strong for him, because if I am weak he worries, which brings more stress for him.

Today marks 300 days since Tom has been gone. 300. It doesn't seem like that long yet it seems like forever so far. It has been hard. I think a hard part of it for me has been being in love. I think its taken it toll on us not being able to see one another since April 11. How do you feel loved when you never see that person, 15-minute phone calls and letters just seem to be habit at this point. How are you in love with someone that you haven't seen in such a long time? I don't want to lose Tom and I know he doesn't want to lose me, but some days we struggle with these questions. At 25, with no kids, do I want to do 3-5 years knowing that I won't have children for that long, that my life will literally be put on hold until my husband comes home? Honestly, not at all. I don't think its something you sign up to do. But something I do want to do is support my husband. He sees it as selfish of him to ask me to stay while I see it selfish if I don't. What marry someone knowing the circumstances but then when it gets hard leave? No.

Is it hard? Hell yeah.
Do I regret it? Hell no.


As my husband "celebrates" his 31st birthday I sit and reflect over the past year. Today is actually one year that Tom and I have been together. It makes me smile. It makes me smile because it reminds me of just that night we began dating, how happy I was. How naive I was in the future that I would have with him.

The past 365 days have been amazing, really. Even though Tom has been gone for about 10 months of the year, the love we share is worth it. It may seem crazy or insane to read something like that - like really has it been so amazing to have him gone 10 months? Him being gone isn't necessarily the amazing part, the amazing part is in the past 365 days Tom and I have shared a special connection that we may have not experienced if he was home.

With him being gone so long, it has allowed us to share more than just dinner or drunks - it has mad us appreciate one another, trust each other and at the very least know each other like no other. I love that Tom and I know each other better than anyone else, we get each other. We know what we want, what we expect out of ourselves and from each other.

I was lucky enough to celebrate Tom's 30th birthday with him and while I wish I could at least see Tom today, I know he know's I love him. To him its probably not a "happy" birthday but its days like this that make you appreciate when you are finally together, or at least see one another.

Tom won't get a cake, hear the birthday song or be able to blow out his candles. But one day soon I hope to share more than a cake, or blowing out candles. We will share the love we have.

At this point Tom and I are going to "balls to the wall" and we would appreciate your signature on our petition. Please follow the link below:


The waiting game is the hardest part of being a prison wife. You wait for letters, for calls, for news, its always wait, wait, wait. Tom and I never really "waited" per say for his release date, for his potential situation we always kind of knew what was going on. But now, we will be waiting. Waiting for him to extradited. Waiting for a potential bond. Waiting for a trial. Waiting for a length of time.


Its hard for me to explain the situation to people, in part it is my fault of what is now happening. Tom and I both knew this may happen yet we never thought it would. Here we are unknowing of the future, the future we had planned.

Its heart breaking to go 290 days and with only 19 days left, something is thrown into your face and now all the plans and dates that were set don't mean anything. Nothing. The plane tickets is useless, the phone still sits in the box unwrapped and the plans we had are put on the back burner for who knows how long.

This has created a sort of fear within me.

A fear of the unknown. I have no clue when my husband will be home. I have no clue to when we can finally start our lives together. The fear lives in my soul and creeps within my heart. The fear is deadly.

I am so afraid.

19 and counting

As the days wore down, Tom and I looked forward to a new beginning, to a fresh start and clean slate. Yeah we expected a few bumps in the road, a few here and there but we never thought that we could start over all over again. It seems like we have came to far and now to get this set back is devastating.

"Babe I need you to calm down," he says right off the bat, calm down? I didn't even know what was going on. Then the bomb. The bomb that his release in just 19 days was no longer a reality, the reality of the situation is that we have no idea when he is coming home. I dropped my head the tears fell. "I am so sorry babe, I am so sorry," he kept repeating. "I just keep hurting you," I can hear the crackle in his voice. We sat, on a day we should be rejoicing to almost being done, to crying with one another on the phone. He insisted he was so sorry, but he has nothing to be sorry for.

I felt like my heart was ripped out. To go 289 days then to realize we now have bigger problems and the time can no longer be predicted is sickening. It seems so unfair, unjust.

I am at a lose of words at this time. The only thing positive is the fact that Tom and I continue to have a strong bond, a solid foundation and an unconditional love.

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