Fresh Beginnings & Sweet Endings

Written August 19 "Last time I had this feeling in the pit of my stomach was Tom's pre-trial release hearing, April 26. I was so afraid I didn't know what the outcome would be, what to expect. Like tomorrow. I don't know what will happen, if Tom will be gone tomorrow home for a short six weeks before leaving and that is the scariest. The unknown.  Tom has worked so hard, he has continued to stay clean and sober and I couldn't be prouder of him. He has stepped up and has become the man he has always wanted too. But what is scary is - is the judge going to see the same thing? Is he going to see that Tom never wanted possession of the gun? Is he going to see that he took steps to distance himself from it? Is he going to see that he has made positive changes in his life? All we can do is have courage, strength and a lot of hope. Tomorrow may be one of the most important days of our lives besides our children's birth. It's difficult to be unsure of the future, of our future. I am nervous as hell. Scared as hell and I know Tom is too. All we can do is be strong together - Tom and I with our family and friends." 

It seemed like just another day as we drove to Pocatello, about a 3.5 hour drive from our hometown. When we arrived in town we quickly changed into our court clothes. We made our way to the federal courthouse and we sat. We sat and waited. It was almost like torture. Waiting for the courtroom to open waiting for it to start. Tom paced back and forth. I know he was nervous but never once said anything. I was so nervous for him, at this point there were no more words that we could have shared that would have helped in the situation at all. 

When we finally moved into the courtroom, Tom sat with his lawyer upfront and we sat behind, patiently waiting

The judge entered and there he was the man that would determine our future. It seemed to go so fast. It was like as soon as we sat down after the judge, the district attorney jumped to the podium and asked the judge to impose the full term according to the guidelines, 15 to 21 months. I can't say it was a shock because of course they would ask for the full term, we came in with no plea agreement or anything. But to still hear, "Impose 15 to 21 months," was heartbreaking. It was then Tom's lawyer's turn. 

He went on to explain the situation, the time Tom had already served and the positive ways Tom has turned now. He pointed out that Tom tried distancing himself from the firearm, while in the wrong way, he did do it. He explained how Tom has continued employment since the first week he was out. Tom spoke on his own behalf, and that was one of the worst parts for me personally. His voice, he was pleading for his life and you could hear it in his voice. 

The judge then went on and pointed out various back charges Tom had. He pointed out how most of his charges if not all of them were drug related somehow. Which is true. Its amazing how drugs can ruin your life without even realizing it. He was level headed and asked a few questions. He then said, "I am sitting here trying to think of reasons why you should serve more time and I'm not coming up with anything." The judge then asked Tom is rise, it went by so fast. It was barely 2:30, just 30 minutes past the time is started. 

As the judge opened his mouth my head dropped, I was afraid of the outcome, it would affect our whole life. Our future as a family. Tom stood there and the judge says, "I sentence you to time served." A relief. My shoulders dropped and I couldn't help but be happy, I couldn't hold the tears any longer. He continued to list the punishments, of course no drugs, no alcohol and three years of supervised probation yet no more ankle monitor. It was like the two black clouds were lifting. What we had seen, done, said, and heard over the past year and half seemed to disappear. It no longer mattered that Tom and I went over a year without seeing each other. It no longer mattered of the number of missed calls, enormous amount of money it was and strength it took. In the long run it worked out, like people told me all along. 

It is true, things do work out. It was most certainly hard to believe at the time but it did. Its like having to pinch yourself just to make sure it is real. The tears, the heartache, the distance was all worth it. And yet I am scared. I have lived this "scared" life, a life when you don't know what will happen next, and now here I sit with my husband by my side. I have to sit and think how blessed I am, blessed that he is home and we have made it through this nightmare. 

It makes me think of who and what am I now. I am no longer a "prison wife," something I have adapted who I am too. I almost feel left out yet I almost feel like its finally over. 

As this chapter closes we are beginning a new one. Finally husband and wife together and not separated and we are expanding our family with a baby on the way. New things are happening with fresh beginnings and sweet endings. 

1 comment

  1. I am so Happy for the both of you! I have been reading your blogs for a little while now. You see my husband was facing federal drug charges too. Because of the amount of drugs involved he was facing 144 mo. He was sentenced on July 30. Just like you, we sat in front of the judge while he determined our fate. We had collected over 33 letters, there were 28 people in that court room to support him, and our pastor, his boss and someone that he served with spoke on his behalf. But mostly we just prayed! There was mercy in that courtroom that day! I have been watching your blogs - and I even prayed for your family since our day in court and I am so excited that things turned out for you the way that they did. I have experienced first hand how difficult the federal system can be but I also believe that I have seen justice fairly served. Congrats to you both and good luck with your new baby. I know the future is bright!


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