Monday, September 28, 2009

The longest year yet

Or will it be the shortest?

My son has passed the one-year mark and we’re overjoyed that we can now say he has “LESS THAN ONE YEAR” to serve of his two-and-a-half year sentence in Arizona’s Department of Corrections.

Hopefully, the days will fly by for him, his wife and daughter, and all who know and love him, and then he’ll be in the loving arms of his family.

Let’s get this out of the way first. Does he deserve to be there? Of course. His actions and choices made in the throes of his addiction determined his consequences. In fact, considering the state’s strict sentencing code that leaves no room for a judge to consider a case on its own merits, his 2.5 years are actually a lenient sentence.

But I can see how my daughter-in-law struggles with missing him as much or more now than in the early days of his incarceration. As his mother, seeing him in a prison environment is painful. But seeing what his 3-year-old daughter is feeling is far more painful.

She was just 18 months old when he went away, so she couldn’t verbalize her feelings at that time. Now she can.

At our last prison visit earlier this month, she asked, “Daddy, can you come home with me today?”

Her mom said she knows all the kids’ fathers at the day care center and wonders why her daddy can’t be there with her.

Thinking back to the early days, when I knew there was a problem but didn’t know what to do about it, I’d still like to strangle our neighborhood drug dealer.

Am I totally nuts or have you ever felt this way? When does that pain ease?

And there’s an even bigger concern. Will my son--could he--ever relapse again? Let me know about your own experiences and pain.

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