Tag Archives: prison

Theme Thursday: Dad

What is the meaning of this, Tracy?  Two posts in one day?  What in the sam heck is going on with you?!??!  Clearly this time off with a rehabbing child who is limited in energy and prohibited from sun has us INDOORS and running short and brief errands which in turn leaves me plenty of “bon-bon time” as my Hubby calls it.  Shoot, I’ve got blogs in stand-by, you’ll be sick of me by next week.  Or hooked.  Either way.  When I actually blog, my stats go UP.  Who knew??

So today…..I join in with Cari and fellow Themers at:

Father’s day is coming.  I’ve got a super cutie thingamajig planned for the Hubs by the kids (totally His love language, but I can’t tell you about it b/c he actually reads my blog from time to time…so tell you later!).  And so perfect timing on the Father Theme.

Dads are crucial.  Period.  End.

Case in point:  When my Hubs was “away” I knew, KNEW, KNEW….his relationship with our kids and vice versa was the key to our future as a family.  We did everything we could to cultivate those relationships during this time apart, from frequent visits, phone calls, letters, date-visits, photos, etc, etc.  There came a time close to him coming home during a heated exchange with our oldest at his tweeniest that he said to me “You wait until I tell Dad about this”.  It was at that point, I knew all of our joint effort as husband and wife, mother and father that it was ALL.  WORTH.  IT.   Further affirmation came when Hubs was finally home with our dark chapter behind us and re-entry into our FULL family life was essentially smooth as buttah.  Life wasn’t and ISN’T perfect, however, our struggles are pretty much in line with any other family life with mucho kiddos.  We are imperfect people.  What can I say?  We acknowledge it and move on.

The fact that Abba, Father has been the cornerstone of our family life may have had a little somethin’ somethin’ to do with it also.  Just an observation.

Happy Father’s Day, Hubby!  And to all those dads out there….keep workin’ it….it’s worth every second!!!


Birthday. Poor guy never gets a straight shot at the candles!


Father’s Day ’11


Father’s Day with Popop, MY step-dad who is the BOMB-Diggety. This is 2 years old and he is now dwarfed by the boys…


The boys off to mow lawns, a job obtained due to Dad’s teaching, patience and diligence. My wallet is forever grateful!

A year? REALLY? WOW!

What a difference a year makes.  Last year at this time (yesterday), I was counting down the hours, playing it cool with the kids trying not to let the cat out of the bag that THIS DAY would END our season of Daddi-O “away” in prison.  No more weekend visits, patdowns, metal detectors, long and hot lines, crappy vending machine food, games of UNO (although UNO is enjoyable…), teary good-byes and collect phone calls.  Hallelujah, our 7 years was OVER.  We were ALL ready, willing and able to slam that chapter shut and file it away, preferrable under a tree somewhere and move ON!!  And move on, we did.  I’ve mentioned it several times along the way in my blog, such as HERE and HERE (where I forward you on to my interview with the amazing and gracious Pat Gohn @ Among Women), but generally I don’t dwell on it.  It was a difficult period in our life, in which we choose not to let define WHO we are but rather how we move on in spite of it.  We all fall short.  We all make mistakes.  And we are ALL one step from prison, believe me, it only takes ONE mistake to completely change your life, if you think you are immune, I can only say “Dream on”.  We are all sinners and one mistake can easily change the course of your life.  However, now I’m getting off track!

We marked the day quietly with (if I do say so myself) amazingly awesome, homemade double chocolate chip cookies after dinner.   And I’ve reflected on the past year, in awe.  Obviously many changes have occurred, and strangely enough, many things haven’t even changed.  God is good!

  • Having Dad in the house has HUGELY altered attitudes and hearts in a precious way.  Our oldest son, who had automatically assumed “man of the house” role (despite encouragement to ‘be a kid’) relinquished that role back to Dad.  He still pipes in at times where he needs to zip it, however, it’s an ongoing lesson for ALL in “Minding your own business 101″.  His smile is back and peace has returned.  My heart swells.
  • Youngest son has blossomed from the simmering and sometimes explosive temper to the French Horn playing prodigy.  (OK, maybe not prodigy, but for the kid’s first effort @ a musical instrument, he’s had a phenomenal year)  He’s excelled in school.  The temper has tempered (still rising occasionally, but more expected than unexpected).  He’s a focused kid, whether on Xbox with his friends or deciding he’s going to play an instrument, qualify for fitness team or Wow his teachers (and we had a phone call from his extremely impressed math teacher just the other night).
  • Our people pleaser, oldest daughter has begun to emerge from her pleasing shell.  Ready to condition for soccer.  More confident in her leadership abilities.  Harnessing that confidence at school and at home. Enjoying the attention from Dad.  The obvious security he brings to her life has brought her more calm and less frantic.  She is a nurturer and that love and sweetness spills out, not only to our family but to little kids everywhere.
  • Our youngest.  Though she has had the biggest battle with sharing Mom with Dad, she has made great strides.  Quality time with Dad, has helped her to slowly but surely work on her self-control.  As the youngest, I think she’ll always have that “Diva” in her, however, she is methodically bringing that personality trait under control.  She has found her natural athletic ability a great fit for outdoors-loving Dad and they enjoy kayaking (she’s a great paddler) together.
  • I’ve had to re-learn to not employ the ENTIRE bed to myself but to use “my side”.   A year later, I’m still working on it.
  • I’ve had to learn how to share the burdens of parenting, finances and household chores when I’ve been used to doing it solo.  My way.  That wasn’t so much fun sometimes, but it’s a lovely treat to no longer have to deal with the yard work.  The house has been painted and looks fabulous.  Our finances are more well-organized.  Parenting is more consistent since we can tag-team and I am not as easily worn down by incessant begging.
  • We’ve had to rework the seating chart @ Mass.  The presence of Dad @ Mass is a huge impact on two boys who are quickly getting to the age of “WHY do we go to Church?  It’s boring.  It’s all old people (true in our area). ”  Learning by their Mom AND Dad’s example will do more for their Faith than me alone.
  • A therapist told me before Hubby came home that it will take 90 days for him to acclimate to a non-institutionalized life.  I’d say that was about right.  It took most of the summer for him to acclimate to life at home and all the changes over the past 7 years, technology wise, etc.
  • The same therapist told me it would be about a year before he and WE would return to “normal”.  I’d say things are great.  At this one year point, we’ve truly hit our stride.  I don’t know what “normal” is, but for our family, we are doing alright.

Life isn’t perfect.  But God is.  And He is good.  There is no doubt our family is a miraculous testament to His goodness and mercy in carrying us through these past 7 years, providing for us and giving us hope when the world would tell us it’s a lost cause and we are wasting our time.  When I could physically see that  roughly 200-300 men out of 1300 incarerated regularly receive visitors, I can more fully understand why we have such a problem with recidivisim.  Where there is no love, there is hell.  There is no fear in love.  (1 John 4:18)  Praise God for His example of love, His love brought us out of our season of darkness and into this new season of growth.

We’ll still navigate these learning curves of two people in the kitchen….urgh!!….old people kissing and hugging OPENLY…..they’ll get over it….Life isn’t perfect.  But it’s what we do with what we are given.  For us….we’re making the best of today in hopes of a better tomorrow.

I missed a day of blogging, but these peeps might not have…still a few more days in May…go check ’em out!








So THAT’S how I talk…

A while back I agreed to do an interview with Pat Gohn from the Among Women pod cast.  She’s a wonderful speaker (voice like butter!) and I always enjoy her pod casts:  part women Saints history and the other part an interview with various women on various topics.  I love getting a glimpse into other people’s lives, their faith walk and how they incorporate their faith into this world.  Her program feeds my “spiritual voyeurism” and encourages me to keep on keepin’ on.  We all need that from time to time, don’t we?  Back to the interview…..she asked me to speak about MY faith and how it was tested, evolved and sustained me through our own trials.  For some reason I agreed.  Completely out of my comfort zone, I assure you.  However, I had prayed for a long time that if our suffering and faith walk were ever to be a comfort and encouragement to others, than  “Lord, here I am”.

Pat was amazing.  Having NEVER done anything like this in my life, she guided me each step of the way.  Beginning with a draft AND a word count (sheesh!), she edited my story showing me where to fill in the holes.  Once I got going, I didn’t worry about the word count, the story wrote itself.  We Skyped a couple of times to go over things and prep and then came the interview.  It was like chatting with a dear friend over coffee, which is exactly as she wants it to feel.  HOW does she do that???

In the end, the show was aired this week.  I listened yesterday and once I stopped counting my “uh’s and umm’s” (a public speaking gig I won’t be pursuing any time soon) I listened.  And relived.  And stepped out of myself.  And praised God for a wonderful work that  He has done in our family. (and continues to do so daily)  I also realized that I need to get back to THAT place of prayer and faith that I purely lived in heart, mind and soul for so long.  I hope it was somewhat of a tribute to how God blessed us so amazingly with family and friends in our life willing to do His work for us.  It really does take a village and our family, our children, have been blessed mightily in spite of this period of difficulty.

So cling to Him.  He will deliver you.  Today’s Readings are of Esther asking for God to put the words in her mouth to release her people.  She gives Him full reign, full obedience.  Waiting on direction.  The Psalms remind us that when we call on the Lord, He DOES hear us.  We are to trust.  And in the Gospel according to Matthew, Jesus reminds us to ask, seek and the door will be opened.  And if even we as earthly parents give our children what the ask for can we even IMAGINE what God can do for us.  I’m here to tell you, it’s true.  Every bit.  It’s a huge step in faith.  Easy to say, but that first step is a doozy and won’t be one you regret.