To the Mattresses!

Posted: May 24, 2010 in Uncategorized

I’m at the Jackson Correctional Institution (JCI), a facility in the Wisconsin Prison System (WPS).  I’m sitting in my cell here watching “You’ve got Mail”. Yes, a chic flick!  I’m all by myself, no women around, and I’m still watching this!  Perhaps this need is motivated by the sentimental feelings generated by the one year anniversary of my incarceration.  Am I happy?  Am I sad?  I would say neither, yet both.  That doesn’t make any sense right?  Perhaps this place I’m at is called acceptance and a degree of resolve.  I have gone “to the mattresses”. If you saw the movie of “The Godfather” you understand. It means to go to war, to get ready for battle, to be ready to do whatever needs to be done to accomplish your mission.  It wasn’t always that way.  When I was first incarcerated in the Waukesha County Jail, I was overwhelmed with sorrow, self pity, paralysis and fear.  Even during the course of this blog, if you’ve been following along, you’ve seen this range of emotions.  And there are times I regress to this mindset.  Hey, it’s been a ride.  Since my arrest, I lost my wife, step children whom I loved as my own, lost my career as a software programmer/IT guy, lost my home, all my money, and of course my freedom.  That’s not to mention, divorce court, becoming a felon, trying to cope with incarceration, and with getting cancer and its treatments.  Family and friends had largely deserted me, leaving me to endure this alone.  Of course, the sponsors have kept up this blog and it has been very helpful.  Many thanks to them!

But believe it or not, it has not been all bad.  I have come to the point of recognizing my own culpability in this.  Yes, I’ve got some problems and some issues.  But they were always within my power to address and I failed to do so.  It took staring into the abyss of my own soul, far removed from love, comforts and peace before I would finally see this.  Perhaps it was my personal version of hell that had arrived to teach me these lessons.  But I have accepted them, or as best I can today, and because at this honesty, the result is a closeness and reliance on God and for the future, the possibility of hope is born.  The idea that even though I don’t know where, how, or when, but the possibility that I again could find love, a career, a home, maybe even with children.  It’s possible now only because my mind and heart is open, open to the possibilities of where God wants to take me.  This is what I understand faith to be, that when I can’t see the outcome, I still believe in the possibilities.

Next year at this time, prison should be over.  I’ll be on paper and I’ll have emerged from this nightmare and I believe this faith will be demonstrated through action, stay tuned, watch and see!

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