I am hopeful and optimistic for 2015; I don’t know about you, but 2014 was a conflicted year for me. For starters, I lost my sister to cancer, on the upside; my wife got a wonderful job that she loves. Both my sons are doing well, but Dad does not see them enough. My wife Patty was recently in an accident that totaled her car, but luckily she and others were unhurt. Our health is quite good, but I need to give up sugar and drop a few pounds. Prime time college jocks remain insulated from the law, but domestic abuse awareness has skyrocketed. I could go on and on, but this is life, I get it.
The non-conflicted parts of 2014: I worry about our lack of privacy, NSA surveillance, Kim Jong Un and his nuclear toys, retail data breaches everywhere and continued subtle discrimination in America. No way you say? Try getting a job as a convicted felon; racial profiling anybody? How about “stop and frisk” or being a young black male walking outside after 9:30 PM. Subtle age discrimination remains alive and well, big money still controls politics and mental illness is not a high enough priority in America, especially in our prisons.
Piling on a little, how about Ferguson Missouri, “I can’t breathe” in New York, ISIS, Ebola, the flu epidemic, and Malaysian Air flight 370, enough already! Here’s the good news. The Pope is a really good humble man, a global example of integrity and humility, we could all learn from him. The price of gas is in the tank (sorry). Ebola is non issue in America after much hysteria and there has not been a major domestic terrorist incident in America. Thank you to those steadfastly protecting our interests. Sometimes, when nothing happens, it’s a really good thing. New York’s Riker’s Island and the LA County Jail are finally under the microscope and getting cleaned up, a blessing to the inmates. The Secret Service continues to keep the President safe, amidst heightened risk and danger, kudos. Editorial: the next time there is a white House fence jumper, cut the dogs loose early, walk to the scene don’t run, snap a few pictures of the dogs at work and post them on Snapchat. Finally, to those with true courage, who embraced fear and continued doing the right thing whatever it was, be it military, law enforcement, clergy or whistleblowers, we are all the better for your integrity.
How does this all relate to marriage behind bars and helping those in some form of prison? Bottom line, there is hope amidst conflict, healing from heartache, and victory with perseverance. When my wife was in prison, I absolutely refused to give up on our marriage, our future, hopes, dreams, you name it. Defeat was not an option, period. Patty shared her hope, respect and strong faith with fellow inmates, bucking subtle barriers all along the way. She would not be deterred, it was quite inspiring. The good news: corrections in America and sentencing guidelines specifically are under intense scrutiny; this is really encouraging. I look forward to 2015; hopefully Patty and I can finish writing a book to share our story, helping others in the process. If we give hope to one person in some form of prison, the year is a complete success, a good year. For that matter, God is good. Thanks for following our humble blog and Happy New Year!