My children started school on Monday, and I was filled with a deep sense of sadness! the separation hurts more sometimes than others, and Monday was one of those times. Each time someone said hello to me on Monday I started to cry, so I tried to stay to myself and spent a lot of time walking around the track. An officer patrolling the perimeter of the yard rolled down his window and yelled,
“Hey Louder, how many times are you going to walk around the track today?”
“As many times as it takes!”
He laughed and said,
“Well then, walk a few for me too would you?”
I am grateful to be at this prison right now!
Later in the day I opened up to the women I work with and told them,
“I hurt too much sometimes, I don’t know if I can keep going?”
They were kind to me and took turns sharing personal experiences of strength, and hope. One of my co-workers said,
“You know Portia, you don’t have to walk alone out there. You can talk to the ones you love at any time; you walk with the angels, you are never alone.”
These sweet women have provided a great deal of support, but not sympathy and it’s just what I needed! Leaving Dublin was hard; I loved the education staff there, and I loved the inmates! But, I’ve had more time to look inside myself here, and much healing has taken place. I will always be grateful for the unique opportunity I had to serve at Dublin and there’s certainly a special place in my heart for the women there.
Feeling Peace In His Presence
I was still very sad on Tuesday and decided that I didn’t want to walk around the track alone anymore. I know Chad and I are connected spiritually, so I decided I would just assume he was with me while I was walking. I feel a lot of peace and comfort when I’m in his presence and wanted to have a conversation with him. Of course, I did all the talking, and he just listened; which isn’t much different from the conversations we have at home 🙂
At first, I just imagined holding his hand as we walked. I didn’t need to say anything because he knows my heart. When I emailed him and told him about my day, he responded with,
“It was exhausting walking on the track with you today, let’s do it again tomorrow 🙂 “
Most Spiritual Moment
That experience helped me feel close to my husband, so the next day I decided to have a conversation with my children. I went to my grove of trees and told each one of them how proud I am of them, how much I love them, and how sorry I am for the pain I’ve caused them. It was one of the most spiritual moments that I’ve had with my children. A moment I will never forget!
I saw an interview on the news recently of a quadriplegic father and his daughter talking about their relationship. The news anchor asked the young girl,
“What is the one thing about your father you are most proud of?”
His daughter said,
“That’s too hard of a question, there are too many things about my father that I’m proud of to pick just one.”
The father smiled and said,
“The most important thing I have learned as a quadriplegic is that your heart, and mind, can go places your body never could. Our children and spouses want our hearts!”
When I heard him speak, I realized, that even though I am separated from my children physically, my heart is right next to theirs, and I do my best to live my life in a way that they can be proud of. I found it very healing to open up and talk to my children this week; I shared from my heart and didn’t worry about the outcome. If I struggle to communicate with a loved one in the future I think I’ll go somewhere alone, and speak from my heart; it was a beautiful experience!
I’ve been eating alone lately because my emotions can be overwhelming at times. While I was eating dinner tonight a gentle Hispanic woman approached me and said,
“You’re glowing friend.”
I smiled but didn’t really understand what she meant. She said,
“Your heart is good, and I see light all around you.”
“Thank you, I needed to hear that tonight.”
She smiled and said,
“It’s true, God told me that you’re here for us. Every time I see you there is light, and you bring peace wherever you go.”
I was emotional and told her how much I appreciated her kind words. She said,
“God will bless you when you leave here friend because you are here for us!”
I was humbled by the conversation we had and felt a powerful confirmation that it was from our Father in Heaven. As I walked out of the kitchen, an officer said,
“Your name is Louder, isn’t it?”
I responded apprehensively that it was. He said,
“I just wanted to thank you for walking around the track the other day with that new girl. She looked lost, and needed a friend and It was nice of you to help her.”
I thanked him for his kindness, and was touched that an officer would notice such a detail, and care enough to say something.
Our Father in Heaven is in the details of our lives sweet friends, and I’m grateful to be able to share some of those details with all of you.
I thank you for your prayers, and the kindness you show to my family. Every week Chad tells me that someone stops him in a store, (usually Ridley’s), or at the school or park, and tells him they read my blog, and pray for me and our family. I love you and appreciate your presence in my life. Know that you are answering prayers 🙂