Friday, March 7, 2014


Over the past several months our son has been told they were going to move him back to California.  We all felt concern because he has been doing so well at LPCC.  He has finished two semesters of college courses, and in the middle of five classes in the third semester.  He has decided that he loves learning, and has set a goal to attend Law School.  Watching the news is his favorite past time, coming to the conclusion that he leans towards being an ultra conservative.  

Andy said that when he was told again that they were going to transfer him to California he prayed, asking God, if possible, that he might know why.  The next day on two separate conversations with guards and inmates he was told that transfers back to California, where he was convicted, usually means early release.  Of course he was very excited about this possibility, but trying not to get his hopes up.

We have been able to visit him every week for the past two plus years.  Good visits, happy visits, interesting visits.  On Tuesday this week, he called and said he was leaving that day.  I got a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes.  I will miss seeing him.  But when I first heard a few months ago that he was probably leaving I couldn't help but think it was my Father in heaven's doing because He sent him to Arizona so we could love and nurture him even though he was in prison, so why not trust in Him and have faith in Him that Andy is being sent to California for an equally important purpose.  I believe that purpose is for Andy to be on his own without his parents nearby, to prove to himself that he can do this, that he can be strong, that he can make it in life.  Andy has not thought so for a long time.  But because of how successful he has been in his present environment for a long time, I think he's ready as long as he continues to call upon God for strength and for help.  He is in God's care.  

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Live Volcano

This is a living volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii;  it is forever changing its course, sometimes menacing and sometimes quiet.  The first time I saw Kilauea the lava was flowing into the ocean causing mountainous plumes of steam.  It was beautiful.  We viewed this from the acres of hardened black lava beds that destroyed everything that lay in its path.  There is beauty, but how utterly frightening if my family, my friends, my loved ones were in the way of the moving, red hot devastating lava. 

Nature is a great teacher.  I'm sad to say that sometimes we humans aren't good learners.  We continue to stand in the pathway of the elements of destruction.  Why can't we just be satisfied with being spectators instead of participants of harmful substances?  And this can be anything that keeps our spirit from soaring and reaching the heavens, and likewise that keeps the spirit of Heaven from penetrating our souls. 

These musings are not directed towards Andy or anyone else in particular, they are just thoughts from an observer, and someone who has stood in the pathway of moving lava.

Andy is doing well.  He just took midterms in the two college classes he's taking, biology and Political Science!  The love of learning has struck!  We are able to discuss much more these days, especially how well his mind is working.  I would say, right now, Andy is seeking a pathway of construction,not destruction.      

Friday, March 15, 2013

I was shocked to see that my first post in this blog, ", was two years and four months ago.  Andy still sits in a prison cell only 45 minutes from us, and we continue to visit him once a week.  For me, this is a huge blessing.  

We just got back from visiting him today, for only 25 minutes.  We got there two hours before, but because of "inmate count" where they have to be in their cells, he couldn't be brought to the visitor's room for however long.  It is so frustrating to be at the mercy of the prison protocol.  Oh, well, I used the time to think about what yard  work I need to do over the next few spring/summer like days.  Good use of my time I guess.

What is sad for me is that I have trouble thinking of my son in any other environment besides prison.  Am I just protecting myself from disappointment, frustration, whatever?  Or is it because, "it is what it is" and I can't do anything about it.  I have been reading a lot lately in my Sunday School lessons and in the scriptures that we must be of "good cheer," "be glad," "be joyful."  I try, I really do.  And most days I succeed.

I project to the future and wonder what he will make of his life after prison?  Really, there is no answer for me because only Andy can determine that.  I am learning how to stop trying to be in control.  As they say in AA "Let Go, Let God!"

Friday, January 4, 2013


Andy's dad and I continue to visit him every week, usually on Sunday afternoon.  We spend a lot of the time laughing and just enjoying the visit.  When we run low on things to talk about we play scrabble.  We're good at three and four letter words!  

Whenever I'm asked about my family, like "tell me about your kids," I hesitate just a little to share that our youngest son is in prison.  I'm not sure how some will react.  Truthfully, I don't really care if this information is met with a negative reaction by others.  It is what it is, and Andy is my son, flesh of my flesh.  And I know he is a child of God and is loved by Him.  I also know that the atonement covers his sins and my sins when we repent. It is a light that warms the earth and my soul.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Normal Life

Even though I have a son who will be in prison for quite a few years, life is fairly normal for me.  I don't cringe when I think about where he is, nor do I hide the fact.  I believe it's because I have been strengthened so the burdens placed upon my shoulders are light, and sometimes I can't even feel them.

I need to share a funny story:  we have to pass through a security checkpoint before entering the prison.  If the buzzer goes off, we can't go in.  I have learned some tricks (the guards taught me) to turn sideways so the under wire in my bra won't set it off.  Usually works.  Last week the buzzer kept buzzing as I walked through.  The guard said it was around my waist.  I was wearing a skirt with a metal zipper.  She said, "I'm sorry but unless that buzzer stops you won't be able to see your son, and we can not pat you down."  I didn't bring any extra clothes, because who does that?  So I took my skirt off, and walked through the security gate in my slip!  The buzzer didn't go off.  The guard said, "uh, we normally don't let people do that."  I laughed and said, "well, I guess your abnormal is my normal."   Not sure I'll be able to get away with that again.  I'll put a pair of sweat pants in the car!     

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Since the last debacle of a visit we have been able to see, hug, and talk to Andy each weekend.  I am grateful and I should have shown my gratitude by posting before this.  Our visits are always so good.  We laugh, I listen, and I observe.  When the kids were growing up and I was deep into my job of mothering, if they said something I didn't agree with or I had concerns about, I would make a judgement, jump right in and give my opinion.  Maybe it's because they are grown up or more mature, but I just try to listen these days.  I've noticed that Andy is more willing to share when I nod my head, say "uh huh," or "oh."  And he has been sharing a lot.  He is definitely accepting responsibility for his actions, does not blame someone else, and is even accepting the terms of his sentencing.  He says he doesn't argue with other inmates, and not because he might get beat up, but because it doesn't do any good.  Other people can think what they want.  This is a huge step for my youngest son.

I know his life was saved by his arrest two years ago.  I know the amount of time he will spend locked up is for his good.  I know all of this has been orchestrated or arranged by a very loving and kind Father in heaven.  And not just because He loves Anders, but because He loves me.  I have been given assurances of His love.  Andy is only 40 minutes from our home.  He's feels great sorrow for what he did to his family.  He is adjusting and being safe in this circumstance.  

I love my son.  I do not doubt the goodness of God.        

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Walking In Faith

Yesterday we went back up to Eloy to see Andy with the thought that we would visit from 1-3:30 because a few weeks ago I had signed up for the missionaries to eat dinner with us, not knowing Saturday is the day we would visit with our son.  We sat down at our table at 1:30.  There were many girlfriends, wives, friends and families to visit their loved ones.  We watched guys come in and sit down with those who had come to visit them.  A half hour passed and there were maybe three visitors, including us, left waiting for the door to open bringing who we had been waiting for.  Another half hour and no Andy.  His dad approached the guards and asked why our son hadn't been brought up.  "Oh, he's somewhere.  We can't find him, uh, maybe he's on recreation or something,  we're working on it."  I had lost my happy face by this time.  Another half hour passed and I had had it. I jumped up, walked over to the desk and asked again why our son hadn't come up and explained we had to leave at 3:30 (half hour from when I asked).  "Uh, well, sometimes this just happens, they're somewhere but we can't locate them, and we can't help it, and uh, you just never know when this will happen."  I went back and sat down.  In another 10-15 minutes or so Andy appeared after having been stripped search on his way into the room; standard humiliating procedure.  We asked him where he had been?  He had told us last week that Saturday afternoon is when he can go out into the yard (outside) to run and exercise.  We thought he must have been doing that and frankly I was a little miffed at his rudeness.  When he sat down he said he hadn't been in the yard that he was in his cell the whole time.  The guards had just told him he had visitors.  I was so totally angry that they feel like it's ok to mess with people, to yank their chain.  I'm still a little mad.  We did extend our visit another half hour, until 4, and it worked out ok to get home in time to finish dinner, BUT our visit was cut short and probably not as relaxed as it could have been.

What makes me more sad than angry about this whole experience is some things he shared with us about himself during the visit.  It's hitting him how long he will be locked up.  Worst case scenario release date is 2022.  Best case is 2017.  He'll either be back into society in 5 years or 7 years.  Man, that's a long time.  He is realizing that he will be 30 years old.  Let's see that's about 15 years of his life gone, wasted, from the time he made the decision to use drugs and to do whatever it took to get that life sucking substance to walking back out into the fresh air, hopefully a free man.  He believes all his hopes, dreams, and aspirations are never to be had.  We did what all good parents would try to do, minimize the pain, and try to give encouragement, sharing with him that you find new dreams, new hopes, new aspirations.  I think it might have fell on deaf ears.  Maybe what he's feeling is what he should be feeling, but to be defeated for the next 7 years?  I wouldn't want that.  I've been sad for him.  Another walk in faith, right?  And that's where I am, not able to do anything, but pray for him to be given strength, courage, and to submit cheerfully to the will of the Lord, then his burdens will be made light, even so that he cannot feel them upon his back.  I'm praying for myself, too.