Friday, May 27, 2005

The day after

Today is the day after our hopes for Raven to come home this year were dashed. The parole board decided that we would have another two years to wait till we can be together again. So after a day and night of periodic crying interspersed with all out wailing: comes the day to try and get things done. I spent most of the day e mailing people I think may be able to help.
We may not get the time lowered but we need to get the class they want him to have. The lady parole officer promised Raven that if he will take the class and not get any tickets, she will make sure that he gets parole when he comes up in 2007.
Now as much as we have been spun Raven believes her. I have my doubts but trust Raven's instinct. So we are trying to get him transferred to a prison with the class available. We are also getting him on the Sirak case and well as the Ankrom list.
Both of these are cases involving old law inmates. Raven is old law, if he would have committed his crime some three months later he would have gotten 10 years flat out in 8.
The biggest hurtle to overcome is that fact we are not allowed to visit. I haven't seen Raven in almost a year. Sometimes the pain of not seeing him is so bad it's hard to breathe. I know he feels the same way, I hear it in his voice. The pain of having to hear me say how much I miss him. Saying those words are a double edged sword. When they are said they remind us of how much we love each other and that we will be together forever. On the other hand it reminds us on a daily basis that our lives are not our own. We can't even make the simplest decisions for ourselves. We are continually reminded that our love is some how forbidden. We have been together for over a year and unlike other couples we can not smile at each other to reassure ourselves that things will be fine. When we are feel insecure about life we can't touch each other. These are the things that couples in love do. Not us. We have to overcome all obstacles in writing or by phones calls continuously interrupted by the hated MCI dude. We need visits. So today on the day after, not only have I written people about the class for Raven, but have also written to a couple of people about gaining visits for us. So I am asking my friends who read this to pray that we will be granted visits. Thats the main issue on this, the day after.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

With Heavy Heart

Ok it's with a heavy heart that I report that Raven has finally met with the board. They said since he did not have a class that he was supposed to have that they had to give him a 26 month flop. The main problem with that is that he has never been at a prison that offers the class they want. He is at a prison now that doesn't offer the class. How and why should we be penalized for the systems inability to provide the classes they demand these men take. So ladies and gentlemen we are in for another two years and two months. More phone bills, more heartache and more ODRC bullshit. So now the real countdown begins. In the meantime I sit here stuck at work crying. My heart hurts knowing that my love will be with those people for another 2 years. What really broke my heart was Raven having to hear that it was going to be another 26 months. Then having to tell me and worry. Worry that I would think that was to long to wait. I told him. That I would wait that long and longer just for him to be home in my arms. Nothing, no one and no reason would cause me to turn my back on the love of my life. My other half and most importantly my beloved husband. And since he always gets to read these I want to say "Shika, I love you more then life itself and will be with you forever"
Your Shiaa

Monday, May 23, 2005

Not Again

put off again till Tuesday. This is soo fucked up.

Please Great Spirit Help!

ok girls I sit here at work and pull my hair out. Raven is in front of the board as we speak, (supposedly) I can't concentrate or even do my job well. I need my man to come home. Please pray they grant his parole.
Please Great Spirit help me survive this day and give me patience.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

The Question?

Raven said "I once asked this question to a nut doctor and the answer I got was bullshit. The question was as followed: you take a man with pride, you take all hope, dreams and self respect away from him. You build him up, help him to receive some knowledge, he gains hope, again, and he finds the reason to care and to do right. Then in one wave of the hand, stroke of the pen and a few simple words of the mouth, you deny him again and you leave him standing wondering why. you do all this, the question is now, what is keeping this person from not losing all control, losing what very little sane thoughts he once had and most of all, losing all hopes of any type of future, what's left, needless to say, he had no answer. You keep beating a dog, he'll either learn to except it, or he'll bite back. I'm not wrapped all that tightly when it comes to the mind but unlike everyone around me I had nothing until I met you. You are the most important person to me in my life. You are all that I have to live for in this world. I keep on telling you my darling. I am nothing without you and I have no future if it wasn't for you my love. I love you with all my heart and soul Mrs. Quiroz."
Now I am going to ask, how can we treat any humans the way the DRC does. Raven is right how do we expect these men to come out and survive. The drc makes it very hard to stay in contact and love your convict. They deny visiting on the slightest excuse. They charge astronomical costs for phone calls. They even figure out ways to screw around with your mail.
Then they expect the guys who have no one to support them to take being turned down for parole in stride and not even miss a beat. Raven is old law, that means they gave him a ridiculous amount of time 15-40 on a crime that had he been convicted after 1996 would have given him a flat 10 year sentence, out on good behavior around 8 years. He has been down 10 years and goes before the board tomorrow. We are praying he get out, but in reality he will most likely draw a set back with an out date. More ways for the drc to hold something over our heads. Raven was talking about going before the board and said "I hope that I'm able to make these people understand as well as see that I'm nothing like I was long ago and all I ask for is a chance to prove myself before the Great Spirit, you and them. One chance, is that honestly too much to ask for? I'm hoping not." Should that be to much? According to the percentages on the drc website yes that is asking too much.
The parole board is protecting their jobs by keeping old law inmates in as long as they can with out being sued.
Ok I am ranting now and could continue to for at least a couple of hours. So I will just say "To my husband: Shika, I love you and while there is breath in our bodies there is always hope. As you have said our time is coming. Just stay cool and remember I love you more then life itself. We will eventually win our battle with the odrc."

More parole board

I received a letter from Raven dated the day before he was supposed to see the Parole board. It made me cry and also think.
I have mentioned in another post that Raven will tell anyone who asks that he is guilty of two of the three charges that he was convicted of. The third one he did not do and there is evidence to that effect. Any way in his letter he said "I love you, Maria. I pretty much decided what I'm going to say tomorrow if the question is asked. If it's going to allow me to come home to you that much sooner then I'll admit to something I honestly didn't do. My desire to be home to you, with you. Is much greater than everything else and the code of life I've tried so hard to live by and honor really doesn't mean much when I'm alone, now does it." Raven took a plea, not a good one either, on the advice of an incompetent lawyer. The board will not look at evidence or even statements only that he plead. They will expect him to admit to all aspects of the crime. My heart hurts for him. Admit to something he didn't do, keep his code of life, get more time; Or lie, tell them a story they will believe so they will let him come home with the least amount of time. The ODRC is fucked up.
First off he will not be alone, no matter what, those days are over. I am his wife, I love him more then life and will be with Raven till which ever one of us goes first to be with our grandfathers. Then we will just wait for the other person so we can be together again. He tells me all the time that he is nothing without me, but he has proven over and over again that is not true. Raven is a warrior, fighting to keep his essence, his pride and his spirit alive in a place were everyone wants to tear him down. I was nothing before I met Raven, he taught me how to love myself, gave me some of his pride, and showed me how to overcome adversity. Now I am a warrior's wife.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Today is the day. NOT!

So after worrying all day they finally let Raven know that there would be no parole meeting for him today. His meeting has been moved to Monday. So the waiting game continues. Yipee we are so happy with the inability of the ODRC to stick to a schedule. I suppose it will be ok. We will see on Monday, another weekend of praying for release.

So today is the day

Today is the day Raven goes before the parole board. Like this last week hasn't been stressful enough. Yesterday there was an incident with a c/o and all of 7 house was locked down. That meant no phone calls at all. Now thats bad on a normal day, but the day before the parole hearing, oh hell no, that sucks. Raven and I both kept cool and waited for the call this morning. When he was able to call and I answered we were both able to breath a little easier.
This morning we didn't say anything earth shattering or especially note worthy. I love you, it will be ok no matter what, and alot of keep your cool; Don't let them get to you. The 15 minutes always seem to go fast, only today they seemed like seconds. I wish I could be with him, by his side when he sees the board. That is not allowed in Ohio. So I sit here at work and I blog. At work you are not even supposed to have your cell phone on. You can be fired for it. Needless to say mine is on today and I wait. Not so patiently for the call that will change my life. I have prayed daily for what seems like forever. In the last year those prayers have taken a turn. I pray daily for people I love, people who I think need the prayers and most especially for Raven. I pray he will remain safe. That the board will realize the changes he has made in his life and how hard he has worked. I pray all the time that they will let him come home to me soon. That he will always love me and know that I will always adore him. That said I need this call to come in and to be the correct answer. That Raven will come home to me in 60 to 90 days. That would bring him home just in time for our birthdays. What a celebration. Yes I know I am rambling but today I just can't help it. If I don't ramble I will cry. Raven has spent 10 birthdays in prison. Seen 13 family or friends pass away, and lost touch and a relationship with his children. That should be punishment enough, but NO, along with that they won't let us see each other. Please Great Spirit, open the eyes of the board members, let them see the true Raven. Let him come home to start the rest of our life.

Monday, May 16, 2005

The Waiting Game

Friday May 20th is the day were our life changes. Raven goes before the parole board on that day. At that time 3 people will decide the way the next period of our life goes. They could give him three more years and an out date, or give him parole and send him home in 90 days, or any time inbetween. We have been planning for this day for a year. We put together parole packets explaining how he has changed since he went in 10 years ago. What our plans for the future are and what he wants to do for the rest of his life. They know he is going to have insurance. Somewere to live and a wife who will always love him. Then they will meet with him and ask him questions. Rumour has it that they try to piss off the guys. Get them to lose their temper. That would not be good for us. Raven does not handle people talking down to him well. We have been talking about what he needs to do. Be calm answer their questions and don't lose the temper. Thats the best I can do the rest is up to him.
Until then we wait. Wait and wonder. Will this be the year that the man I love with all my heart comes home? Raven is wondering also. What to say and how to act. There are parts of the crime he is serving time for that he did not commit.
Physical evidence also supports that he didn't commit one portion of the crime. Since he took a plea, on the advice of an incompetant lawyer, The parole board will expect him to admitt to all aspects of the crime. Raven does not lie. When asked a direct question the answer you get may not be the one you like but it is the truth. That is not what the parole board wants. So Raven is stuck between a rock and a hard place. Admit to something he didn't do, going against everything he believes, so he can come home sooner; or, tell the truth and problably getting more time on a flop. I don't know what I would do if I was in his position. I know I want him to come home as soon as possible. But I can't make the decision for him. So the waiting continues.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

A glimpse into my mind.

Sunday is cleaning day, so I talk to Raven, roll out of bed and get started. I decided to get coffee first. Went into the kitchen, never made the coffee, started to clean the kitchen. Emptied out the dishwasher, put dished from sink in dishwasher. Cleaned counter, Went to clean sink. Need cleanser for that. The cleanser is up stairs in my bathroom. So I walk upstairs to get the cleanser and see the basket on the side of my bed overflowing. I empty the basket out on the bed and the floor. Start to throw away things no longer needed. Then Lupina brings a toy, so I throw the toy. Thinking to myself there was something I came upstairs for. I go into the bathroom and think to my self why am I there. I notice the mirror needs cleaning. Well the glass cleaner is down stairs in underneath the kitchen sink. I head back to the kitchen to get the glass cleaner. Ok now I am back at the kitchen sink wondering what just happened. So I grab the glass cleaner and start back to the stairs. Except I saw somthing on tv, so I sat down on the couch and watched tv. Eventually everything did get done. In the mean time please keep all shiny objects away from me. OOOOhh look shiny object.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Phone calls and inequalities

When you have a long distance relationship you make long distance calls, Make the calls to keep in touch with the person you love. Hear his/her voice and to catch up on their life. Which do to what ever reason you can not be a 24/7 part of.
The phone is the line that make this distance bearable. Now some times you can travel on your days off to see your loved one; or at least when vacation time rolls around you can vacation together. When You have a loved one in prison, the system seems to do everything to separate you from your loved one. In the normal prison situation they charge you crazy prices for your phone calls. The also control how long you may talk. In Ohio you can talk for 15 minute increments for as long as you want to keep calling. In Texas you get to talk for a whopping 5 minutes once every 30 days. Other states have different time limits. The only thing that is universal in Prison phone calls is that they are more expensive then normal long distance calls.
In fact they are ridiculous. I am one of the more lucky ones my calls can be anywhere from $4.18 per call during peak hours. During non peak hours they are $2.48 per call. Now this may sound like its reasonable amount till you multiply it by 30 days. If you except more then 1 call a day it goes up in accordance. That would be high in a normal prison relationship.
Raven and I don't have a normal prison relationship. We met when I was a c/o and he was in my institution. So we are being punished, punished hard. For 4 months they wouldn't let me write to him, or him write to me. We snuck and did what we had to do to keep in touch with the one we loved. No phone calls because he was in segregation. Once he was out of the hole the phone calls gave us a new way to fall in love. We went overboard on the calls, and still do. We don't get visits, after being together for a year we are still being punished. No visits not now not ever according to the warden were Raven is incarcerated now. So we use the phone. He calls way to much, mostly because I ask him to call, then when he is on the phone as the 10 second MCI dude is saying his speel. I ask him to call me back. No time for arguments, no time for him to say no. He just calls back. I love that man. So today I get the newest phone bill $678.78 for one month. There is no way I can continue paying that kind of phone bill. Today I had to tell Raven that no matter how much I loved him I couldn't continue to pay that high of a phone bill. The most unfair about the whole situation is that now we don't get to visit, and there is no more calling when ever we want. So as I was telling the man of my dreams that he couldn't call me when he wanted or needed me. Crying because not only do we have to curb our calls but we still don't get to see, or hold each other.
The ODRC may have won this battle, but we will win the war. Our love is more secure now then ever. Take that MCI dude!

Friday, May 06, 2005

What are they running now a Zoo?

Yesterday Raven had a bad day. Now for most people this would not be news. For my baby it is news. Raven is the most upbeat and cheerful guy I know. In the entire year we have been together I can count on one hand how many bad days he has had. In fact yesterday makes two. I was blow drying my hair when he called. He started the conversation in the usual way. "hi baby, I love you." The next question is also standard fair for our conversations. "what are you doing?" Raven is always interested in what I am doing and how I am. I told him that I was going out for Cinco De Mayo. He was a little peeved that we hadn't spoken about it earlier. Now that in itself warned me that he was not having a good day. My man has never had a problem with me going out. He trusts me, just as I would never do anything to damage that trust. So I said "Baby, if you don't want me to go out. Just say so, I can stay home." For people who know me. I don't usually listen to anyone. The difference with Raven is I love him. While I won't take orders. I will take his feelings in to consideration. Thats what people do when they love each other. Well when I said I wouldn't go, his attitude changed. I asked him what was wrong. He said he was having a fucked up day. They had him working since 6:30 am. He went to commisary and they hadn't taken out the money for his boots. Which meant they had not been ordered. It's bad enough that Raven has a problem with his ankle, that it took the Dr. at the prison over 8 months to get him the permission to have 8" boots. Now that he has all the permission in order the powers that be are still fucking with him. Add to those issues the stress of coming up for parole May 20, not talking to me all day and you have a cranky convict. It took this wonderful man 4 minutes to stop grouching and start loving. Not what I was used to. Others in my life would take days to get over the littlest slight. Maybe thats reason 201 of why I love Raven. We talk for the next 11 minutes. I told him how sorry I was that his day was bad and how much I loved him. Asked him to keep it under control so he could go before the board and make a good impression. We ended the call on a good note and said we loved each other. He then tells me that they are putting them on lock down early because there is an open house at the prison. So I joked They never invited me. We both laughed as the 10 second MCI dude came on. Said a quick love you and got disconnected.
Then I started to think about it. Open house for guests. Does that mean that they lock the guys in their cells and let people come look at them. Crazy, I can just imagine. "Now ladies and gentlemen on the left is a fine speciman of Chiricahua Apache Male, noted for the shiny blue black hair, the sexy dark brown eyes and the nice body. They have a tendancy to be smart alecks, with bad attitudes. They do not respond well to authority and can be violent when you threaten their family. Oh don't get to close they have been known to bite."
I mean come on people don't we as a society punish law breakers enough. They are separated from their family, told what to do and when to do it. They are at the mercy of people who for the most part are uneducated and power hungry. In a system that doesn't give a rats ass about them. Now we are treating them as zoo animals.
How can these guys or girls be expected to come out after a long stay in the system and make a good life for themselves and their family. I have said it before and will say it with my dying breath, We cannot treat people like animals, expect them to be fine on the outside, then punish them when they bite! In the mean time can you just send that Fine Apache male home to me?