Appeal Denied


I got a postcard from Vince.  Don’t ask me why he addressed me as “Ms. M.” and not mom.

Ms. M: 

Well, I made it.  Everything is a bit stressful and overwhelming at first, but it’s all designed with our success in mind.  I’m picking up bits and pieces here and there but basically I have no clue what I’m doing yet.  But it will come.  I won’t be to be able to talk to you for two months but I will be able to write more than I thought. 

I’m more excited than nervous or scared.  This is going to be really good for me, and everybody that knows me! 

I’ll write more soon,



My appeal of the visiting ban was denied.  The warden wrote that she found “no compelling reason” to reverse it.  I assumed it would be denied but it still made me furious when I opened the letter.  And for some reason, the fact that the warden is a woman made me feel even more disgusted.

Vince cannot call me for two months now; that’s a boot camp policy that has nothing to do with me.  I can’t call him, as ever.  By the time I am allowed to visit him, it will be seven months since we’ve seen each other.  He thought he wouldn’t have time to write but now says he will.  That’s good.  I can still email him.  I am so grateful for that DOC email system.

Yesterday my sister had the left lobe of her liver removed.  She had endured two months of chemo to shrink the tumors in it, and her doctor recommended they remove the affected part of the liver just to be on the safe side.  Once she’s recovered from surgery she’ll have to go back on chemo.

In the movies, people get cancer and the next thing you know they’re on their death bed having a tear-jerking good-bye talk with their loved ones before they peacefully slip away.  I did not realize that cancer can go on and on and on and on and on, with years of chemo, surgery, radiation, side effects, financial problems, and emotional highs and lows.  I’m so grateful my sister has made it through so far, and I really hope this is it—that the cancer is gone for good.

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger?  Bullshit.  It makes you miserable.  Well, check back with me in a year.  My sister is a lot more of a naturally positive thinker than I am.  Maybe she’ll bounce back to her rose-colored glasses, in-the-moment state of being if she can catch a break from cancer misery.

A friend emailed to find out how I was.  “How’s all that drama with your son and your sister?” he asked.

Drama?  Drama is turmoil you create on purpose to draw attention to yourself, or to deflect attention away from yourself, like when you want to cover up something crappy you’ve done.

My sister’s cancer is not drama.  Vince being in prison is not drama.  Their situations may be a bit dramatic, but that’s different.

Drama is just what it sounds like: entertainment on the stage of life that distracts us or others from boredom, loneliness, inadequacy, or guilt.

Cancer and prison are horrible realities for real people who I love.

Woah, what a downer of a post!  You might think, from reading them, that I am a morose, miserable person but in fact I am quite content.  My life is stable, my work is interesting, I am never bored, and I even have fun from time to time.  Thing is, it’s my dramatic experiences, probably, that have made it possible for me to appreciate what is good, but writing about how la-la-happy I am wouldn’t make for very compelling blog reading, would it?

1 thought on “Appeal Denied

  1. Sarah Montgomery

    Thank-you for your blog. I read every post. You and Vince’s insight keeps me thinking, on my toes, and hopeful.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s