Journey of Faith

The Calendar

I hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday. It was my first holiday home in 3 years. I couldn’t help but to reflect on friends I had made while in prison. Many still there and not coming home any time soon. I prayed that they would receive the normal holiday food which was actually pretty decent. It consisted of 2 clam shell containers. One full of turkey, stuffing and another vegetable. The other was filled with a roll and pie. The chow hall has been closed since covid hit, so they most likely walked in freezing temps to get their food. The process probably started early, by maybe 10:30 am because of the amount of people that would actually go get a tray that day. The real festivities wouldn’t begin though until later when friends who planned for weeks made food with commissary purchases and used their tray food to make a bigger and better meal. We’d make cheesecakes, fishcakes, macaroni and cheese or pasta salads. That was where the good food was. The stuff that the inmates concocted. Everyone for the most part was considerate of the phones. We wanted everyone who could at least try to call home. My holiday was much different this year and I’m blessed for it. When you’ve seen the other side, you can’t help but to reflect back and pray that those inside will someday be able to enjoy a day with their loved ones too. I spent some of my time looking though the stack of paperwork I saved about my case. I didn’t find the actual calendar because I had given that to my lawyer hoping he’d use it in court. I did however have a paper where I wrote down the dates and activities that I had given to him prior to show that we weren’t home as often as the criminal complaint stated. Looking back over it, makes me even more angry because I knew that we were NOT hosting parties and letting teens run amuck like we were being portrayed to be doing. I can’t provide a photocopy of the calendar because it contains people’s names on it. I am not putting ANYONE’s name out there for confidentiality reasons and will only be using initials like I explained before. In December of 2014 we spent 2 weekends at our cabin, one we spent at a friend’s home having dinner, and for New Year’s Eve we went to a friend’s house and stayed to watch fireworks at midnight. In January of 2015 we all were back and forth to the doctors with pneumonia and bronchitis. We weren’t allowing any non-family members over because we didn’t want them getting sick. As soon as one of us would feel better, another would get it. February 2015, it was cabin, a weekend with family/friends, we went out to eat with friends, the cabin, went to another friend’s home, then the 28th of Feb. we had a game night at our house with a bunch of friends. March 2015, we were at the cabin, then the high school had a Tarzan play and the football players were volunteers, the weekend after that we took our youngest to a birthday party (in the evening), then we went to a friend’s wedding, the final weekend of March we were at a friend’s house for a game night there. April of 2015, we spent three weekends at the cabin. May of 2015, we spent the weekend of the 2nd at the cabin and the weekend of the 22-25 we were at the cabin (I remember this weekend because we had my in law’s up and my husband cut his hand trying to pry frozen burgers apart.) June of 2015, on the 6th my friend’s husband had a surprise birthday party for her and then from June 7-14th we were on a family cruise. So again, if you are generating your own log of evidence this is a lot of time that we weren’t around. I haven’t done enough digging to see, but at one time I had Facebook posts printed out to accompany these dates as proof. For now, I can only hope that you’ll take my word for it. The time after that dreaded weekend at the cabin with the picture and the friends of DG that are now imaginary to him, we did see the guys over at the house at times. I do recall them coming over after the Tarzan play. It wasn’t all of them, but the core group came over. I remember because we went to the play and left but the guys had to stay afterwards to help. I am pretty sure that we allowed DG to drive my son’s truck to take them up there and then drive back. During the times that we did allow them to stay, they would come in w/ backpacks or small duffle bags that we assumed contained their clothing to change. The DA thought in his world that we should have again been patting them down and doing a TSA check of baggage before they were allowed in the basement. Like they say in the police world, “we had no probable cause to search their belongings”. Apparently, there was a few times when they did bring beer into the house when Steve and I were there. How? Our son told us that what they would do is hide the beer in the window wells of the basement window’s. They would then wait for us to go to sleep and then pass the beer through the window so that we wouldn’t know. This was a very thought-out plan, and we had NO idea. The DA also questioned these other boys about what they did with the empties and that we had to have seen the trash laying around. Unfortunately, I nor my husband went down to continuously “check” on them. These were 16,17-year-old boys. We were too trusting to think that they wouldn’t do such a thing. I suppose in my mind at least that this wasn’t something that I would have done. I am going to speak for myself only since this is my blog, but I pictured them down there doing what we intended the basement to be. Play video games, pool, air hockey, foosball, watch tv, etc. We even have a photo that was used later of 3 of them laughing playing video games. The issue brought up by the DA was that he couldn’t imagine that we didn’t hear the amount of noise coming from the basement. This is a man who has NO children and must not have had a childhood that was spent at overnights with friends. If you’re a parent or as a child yourself that either allowed sleepover’s or attended them yourself, they aren’t quiet. it’s one of the reasons why many parents don’t allow them. Was it noisy? Yes, to a degree. We had some rules about the noise. They could play the stereo to a volume that we could still hear the tv upstairs. After 10:00 pm, the stereo and/or tv volumes had to be turned down because we were going to bed. Sometimes it was sooner than that if it started working on our nerves. I wish I had the amount of text messages or phone calls that I made to our older son to “turn it down!” April 2015 rolled around and here is where I made the biggest mistake of my life. My son came to me and asked if I would be willing to go buy them some beer. Right now, I have a hard time even telling you this because after I committed to saying yes and did it, I regretted it. Did I ask any of their parents if this was ok? No, I didn’t. It was extremely dumb, stupid and reckless on my part on every level. I was by this point aware that some of the other boys were drinking, however. Again, I along with their parents were friends with them on different social medial platforms. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. There was a ton of photos being posted on Twitter and Instagram of them drinking at different places and we had started to hear through people that we knew that the one boy would host barn parties. We later found out that one time there was so many cars that the neighbor complained about them parking on his property. I asked my attorney to question this person, but I guess for whatever reason he didn’t feel it was necessary to show that other parents had allowed this to happen. I’m not trying to justify my actions, but if I’m guilty of this then let’s put all the cards on the table. I even remember telling one of my friends that I agreed to do this. She wasn’t happy and told me that I should not have agreed to this. I agreed with her, and it was actually the one and only time that I purchased for them. I admitted this right out of the gate during trial. I didn’t try to hide it or justify it. I couldn’t, there was a receipt because I ended up paying part cash and part debit card. Some asked how they knew it was me that bought it and that they didn’t take my card and use it? I said that I was sure they had me on video, and I wasn’t trying to be deceitful. I figured that I would fess up and tell the truth. This evidence didn’t come out until later, I’m only telling you now for reference to it later. After this happened, things slowed down a little. We were getting tired of the noise that was occurring and I was tired of them wanting to always be at our house. One morning, our oldest sone came in our room to wake us up. It was urgent, we had to get up now! I said what is going on? He told us that DG came in the middle of the night banging on his bedroom window asking to be let in that the police were looking for him. I said Well why is he here and where is his parents? I was told that his mom was on the way over. When we got up, his mom was in fact there and he was sitting in her van. He was beat up pretty good and had black eyes and look horrible. He had been at a drinking party the night before, along with some of the other guys that our son hung out with. Apparently, an altercation took place there and a fight ensued. Later, charges were brought against DG, and I believe a few others. At the time when questioning started regarding my arrest, DG changed his story about 3 times. He also had these charges mysteriously disappear from his record. It was brough up during my trial briefly along with some other questions about an expensive airline ticket that was purchased for his sister to fly home from S. Dakota by one of the moms involved in my case. Yes, we found out later she was bribing witnesses. She purchased expensive watches and helped pay for graduation parties for them. It was brushed under the rug by the DA that they were doing this out of grief. I’m confused how witnesses were allowed to hang out and exchange testimonies and stories during a trial. However, much of this also took place within that almost 2-year period they waited to file charges. There was occasion when my neighbor’s daughter and her friend would come over and hang out with the guys. There was one instance that I recall sitting on the sofa and DG walks in. He comes in and there are like 3-4 girls with him. I said what’s going on. He has this smug look on his face, and I guess he thought I was going to be ok with him just showing up with guests of his own. I called my son upstairs and told him that they have to leave NOW! I also told DG that he can’t just show up whenever he wants and bring girls to my house. That wasn’t happening. This was about the time when we started making the rule that no one could just “show up” anymore. It was getting to be too much. At first it wasn’t bad because they would stop by, and it was occasional. It was clearly now becoming a habit and we didn’t like it. My husband and I were having conversations with our son that this, “had to stop”. We were tired of his friends showing up whenever without calling, now they were starting to try to bring people around that we didn’t know. So, then we noticed that they would now call to come pick up our son and then they would leave to go to either NA’s grandpa’s house or there was another group of friends that lived in the development across the street. I don’t know if they were telling their parents that they were coming to our house, then leaving to go to these other places. I knew that my son asked and where he was according to what he told me. What these other kids told their parents wasn’t my problem. It later became my problem however after they all wanted to deny any knowledge and make me the scapegoat. They all seemed to forget about the drunken fight and police charges against DG, they seemed to forget the time they were at NA’s grandpas, and he caught them drinking and called NA’s mom to come get them. I mean, I didn’t get a call that night telling me that my son was caught drinking at her father’s house. I’m sure none of the other parents were called either. Why? Because I’m sure she did what I did the first time I caught them. She probably gave them a talking to and said she wouldn’t say anything if it wouldn’t happen again. I don’t know for sure if that happened, but at this point I can only imagine. So how many other times where they caught and none of us did anything? All of us as parents, gave them grace and thought we handled it by talking to them and asking them to not do it again. So was I the only one, because it seems to me that a lot was happening, but no one was saying anything. I hear crickets…..

Photo by G.O.D picture:

#Teens #Teenagers #Parenting #ParentingMistakes #TeenDrinking #TeenAlcohol #TeenDrinkingParties


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