Sheila went back to jail today. What’s that all about, people have asked, and we’ve enjoyed playing coy with some. But it’s serious. She has joined a prison ministry through her church. From what I understand, nobody is trying to get converts or thump on the Bible or lecture anyone on their sinful ways. They’re mainly visiting the prison to listen and to provide a measure of quiet comfort.
Today there were about 15 women and 6 men making up the two prisoner groups; Sheila and one other person providing the ministry. What do the prisoners talk about? Well, a lot of them talk about how much they miss their children. They talk about what’s good in their lives and what’s not. They talk about the better choices they hope to make when they get out.
Sheila worries each time (but a little less each time) about how well she will rise to the occasion. I’ve been the beneficiary of her listening ear and her quiet comfort countless times, and I tell her not to worry. She’s the right person for this job. Last time, a prisoner seated next to her sobbed and sobbed. Sheila handed her a Kleenex. Then another. And said, “You’re going to have to stop crying. I don’t have any more Kleenex.” If you knew her, you’d smile to yourself and you’d know that it’s all part of her ministry, and her gift.
Since I last posted here, a few non-routine things have happened. I lost part of a tooth. The result is that I will have to have the tooth “crowned,” and I absolutely understand why it’s called a “crown.” It costs a fortune.
Our darling new greyhound, Carmen, got out of the yard during a distant thunderstorm and wasn’t found until the next morning. We were sure we would never see her again, or that if we did, it would be her dead body at the side of a road somewhere. I thought during the search, “Our lives will never be the same, and they will never be good again.”
A couple of dozen people helped us look until late at night. Some were complete strangers; others were good friends and close neighbors. Our friends were back at it early the next morning, but as it turned out, we were all looking in the wrong places. Carmen had run a long way, and when found by Animal Control near the Country Club (we’ve heard some jokes about that) she was almost unconscious, with mangled paws. Now it’s been a little over two weeks, and she is fine. She is fine! Two dear people fixed the low spot in our fence, and we don’t take our eyes off Carmen when she is in the yard, but she has not shown any interest in jumping again.
Oh, and two nights at the Emergency Veterinary Hospital cost about the same as four crowns.
In the middle of the Carmen incident, I got a call from my high school reunion committee. I thought it was someone calling about the lost dog flyers. Our 50th—gah!—reunion is in 2012, in California. I have not attended any of the reunions so far, and only keep in touch with one person. What do you think? Have you been to your high school reunion(s)? Good idea or bad idea? (I weigh about 70 pounds more than I did in high school, have chins and would have to use a cane. Is this important or unimportant? It suddenly seems like it is.) Experiences, please!
That’s the news from here. Stay well and keep in touch.