Writing a blog about a difficult part in your life and being so open about it is not easy. At the start of this part of my journey, I worried about the reception that I would get as I revealed my “secret” to those who didn’t know me before. So far that reception has been positive, or at the very least not negative. I continue to grow on a daily basis. With that in mind, I am going to go back a little and detail some of the negative effects that have occurred as a result of my spending time in jail, and then I am going to put that portion of my blog aside for a little while, and concentrate on spreading my knowledge and learning along with you as I introduce topics that are important to me. Occasionally I will sprinkle some personal experience within those topics, so I hope you continue to follow along as we journey together.
Immediately upon my original arrest on July 8th 2011, my life began to change, I just didn’t realize how much. The USA and Canada share information, in some ways too much information, about their residents, and upon my arrest, the Canadian government shared that with the USA. As a commercial truck driver who crossed the international border on a regular basis, this resulted in extra delays, and eventually in September 2011, and absolute refusal of entry into the USA by an (admittedly) over zealous USA Border Official. Upon refusal, my employment with that company was over (mutually agreed upon) because all their transport was cross-border.
It wasn’t the end though, because I found another job, hauling within Canada quite quickly, and because I was hauling some dangerous goods, my pay increased quite drastically. I didn’t get to enjoy the southern USA climate or hospitality any more, but I was still doing what I loved to do. I woke up each morning with a smile on my face and loved going to work. It took almost two years from my original arrest date, to getting a formal notification of charges being laid, and my first court appearance. I went to court not knowing what to expect and was informed at that time that I was facing “substantial” jail time if convicted. I had no idea what that meant, and left the court about to vomit!
It took a while even to find a lawyer who would handle the case and at my first meeting he informed me that I was facing one year in jail, which meant serving eight months. The case dragged as court cases do (No solution in 60 minutes as we see on TV). But as the end date was drawing near, I was told to go for a pre-sentencing hearing, which would be submitted to the judge and it could help my case. I got a rave review on my pre-sentencing hearing by the person who became my probation officer upon my release, but even that didn’t change the sentence and I was sentenced to one year in jail. As far as I am concerned, he signifies everything bad that I have ever heard about lawyers, all they think about is themselves and their wallets. But that’s a story for another day.
No one knew about my upcoming incarceration except for my wife, my brother, and my kids. I hadn’t even told my parents, let alone friends, it was a big secret from everyone that I just didn’t want to deal with. So I didn’t. I closed down my Facebook account and went into seclusion on April 10, 2014 when I entered Regina Provincial Correctional Centre in Regina, Saskatchewan. I figured that I wouldn’t serve the full eight months required, and that since I was in Saskatchewan more than 6 hours from home, no one would notice, since I was rarely home anyway!
Well I was wrong and word quickly got around my small hometown, and my wife and kids took a lot of abuse over my actions, which was unwarrented and unfair to them! Of course by this time my parents were also aware that I was in jail and it was just not a good situation for anyone. Money was an issue for my wife as she had no income coming in, and basically although I was in jail, I was probably in a better situation than she was because I was fully looked after at all times. Her health issues got worse with the stress of everything and she ended up in hospital.
As all this was going on, my mom’s health was also deteriating rapidly as well. Every day while I was in jail, I prayed that nothing would happen to her while I was in jail, and luckily it didn’t, and I did get to have one last visit before she passed away. We didn’t really get chance to talk and I hope that she forgave me for the trouble I caused.
As for my family, the relationships are strained somewhat. My oldest son and I have limited contact, and this hurts both myself and my wife as it also limits contact with our only grandchildren. My brother and I have not really had any contact in more than three years. The relationship with my two younger children is much better and I’m thankful for that. Most surprisingly, my relationship with Judy’s side of the family is relatively well and we have a lot of contact with them.
Friendships are mostly strained, and I have little contact with my friends from before jail. Everyone sins, but most are not on public display as mine were, and I just hope and pray for others that struggle to prevent them from having to experience what I’ve gone through. I’m not looking for sympathy, I deserve what I got, but I don’t wish it on anyone else, even those who hate me now!
The job that I’d left when I entered jail, was held for me, but when I was about to return, I was advised not to. I really don’t look at that as a negative though, because the job I have now is more regular and I get every weekend off, something not easy to get in the trucking industry.
The biggest and most important change in my life and the best after affect of all, though is my new and ongoing relationship with my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. He got me through the worst time in my life and continues to help me grow daily. I take no credit for anything in my life and give all the glory to Him. Without Him, I am not sure I would still be here and I am glad that my God is patient and waited for me to really begin to look for Him.
The other great after affect is my renewed (incredibly) relationship with my wife Judy. We’ve been married for 32 years (as of June 7th 2018) and have struggled in the past. But I hionestly have to say I love her more today than I did yesterday, and I will love her more tomorrow than I do today. She has been through much more than any wife should ever have to go through and I hope that someday I can make everything right again.
And finally one more after affect is this blog and the ability to share my story, my faith, and to help plant seeds in people’s hearts that may flourish. If I can bring just one person closer to Jesus, then I can say that its all worthwhile. I live the best life I can and hope you’re enjoying the journey.
My posts will continue, and I hope you continue along with me.
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Amazing Prophecies: Daniel & Revelation Made Easy
From Daniel: Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, four great beasts and a little horn, the ram and the goat, the Messiah appears. From Revelation: Letters to the seven churches, seven seals opened, seven trumpets, the great red dragon, seven-headed leopard beast, the three angels’ messages, the seven last plagues, the great whore Babylon, victory over Satan, Satan bound for 1,000 years, the New Earth.