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Thursday, December 06, 2007

The Verdict Is In.....

It's evening here in Idaho, the sun has set. The day has been long. And I only broke down once, horribly so, in the courtroom. It happened when my sister's lawyer was relaying the story about my sister coming all of the way to Portland, Oregon, and needing to come and stay at our home. I told her "No, not until you're finally ready to get yourself clean." She did get clean, right after that. I've always lived with that moment of saying, "No." Anyway, when the lawyer was telling that to the judge today, I sobbed. The judge was a very pleasant woman. I could tell that she really did care for my sister. In spite of the horrible situation, the sentence was minimized, in my opinion. Looks like this: 120 days in jail to begin 12/17. Eight years probation. Three years driver's license suspension. A hefty $$$ fine. AA meetings, psychiatric evaluations, and other assorted "get your act together" instructions. They did not take her away today. My honey and I drove her to the jail right after court and got her all checked in and scheduled to report on 12/17. I took her driver's license from her and handed it to the lawyer. And then I took my sister's keys from her. Seemingly nothing to most, I know. Monumental to me. My heart is broken. Her spirit is broken. But the sentencing is behind us. Our time with our niece has been fairly good. She is a tough little girl. A fighter. I'm not sure she understands completely....but it's good. She knows that she's loved and cared for. You'll all never know how much I count on and appreciate your comments and emails. Again, I close with tears in my eyes. Will they ever stop? Thanks for caring and listening.


Java said...

I continue my prayers for your sister, her daughter, and you and the family. I'm glad it wasn't any worse. Thank you so much for the update. I've been thinking about this all day long.
Where will her daughter stay while your sister is doing her 120 days? It is too bad she has to report before Christmas. I can only imagine that Christmas in jail is horrid.
How is your sister holding up? Does she feel like the sentence is fair?
Blessings to you all.

Joseph said...

Lewis, you and your family remain in my prayers.

Trailhead said...

As a lawyer, I can say that judges who genuinely care about the people who come before them can make a huge difference in their lives. We need more of them.

Meanwhile, I hope you can take some time to care for yourself. Your love for your sister and your anguish about this has been really apparent from these posts. You've walked some difficult lines and made some hard decisions out of love for her, and I so admire that.

Peace to you.

Billy said...

My dear friend - you and yours are in my prayers at this time. I'm sure that the love between you and your sis will heal all wounds and make the rest of your lives a wonderful journey! Cherish every moment.

Sorted Lives said...

My prayers go out to YOU and your family. I am sure it must be very difficult and if you ever want to chat, you know the number. Take care

daveincleveland said...

all i can say is you guys and your sister and niece will remain in my prayers, hugs from cleveland

Christopher said...

Lewis, I send thoughts of love and warm comfort to you and your family for the duration of this trying time. Although it seems difficult and dire at the moment, keep your eye on the prize; your sister has been afforded a great opportunity. She has been placed in a pivotal point where she has experiences behind her that will make her capable of reaching thousands of others in a meaningful manner to help protect them from the horrors she has encountered.

your and our task as a caring community is to fill the vacuum left in her life with love and light so her eyes may cast a beacon of hope to others.

Might peace and love encompass you as you embrace those around you during this time of struggle. My prayers and thoughts are with you my dearest friend.

-Peace and love, C

Laurie said...

Like I say Honey..
The hardest part is the beginning.
Things will get better. Your sister
has so much to look forward to when
she returns. She'll be even better
when all is said and done.
Tears stop and the heart mends and
the feelings of dispair will leave
Never think you're alone you are
among friends.

Lemuel said...

I am sure the tears will subside; the pain may linger. From what you relate, I appears to me that you did what you needed to do. It's called "tough love" sometimes. It signals to me that you truly DO care about your sister and were willing to make tough choices and to take pain upon yourself to see that she had a chance at life again. You have not taken away her keys. You have not taken her license. You have given her life again. You have given her love.

Many HUGS and prayers for you, your husband, your sister, your niece and other involved.

Breenlantern said...

Wishing you and your family a sense of peace, resolve, strength and love to get through this together, come out stronger and move forward. I hope the time goes by as fast as possible for your sister and she never forgets the strength it took to get where she is now and that same strength can carrier her through and forward. She is lucky to have you in her life and as a source of support and strength. You have shown greater love for your sister with the decisions you made than many others could have in the same situation. Be proud and be at peace knowing because you demanded more and better of her, she had the opportunity to rise to the challenge and start becoming the women, friend, sister and mother she needs to be and was meant to be all along. My thoughts are with you.

dbv said...

120 days isn't so bad, obviously it could have been worse, glad your sister is getting the help that she needs via AA and the other stuff... let it be a reminder to all of us about the evils of drinking and driving!!! even one is too many!!! take a cab!!!

Java said...

Lewis, perhaps you should post a similar update on the Boys are Ugly/Cute blog. I was just there, and seems a few are following this story from there.

How do things look after a sleep? When will you be returning to Portland? Safety and blessings and love to you all.

troy said...

oh my.....we both love you so much and know in our hearts that you and your family will pull thorough this. Just imagine what a wonderul summer you'll have when she's released. We all have time now to help you plan her path to healing....we're there for you!!! We love you Lewis.

Steven said...

The tears of sadness will definitely end. Before you know it, the tears of joy will flow when she is released into the emerging Spring season when all things begin anew. Seems like a perfect time for her, too.


Michael Guy said...

Dear Lewis, I care deeply.

I will continue to keep you and yours in my prayers and good thoughts. What a journey' it appears, though, that things are in place to begin again. To heal, in time.

Take good care of yourself, Lewis. I'm sure it's been emotionally draining beyond what you share here.

Wayne said...

At least there's and ending to this chapter. Hopefully the 120 days will go quickly, and she can begin a new and better life. And with the support of people like you, I'm sure she will.

Nathan said...

Our thoughts are with you and your family, sweetie. I know it's hard for everyone. I know you're sad now, and I know the rest of your family is too.

It's tough, rough, and all that. My Mom always told me there was a silver lining when I was sad. It's one thing I remember vividly from childhood.

I guess there are many silver linings for your sister. One is that the sentence was reduced. The second is that nobody was injured when she was driving. The third and most important is that she has a wonderful brother like you.

I guess there's always some good buried beneath the bad :)

But I could bore you with little quote and antidotes all day. The only thing that's really going to make things better is time.

Love you


bardelf said...

I'm glad that the judge, as you said, was sympathetic and reduced the sentence. Still, it must be terribly hard for you and your family.

I continue to hold y'all in loving thoughts. Peace.

Matt said...

If nothing else, at least the sentencing is over, you all know what's in front of you in a way, and you can move forward. I do hope that your sister and all involved look at this as moving forward, each day, not as time standing still in prison. The whole point should be change, and redemption, and growth, IMHO. You will all get through this, as difficult as it seems, and your family is lucky to have you there to love them and take care of things. But agreed with trailhead - be sure to take care of you, too.

Love from Seattle.

Cooper said...

This has triggered so much emotion within me. The hardest thing in the whole world is to say "no" to someone you love, even when you know it is the right thing. It tears at your heart and guts. I just want to give you the biggest hug in the world. My continued prayers are with you and your family.

alto said...


I've been on the side of having to say "no" before. The guilt is phenomenal, especially after the person does get themselves clean. Support of an addict is tricky, it's a very complicated dynamic.

I'm not trying to minimize that because it exists in its own right, but...just think if you hadn't had offered the loving response which you did. It could very well have been the last time you offered anything. Your sister is infinitely better for it. I truly hope she can get through the tough times ahead. Having the support of a very caring family will help in that process. She's lucky to have you people.

David said...

The tears will stop on the 121st day, when she gets out. All the rest of the garbage is details as long as she is out and back with all of you. You will make it through.