It has been 99 days.
Ninety-nine days since that life-changing day in October. Unbelievable.
In some ways it feels like much, much longer. The days slowly going by, living for phone calls or camp visits. In other ways, I can hardly believe it has gone by so fast. I remember thinking, "how will we get through the holidays? How will I get through my birthday?" And yet somehow we did.
Triumphantly, I might add. Krispy Kremes had a lot to do with it.
For those of you who have been following this story the past three months, I am happy to report that my dad continues to do great! He is the definition of resilient. I, on the other hand, am the definition of a big blue cloud of funk, and I am not the one with limited freedom. Geez.
My dad is taking Alamosa by storm, wearing his brighter-than-the-surface-of-the-sun jacket wherever he goes. The Human Highlighter is quite popular. I am almost certain he could run for mayor and win. And I am pretty sure the people at Walmart know him by name at this point.
He also has his own office just off of main street, where he works everyday and occasionally joins us for dinner via Skype. Modern technology is truly a marvelous thing. He continues to lead a Bible study on Wednesday nights and has become the go-to man for tax returns, resumé editing, business planning and your general "I need some advice from the only man known around here as 'Old School.'" It's actually quite a good gig, if you ask me.
And he continues to work his way through the program, excelling much faster than the typical "camper." This whole system is designed to integrate these men and women back into society with the support of their families. Well consider him integrated and supported. It is both ridiculous and rewarding at the same time.
The next big day is March 5, where he has a hearing to discuss his sentencing. This is in response to the appeal that was submitted. Even though the worst has already happened, the thought of going back to a courtroom makes me want to run away to Thailand, which would be a rather expensive way to avoid reality. I kinda wish we could just go from March 4 to March 6. Is that possible? Probably not, and if it did happen, I am sure it would be for a much bigger reason than just a court date!
No, March 5 will come with as much promise as the day before and we will all continue to breathe and trust.
So for now, we just keep plugging along, waiting expectantly on what God will do next and how we might be used in the meantime. My dad sent me an email yesterday telling me about one of the campers who still talks about the impact this Christmas made in his life. Your cards and your prayers are continuing to make a difference, my friends! And week after week, as I visit my dad, I see significant, transformational changes in some of these men. Changes that I am privileged to witness and would have never dreamed of experiencing 100 days ago.
There is a lot of weight in these 99 days. Heart-wrenching, soul-searching, peaceful weight.