Monday, November 28, 2016

When the government returns your husband

Written November 30th

My husband is home! After 13 days away he returned to us - amid shouts of "Daddy" from Avie as the taxi pulled up. After a long afternoon of Braxton Hicks and back pain, I was feeling tired and anxious. I asked Jamie (one of the girls who lives with us) to watch Avie so I could shower; fully prepared to get clean and have a good cry. As I headed upstairs my phone buzzed with a text from Paul; "Baby, I'm coming home!!" Never have I been so happy to get a text from Paul. I stuck with my plan of a shower and a good cry, but this way, it was tears of relief. Being Paul, he let all the other jurors get in taxi's first but he was home within an hour of that first text. 

Waiting for the taxi to arrive

The biggest question Paul and I keep getting asked, "would you do it again?" The answer is a resounding, "probably." For Paul, he values civic responsibility greatly. While it wouldn't be something he entered lightly, and he would weigh the cost on our family, he would most likely do it again. He grew in many ways and learned so much, especially about himself. He would also encourage others to go through this. This is part of the system that keeps us safe, that stands for justice. 

For me, I would say that while the timing sucked in many ways, this was also a time of growth for me, as well as for Paul. This time showed me yet again how my community will rise up to support and encourage me. I learned that I am far more capable than I give myself credit for. I got to watch the students in our home love and support me and Avie - emotionally and practically. I got to see God meet my emotional and practical needs. It made for a sweet time of reconnection with my husband. 

Lunch downtown with Paul the next day

It also was a time that made for some fun stories between us. Of passing clothes back and forth (what a treat to collect dirty laundry from a Sheriff), of the messages we could send back and forth between each others and the Sheriff's. On top of that, Paul had figured out early on that if he spent money at dinner (by buying a beer) it would alert my phone so I could see where he was and feel connected - I loved hearing that he was buying beer mostly just so I would see that. It was fun to hear about the meals they ate and how tired he was of eating out (he made me feel so loved by saying how much he missed my cooking). Of course, Paul can't talk about the deliberations at all. In Canada the jurors can only talk about that which is public record. Basically, the things they learned during the course of the trial that are public, he can discuss (like what the case was, etc) but nothing more. Paul is most definitely a rule follower, so he sticks to that religiously.

Avie and Paul reunited and so at peace together - my heart was so full in this moment.

One of the biggest things that happened during this time was the growth I got to see in my husband. There were some things about him that I have been praying for him for the last while - that he would understand certain things about himself. There are many things I love and respect about him that I was praying he'd be able to grasp about himself. During this time he learned many of these things about himself. I watched him thrive under the weight of the responsibility of the justice system, and the expectations there. He came back sobered and stretched, knowing himself and his strengths better. It has been a gift to see in him. I am so thankful for that. 

This was simultaneously one of the hardest experiences of my life, and one of the biggest blessings. We learned so much about ourselves individually and got to see our community support us both in different ways. I am glad we had this experience - I am proud of my husband for his service to the justice system here - and I am so so so happy to have him home.

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