It didn't take them long. Once they had committed to something these twelve guardians of our peace were dedicated to the task. I am not sure when they connived, again time was a blur. There were things to go over and examine I am sure. They weighed it all out. My Father brought in a man of God to plead his case. This shocked me. I was offended. How dare he invoke the name of my comforter. My source of hope. I had cut my Father out of my life so completely, and I refused to share a God with him now. I knew it was a rouse. He did not believe in a higher power. He was trying to win sympathy. In his lawyer's closing argument, the last the jury would hear on his behalf before they handed down his fate. He had acknowledge that my Father had done what was claimed. But, he was old now and sickly. He had carpel tunnel and could harm no one now. He was no threat and should be let go. Life had handed him a sentence already and they should be merciful. I realize he was doing his job, trading excuses for his fee. It was a poor defense and his heart was not in it. They came back before lunch. And we did the shuffle in, sit, stand and sit ritual again. Paper was passed and with it came judgement. Still they would not look at us. They gave him the maximum. On one small count they hung him high. I gave them another look. They were wiser than we had thought. They saw things and sensed others and they chose to be just. In the State of Texas, the maximum sentence for my Father's crimes was twenty years. Now, the Great State of Texas looks at that number and divides it in half. I can't tell you how disappointing that is to hear. I could not see the logic. It is all about overcrowding and the like. I asked to no one in particular, expecting no answer really. "shouldn't some things be so heinous that they override the states budget? Weren't children more important?" At least we had the comfort that there would be no parole. That was in the sentence. I heard it and I believed.
We all went back to our lives. Tammy and Katy went back with their Father. Emmalee stayed with her foster family and we went back home.
Back to our children and counseling. It was different now. We were set apart. No one else had received justice for their injuries. There is this strange thing that happens, when other victims learn what we did. I can not describe it fully, as I do not understand it. There is some kind of internalizing. A comparison of sorts. I did not seek out justice for myself, nor for my older Sisters. I did it because I HAD to. Those other girls haunted me. I remember how it felt to have no one, to tell and have nothing change. It instilled in me a need, a drive to protect those who came after. Because I knew. I knew what my Father was and what he did and I felt compelled to stop him. We are all different, we have different stories. This is just mine. There was a new distance between my Sister and I. I could not reach her. She withdrew and I did not follow. She was angry and hurt. She had blame to lay and she gave it to me. It was my Father. Through counseling and the trail she had realized that he had taken more from her than from me. I don't believe she wished upon me worse then I got. She just couldn't take the reminder I had become. I stuck with counseling, after group was done. I had things to talk about and changes to make. I fell in love with my children everyday. When nothing else was right in my world and I would fall into despair, it was those three that would pull me back out. I owe them my life.
My Husband had not supported me going to Texas. He was cold and distant upon my return. We were in a multilevel marketing business. We were considered successful. We met the numbers fast. Got more people in, then fell out and we sold a dream. We were asked to speak. We crossed stages and received pins and took pictures with strangers, who hoped to have what they thought we had. It was all a sham. Every dime that we made went right back into the business. And more. It was a fake it until you make it kind of thing. And we were good at pretending. I half believed it. I looked at what those people saw in us reflecting back at us and I wanted what they saw. It was like a family. The one I had always wanted. We had upline and they were highly thought of. Everyone thought we were so lucky to have them to look up to, and so did we. I made a promise to our mentor. I came back from that trial so angry with the world, the State of Texas, the ADA and my Husband. I was disappointed. I didn't want to forgive my Husband's lack of support when I needed him most. But, Chuck, our upline, asked me to trust him. To give him three years. My marriage was worth that wasn't it? I didn't want to give it. But I felt that nagging obligation. I had given my word and I tried to uphold it.
They didn't warn us that they let him out. We got no notice at all. My Father had been paroled. Only in Texas, could ten years without parole turn into seven years. He was out and there was nothing we could do. I contacting his Parole Officer, he claimed ignorance to the facts. I faxed him all the documents the letters. Everything I had. He stopped taking my calls.