It’s a yucky day. One of those days when going outside has zero appeal. Before Ryan’s attack, this was the sort of day that I’d tackle home projects; or make-up some. You know… just stay inside and get things done. I don’t do that anymore. Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty that needs tended to throughout our house. For the most part, I ignore these until I just can’t anymore.
My days are full. Sixteen hours of non-stop activity is the minimum. Often more. Rarely less. There are no days off. Heck, there are no nights off either. I work every weekend and holiday. I can’t call-in sick. Playing hooky is entirely out of the question. I’m on-call twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. It’s not like I can show up and slack off either. Day-after-day takes all my physical and mental strength. It is, in a word, exhausting.
Sue has it no easier. Perhaps even harder. She spends at least ten hours at work each day with a hellish commute into D.C. Coming home offers no rest nor relaxation. From the second she walks in our door she is engaged with Ryan. Her “vacation days” from work are used in hospitals and doctors’ offices. For her, it’s like having two full-time careers.
Neither of us have had a day off in thirty-seven months. That’s over 1,100 days without a break! Perfect attendance. No tardies. Maybe I should make us both certificates in recognition…
This is why I could only laugh inside when Gale (Pattie) Vantrease spoke about the impact on her family as a result of her son, Austin Vantrease, being in prison. At last year’s parole hearing she actually told the parole board how difficult it is travel once or twice a month to West Virginia to visit her son. I’m not kidding, that was part of her statement! She spoke of her “up to” fifteen-hour day. I’m convinced that she really doesn’t get it. Not at all. Like I thought then, and it’s no different now, for us a fifteen-hour day is knocking off early. For the love of Pete!
I say let her do even this shortened day (to us) 1,100 times and see how much sympathy she would have for someone else playing her card. Perhaps then she might she why I find her particularly annoying.
I try not to think about the fact that there is no end in sight. For the Vantrease family, it’s just a matter of time before their violent son walks away from prison. They can see the light at the end of the tunnel. The only light we might see is a locomotive coming head on at us.
So, today, my project is exactly the same as the past three years; trying to bring my son back to us.