“PEOPLE that APPRECIATE a MEAL the MOST weren’t FED with a SILVER SPOON.”
With a week of running to and from County Jails, client meetings and an unexpected setback to scheduling regarding next week at TDCJ Beto Unit where 3 brides anxiously waited for the Warden to give an “all clear” for previously scheduled and confirmed weddings August 26th, this has been one unexpected event after the next.
My clients are single income households and have to take the day off. None of them could afford to lose a day off or drive 3-5 hours to the Unit if we weren’t going to be cleared in due to an Administrative lockdown at Beto.
Hesitantly because I know Chaplain Strange would have notified me, I once again emailed to “inquire about the status of Unit Weddings on the 26th.”
I was in the midst of juggling a reschedule for TDCJ Smith Unit that was confirmed for TOMORROW at 3PM that was rescheduled by the law library for next Friday at 3PM.
Deb had called me regarding being rescheduled without being notified on a date that was ALREADY confirmed for Robertson Unit.
TDCJ Robertson and Smith Units are 140 miles apart. I can usually reschedule if I haven’t confirmed a date and I hadn’t with Smith Unit.
I told Deb I would have to call to reschedule as I couldn’t be in 2 places at the same time. TDCJ Smith was rescheduled for September 3rd at 3PM.
A text from my Coffield bride read “I’m being evicted. I am $200 short and don’t know what I’m going to do.” I had just left Green Bay Unit with Cindy and was in the drive through with her when the text came in at just about the same time the email from Chaplain Strange came in. We were “all cleared” for the previously confirmed date.
What a relief for my 3 clients and now to work on my Coffield client who was not only dumped by the inmate she moved from CA to TX to be closer to. Damn him. He was someone she thought loved her. Someone who told her he was anxious to marry her that took advantage of her.
She was now facing being homeless. She was also in the “country” meaning traditional emergency shelter services weren’t an option.
I was so shocked about this turn of events for her that I forgot that my 2 Frost Bank checking accounts were closed and new accounts opened last week after a breach occurred and $4,800 was transferred to a cryptocurrency account. Nothing like this had ever happened although I’ve been a victim of card skimmers which is why I have 4 banks and 6 accounts. I keep 2 primary accounts at 2 different banks. I transfer money and keep a low balance of $2k in my debit card accounts.
The hacker had somehow accessed both of my primary accounts. He was transferring money from the slush account into the debit card account when Frost emailed me.
I had immediately went to the bank after leaving Parker County Jail last week after reading the email notification then logging in on my phone to see in “real time” a hacker moving my money.
I called the bank while driving to close the accounts immediately. Frost replaced all of the funds into 2 new accounts but I had forgotten to update my PayPal & CashApp with the new account information while I was trying to refund my client AND get money to her ASAP in order to prevent her from being evicted. Thus CashApp continued to decline my payment to her. This was frustrating as Hell.
Cindy finally said “did you update your accounts?” I was in the process of pulling out my new Frost Bank cards out of my wallet to do just that and so flustered that I drove off without our drinks at Starbucks while yet another call came in.
Ironically for Coffield Unit. I was still trying to update Paypal and CashApp with my new Frost Bank cards while talking to her and somewhat belting out curse words (as I often do under stress) at all of the steps I had to go through with PayPal and CashApp while talking to this caller.
She patiently waited as I explained what I was trying to do for someone in Ranger, Texas when I answered her call.
When I say “a day in MY life is NEVER boring I’m NOT kidding.” I’m a multitasking MF!
Luckily, the caller understood what I was trying to do while Cindy checked my schedule at Coffield. September 14th I’m at Coffield and told the caller “since you already have the marriage license, have him file the I60 Request For Inmate Marriage and use September 14th since I’m already scheduled & confirmed there.”
We went back for the forgotten drinks at Starbucks while still on the call. Luckily, they had saved our non fat green tea lattes. Yuck.
The next call was from a Federal Facility. My schedule is getting so damn tight that I’ve had to move my son and his wife over from strictly County to ICE, Federal & State bookings. Cindy is handling County, ICE and Federal.
EVERYONE wants me but I can’t be everywhere for obvious reasons. My TDCJ Clements Unit client is apparently getting the run around so I called him back twice yesterday.
I will never forget one CO asking me “they ALLOW gay weddings at prisons?” She was being serious. First, they aren’t called gay weddings and second yes the Supreme Court ruling in 2015 legalized LBGT marriages in all 50 states.
I will ALSO never forget the summer of 2015. Jeff Mosier had printed my name and Texas Twins Events which was LBGT friendly from the start in the Dallas Morning News.
For the first time in my life death threats were coming in. By phone, email AND my mailbox. The first one rattled me. I called the police.
We have 16 surveillance cameras NOT because we live in a bad neighborhood because we live in a very upscale neighborhood BUT because my husband feared someone would kill me for being diverse and open regarding my diversity. I always have been.
Other vendors hid their affiliation with the community out of fear of retaliation. I never did.
Clerks in Texas the summer of 2015 refused to issue marriage licenses in many counties. My family and I spent the entire summer picketing to obtain marriage licenses for our clients.
I’m a fighter. I’m also not dead yet so for all the trolls and the threats after all of these years, you didn’t intimidate me OR change my beliefs OR my diversity eff off. You know where to find me. I check in on my public FB all the time.
I also list my weekly schedule at TDCJ Units on my public page, Prison Weddings With Wendy Wortham. Bring it cowards. You don’t intimate me. Infuriate me maybe but certainly don’t scare me. I’m pretty damn fearless. If you knew me you’d already know that.
My Coffield client had been shocked that I saved her from eviction in less than 15 minutes but ONLY someone who has been homeless, broke, hungry and from a shitty family like my own could sympathize with her situation. Yes, I said shitty.
No one in our family EVER helped Cindy or I or our children or our grandchildren. We ran away at 15. We lived in a homeless shelter and we left the shelter to live in a shady apt without electricity for nearly 3 years.
It was at that apartment that Cindy was followed home from IHOP and raped while I was working late at Red Lobster. We had both taken waitress jobs to keep from starving. I found Cindy in the doorway in the dark coming home from Red Lobster. It was horrific. My twin, my best friend battered and abused. I collapsed beside her.
We had run away to escape violence and violence had found us again. This horrific rape and subsea trauma was something neither of us were mentally prepared to call the police for. The rapists knew where we lived. They had followed her. She had never seen their faces. We were young runaways and lied on our lease about our ages. We both pretended it never happened. Cindy took 3 days off work. We put it “in a box” as we had our entire childhood.
We always “put things away” this type of compartmentalizing is how and why Cindy and I are the “five percentile.” We weren’t alcoholics, drug addicts, sex addicts or suicides. Most people who come from the childhood we did are. Very few aren’t. Those who are compartmentalize trauma intentionally. I learned this from Dr Baker who followed us for many years until his death.
Our mother was a heroin addict. Our father had a violent temper. Our grandfather was a pedophile. We didn’t want to be like them. We did everything to be unlike them. We took what we had survived and threw that book in the trash. We would be the people we never met.
A car accident was how we learned Cindy was pregnant. She was horrified. Angry. Inconsolable. I was optimistic. I told her “there’s two of us and we will work different shifts so one of us can care for this baby.” We were the mothers we never had to Leigh Ann.
We never knew about food stamps or unemployment because no one ever told us. There were a few times when Leigh Ann was young we stole a few jars of baby food from Safeway in our struggle to survive. But when we had money we bought baby food from the very same Safeway to repay our debt.
We never asked our family for help and we were never offered their help so my reference to “shitty family” is from the heart. I wouldn’t piss on them if they were on fire. I mean that too. So does Cindy.
We went to bed hungry to feed Leigh Ann many many nights. We went without so much raising our children and grandchildren that we KNEW from our own experience true compassion and empathy. People who have never struggled don’t appreciate anything. People who have appreciate everything.
My Coffield client couldn’t believe that Cindy and I would spare her being homeless but she had unknowingly contacted the RIGHT PERSON to help her. She asked why. I told her that “no one had ever helped us” that’s why.
A few weeks ago another client contacted me because her “baby daddy” hadn’t paid his child support and her children were hungry and the baby needed diapers. I helped her. I’ve often been taken advantage of throughout the years due to my kind heart as has Cindy. More times than we can count.
I decide whether to offer insight or direction that no one offered us or money based on the situation. Believe it or not, it’s quite rare for my clients to ask or expect my help. I’m everyone’s mother and always offer insight and occasionally even money.
Next week is going to be a tough one for the team with me traveling some 2-3k miles across Texas but it’s a normal week for me. The twins started school last week so contracts are running behind.
All tracking for wedding rings & tennis bracelets for clients who already had wedding rings was provided via text both yesterday and today as customs held up our order.
We look forward to seeing you all very soon and I will be in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Missouri this weekend with Cindy so please be patient as we will respond as we can between locations and clients.