“The one who falls and gets up is stronger than the one who never tried.” — Roy T. Bennett

Today while leaving Green Bay Unit to head to Bridgeport then on to meet a couple that I had planned to marry at Carson County Jail in the next few weeks, I read a message in a truck stop parking lot from a young lady I married years ago at TDCJ Beto. Both of her parents had recently been released after spending 28 years in prison just recently.

I was aware of the many hardships Shar had faced throughout her childhood because she had shared her life story with me on wedding day about three years ago.

Today’s DM read “Hey Miss Wendy, my parents are both out of prison and I’m not sure my marriage is working out. I’m torn between my baby daddy who is out here being a father and being married to an inmate facing another 18 years that isn’t going to be a father to my son. I can talk to you. I can’t talk to other people because they are against this marriage. My baby daddy is too. I guess I’m torn because I spent my whole life visiting my parents in prison. What should I do?”

Frankly, I had attempted to talk her out of this marriage prior to the marriage. They knew each other through mutual friends but had never been on a date or anything else. I feel her guilt about visiting and loyalty to someone who talks down on phone calls is debilitating. Her newly released parents don’t agree with this wedding, her baby daddy doesn’t either. It’s a trifecta of problems.

I talked for some 48 minutes while driving to my next client meeting to her giving her the options and insight I had for her.

1. She’s a young mother doing it all and doing it alone.

2. Her sons father is involved in his life. Her husband who is in prison wants to control her spending anytime with her sons father.

3. Her incarcerated husband his jealousy and control from behind bars is alarming.

She’s a young mother doing it all alone and doing it from the outside. Her husband is facing many more years in prison. Her child’s father isn’t in prison. Her parents just got out of prison.

Her loyalty is misplaced. I sent her a self file divorce packet, parole packet and letters of support template since her husband is coming up for parole. I sense trouble if she stays in this marriage.

I’m calling her again tomorrow to discuss this rather delicate issue. Who knows where this saga will end but my fear is it will not end well.

Meanwhile my other Carson County Jail client had surprisingly called to tell me that “he had been released and they wanted to marry in Wichita Falls because they knew I was in Bridgeport today.” I quickly checked my calendar. It was tight but I could in fact meet them at Lucy Park at 1:15PM and did to get them married.

I was planning to marry this couple in Abilene next week when I’m at TDCJ Robertson Unit while I’m in Abilene with 4 other clients but today in Wichita Falls worked out far better for their schedule as well as my own.

I had bought a sapphire men’s wedding ring for my Crain Unit groom that didn’t fit that fit the Carson County jail groom today perfectly. He was thrilled.

I will buy a smaller ring from my Crain Unit groom when I order the ring for my TDCJ Hobby Unit groom.

Ladies and gentlemen, please be aware that I’m on the road or in the air or on location for at least the next week so let’s go over a few things you will need to know.

First, TDCJ is REQUIRING anyone (whether they have a vaccine card or NOT) to self test.

Secondly, Big Springs Federal Clients, we cannot “wait in the parking lot” because we arrived early. Go to Shell across the street. Also, do NOT follow your navigation as it will lead you onto a secure air strip where their planes fly in and four officers will arrive to ask what you are doing on the air strip. Use the main entrance.

Now, let’s go over TDCJ & other Units this week… Monday Green Bay & Tarrant County.

Tuesday Holliday & Polunsky.

Wednesday Eastham and whatever name TDCJ has changed it to. Quite frankly it will always be Eastham Unit to me and then I’m at McClennan County jail.

Thursday I’m all over TDCJ Units in Tennessee Colony,

Friday TDCJ Robertson. I have 4 clients at Robertson so please DO NOT be late. We will do all bridal photo’s and then I’m taking all of my brides to lunch in the downtown area of Abilene so brides waiting can stay cool in their vehicles. I use downtown areas frequently because they are convenient. If you see a building you really like for a backdrop just let me know.

If you have additional questions, concerns or second thoughts about what you plan to wear- send me pictures.

Moving on to complimentary wedding rings from our inventory… if your ring is too big you can exchange it for another size. If it’s too small, you can exchange for another size. What you can’t do is keep both. Why? We don’t have a wedding ring fairy. Wedding rings are a gift to our clients marrying an inmate. Please verify your size and don’t guess at it. If you already have a wedding ring, we will send you an adjustable sterling silver tennis bracelet instead.

Bridal or Groom complimentary photos… all booked clients have the use of our extensive inventory of tiaras, fascinators, bouquets, Bouteniers, wedding jewelry and fun signs. No you cannot keep wedding jewelry I’ve purchased for our inventory OR the fascinators OR the bouquets. Why? Because I’ve invested tens of thousands of dollars into our inventory SOLELY to loan to clients so that their photos look like any other brides or grooms photos would. Our inventory wasn’t free to me and it isn’t free to you. We want your day special and memorable however we cannot give away things that cost us money to acquire simply because someone asks or expects us to. Our inventory is to give all of you a wide array of photos with a wide array of options.

Moving on.. I do not sell or create custom floral designs. If you want specific colors, please buy and bring your own bouquet. We have a wide variety of colors and options and bring at least 8-10 different options of bouquets. I don’t have the time to create a custom bouquet “in your colors” simply because you ask or expect me to do so. I work 7 days a week. I take calls and answer emails 7 days a week when I’m not on location. I do not work as a custom floral designer.

Edited photos… all clients receive edited double prints within 3-5 days of their event. We cannot edit photo’s within hours. No one can. Your edited photos are mailed within 5 days as a courtesy to you. This is free to you. Photo editing and postage are not free to us. Be patient and don’t ask for overnight delivery or express delivery on your photos unless you want to pay for these expedited and rather expensive shipping options.

I’m traveling all week and will answer all correspondence between clients and locations.

Today is my niece, Stephaney’s birthday I stopped to look for a card but had as much trouble finding one as I would have for my own mother or father. All of the cards were sappy about accomplishments and love which after 18 years of setbacks brought tears to my eyes. None of them worked to match my heartache.

I finally left empty handed. I bought perfume and makeup instead and walked out to find that someone had hit my Sahara. Argh.

I’m on the road, in the air or on location the next 8 days so I will check DM’s and emails between bookings…