wings and things

Thank you, Brian

on January 31, 2014

This morning Ming and I had an appointment with the prison chaplain, a beautiful man who is the Anglican priest who, coincidentally, helped enable Anthony’s admission into the nursing home two years ago, and a good friend of my mother’s.

We met in his home and he did a wonderful job of demystifying prison (just in case Ming has to go there), and allayed many of our fears and concerns about things like violence, drugs, rape (obviously my worst fear). He told us that if the worst scenario (prison) eventuated, when Ming is finally sentenced, he will be in no danger as long as he doesn’t get involved with various unsavoury activities (drugs, alcohol etc.) If a prison sentence happens, Ming would undoubtedly be put in the low security section, and given a job of some sort (kitchen or gardening etc.)

While the three of us talked about the improbable possibility of a prison sentence, the prison chaplain must have wondered a bit about the difference between Ming’s reaction to this information (curious) and mine (tears – just a few; I got hold of myself), but he took it all in his stride and spoke calmly and wisely to us.

It was a bit terrifying for me to hear about the prison situation, but now I am no longer so afraid, thanks to this wonderful, wonderful man/priest. Ming’s reaction to our meeting took hours to happen. He was calm when he handed in his resume for a job at a restaurant, calm having lunch with me, calm during a Centrelink appointment, calm during a visit to Anthony while I did some errands.

But then, on the way home, we had one of those horrible yelling-at-each-other arguments (been having a few lately) but, once home, we decided to talk it through and we did this for over an hour until we sorted it out:

Me: So what is your main problem with me at the moment?
Ming: Your geese poop on my shed doorstep and your peacocks poop on the car!
Me: So you are more upset about the birds than the possibility of prison?
Ming: No, yes, no!

We are both fine again now, having sorted a lot of things out and I am so thankful for the fact that he and I can be honest with each other and get over/through these wrangles but it is so exhausting!

I think I might need to visit that wonderful priest again – soon. His name is Brian and he is a legend!

54 responses to “Thank you, Brian

  1. I’m as far away from religion as possible.. yet when my sons presented me with their plans to become Orthodox Jews, I found great consul with the local Chabad rabbi, who has become a friend and frankly saved me from jumping off the ledge. My opinion of clergy is still skeptical- but if you find the right person they can do wonders. Good luck with the many challenges you face and I admire your bravery and candidness in sharing it with the world.

  2. bulldog says:

    It must be a bit daunting for Ming thinking of the possibilities…. but easier said and done, forget it till it happens… what will be will be and all the fretting now might just be for nothing and he ends with a suspended sentence… who knows… Sterkte….

  3. Lisa Rest says:

    Oh Julie, I am in awe of your ability to deal with everything and write about it so eloquently. I don’t drop in often enough to keep track I’m afraid but I hope things get better soon somehow.

  4. niasunset says:

    I pray for you both, my heart with you too. I hope and wish everything to be fine, again. Love, nia

  5. elizabeth says:

    So glad you both have such a wise and informed friend on your side. ((hugs))

  6. mimijk says:

    It’s so much easier to place blame on the most irrelevant topics when the real issues are impossible to absorb (let alone control). I get it – and applaud the strength of your relationship with Ming – that too is a blessing (even if sometimes it is frustrating as can be)..hugs, m

  7. It’s good at least to take away some of the fear of the ‘unknown’. It’s got to be intense and hard at times… It’s the ‘waiting’… while things brew inside. .. Thinking of you !!! Diane xo

  8. Ingrid says:

    I’m really hopeful that they wouldn’t go with a prison sentence, in light of the fact that it was an accident on private property, no-one was killed (mercifully) and the boy is remorseful and a good kid with no prior history or likelihood of a repeat of such an incident – i would think community service work or something like that would be appropriate … don’t you wish I was the judge Ha! But seriously they need to concentrate on the real criminals out there! So bottom line my sincere prayers and good wishes to you for a positive outcome. God bless you both.

  9. viveka says:

    Julie, I think Ming is very scared inside – and worried … and that’s why he re-acts like he does … he doesn’t want to show you in what state he really are in – he is under such a pressure just now.
    I don’t know if meeting up with the a priest will help him… not with you there too, sorry to say that. I can understand he can help you. Maybe Ming needs to talk to somebody without any connection with his reality just now ….

    • jmgoyder says:

      Yes, I am trying to encourage him to go out and about a bit more – using my car (he still has his licence) – to have some fun. Getting there! Thanks Viveka xx

      • viveka says:

        Julie, for me it’s good sign that Ming still have his licence – if the police had seen him as a dangerous driver they would had taken his licence.
        There is so much going on inside your young man … he are so nervous and scared – he will come around .. bit by bit.
        I can just image how I would have been. I tell you he are so luck that he has a mother like you and he knows it too.

      • jmgoyder says:

        There is a lot of good inside all this bad stuff.

      • viveka says:

        So true … Julie. *smile

  10. Ms. Boice says:

    I remember when my father passed away a number of years ago, my mother had a meltdown over something as simple as choosing something from the menu at a restaurant. I then realized she was tackling all the big things in the aftermath of my father’s death, but the little things were what made her explode. Some people call it transference, others coping. Seems similar.

  11. Is there any way that nice Chaplin, or a doctor, or someone, could write a note – a plead – for Ming, since he just had surgery to mitigate any sentencing? House arrest in lieu? Just thinking out loud here with you. This if sentencing for jail times does come to pass? Whack my cyber hands if I’m overstepping cause suggestions can be a pain at times if you’ve got everything sorted out to your best case. This must be so hard for you both. Prayers.

  12. Lynda says:

    It is often easier to lash out at the tangible things in our lives. Bird poop is tangible, prison a looming future; perhaps not to be a reality, but scary as hell to imagine.

    Julie, as the days go by I find myself in disbelief about this possible outcome. I am praying for leniency on the part of the judge, and strength for you and Ming. xo

  13. I like Brian and I haven’t even met him!

  14. Dale says:

    There is a deeper meaning of the “poop” on the doorsteps….it represents the nastiness of life …and what we have to endure, but also we have the means to “clean up” what we can and leave the rest to God’s great mercies. I also think that those “little things” (poop) put into perspective the inner turmoil that Ming must be feeling. Certainly, the not knowing and how Ming’s life is now in the hands of those who are in power and do not know him…is unbearably daunting. Have faith and hold on for what is always an unpredictable ride. xo

  15. janeslog says:

    There’s no point worrying about jail just now. It probably won’t happen. Don’t worry yourself about things like that. It’s not like he deliberately went out of his way to cause the accident.

    • jmgoyder says:

      Strangely I am less worried now that I know the local prison isn’t like something out of the movies!

      • janeslog says:

        I once visited Barlinnie Prison in Glasgow (Bar-L) with my friend who is a Church of Scotland prison chaplain. It is a male prison.

        Barlinnie is for West of Scotland prisoners. The prison was built in Victorian times, but is fairly modern inside.

        it was okay inside, although they search you before you are allowed inside in case you try to sneak in with prohibited items.

        Previous to that I had only seen the inside of a prison in the Australian TV series ‘Prisoner Cell Block H’ (it was only called ‘Prisoner’ in Australia).

        When I went to Hogganfield Loch birdwatching I went on the bus to meet the group as I did not have a lift. Hogganfield is near Barlinnie.

        On the buses there are scrolling information boards suspended from the ceiling displaying the bus stop name.

        The bus stop outside Barlinnie is called ‘HMP Barlinnie’ and the bus displays this as it approaches the bus stop.

        There were two women on the bus in front of me and they were talking about someone they were visiting in the prison. They got off at the Barlinnie stop and I saw them crossing the road to the prison.

        A worse place must be the State Mental Hospital in Carstairs Lanarkshire. The Glasgow/Edinburgh train passes the hospital and it looks like a fortress – it holds the criminally insane in Scotland.

  16. Such a stressful time for you both, and on top of everything else, with Anthony’s illness as well. I really hope and pray that there is a good outcome, Julie. It must be hard to stay calm and on top of the situation. The priest sounds like a lovely, calming friend, which is just what you need. *hugs*

  17. Trisha says:

    I’m glad you have such a calming, wise person on your support team. The bird poop popping into the conversation made me laugh a little. It sounds like something my oldest would yell about. 🙂

  18. What a blessing that your son fights with you,, and works it through with you. Not to mention the blessing of having Brian. I hope so much for the best possible outcome for Ming. I admire his accepting responsibility and facing this difficult time. That shows great character. I wonder where he got that? 🙂

  19. So good you were able to have a chat with the chaplain about what prison would be like if Ming had to go there

  20. FlaHam says:

    Julie, I am grate you have a Brian to talk to, and I am very glad he gave you the information that put some of your fears to rest. I know they won’t go away entirely, but some of the pressure is off. Yet as proud of you as I am, I am even more proud of Ming. He has manned up since the moment of the accident, he has taken complete credit, and has repeatedly done the right thing with the greatest of attitudes. But i think the squabbles with you are his way, of reaching out, of taking comfort from his mom, of quietly letting her know that he is as scared as she. Ming is one hell of a man. You are blessed to have 2 great men in your life. Take care, Bill

  21. ksbeth says:

    i suppose it is just his intense emotions about the whole thing working itself out and focusing on something else. lucky about brian and glad you go that resolved.

  22. Wow, what a stressful time. 😦

  23. Judith Post says:

    I can’t imagine Ming not losing it once in a while with all the stress he must be under. No fun for you, but you’re the person he feels safe with–so you get the “joys” of his venting. You two are awesome together.

  24. janechese says:

    Stress Full time for you and Ming. good that Brian is there to assist.

  25. it is so great to deal with things as they come rather than letting them simmer and become bigger than life. great that you have so much support and that brian can be there for you both.

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