Hanging on to hope

By Elizabeth Anne Messer

My stepmother gave me a copy of the Razor Wire and I want to thank you for the work that you are doing. My husband David James Messer, 42 years old, is currently serving 6 to 9 years for simple possession of 44 grams of marijuana - 2 grams above the misdemeanor amount. The district attorney deemed my husband a habitual felon and David was sentenced on February 9, 1999.

Since David has been locked up, he has completed a drug and alcohol treatment program, earned his GED and is currently in chef's school. On the other side of the prison walls I have been left to pick up the pieces.

Everything that could go wrong has. My truck blew up, and I had to drop out of college. A roommate stole money from me, and my house flooded. I had a nervous breakdown and have been in the hospital twice after episodes of uncontrollable shaking. I had to send my children, Gabrielle 9 years and Jeremy 7 years, to my ex-husband so they could have a stable home life, and I miss them terribly.

If my luck wasn't bad enough, I've been working in construction and my boss ruptured two discs in his back and can't work, which means that I don't. I'm back to being jobless, but at least I have good friends who help me out.

David and I had lived together before he went into prison. We were married on his birthday last year in Craggy Correctional Institute. Not really what I wanted our honeymoon to be like, but I love him. He is a very good man, and he took good care of me when he was home and will again after this nightmare is over.

I get to see him for two hours once a week, if I can get a ride. This is such a pathetic situation; it breaks my heart. I look forward for the day my husband comes home where he belongs. In the meantime I wait, but not patiently. I would like to help out in our nation's sad problem. To think I served our country 10 years in the Navy and was in the Gulf War, and here I am the wife of a prisoner of the drug war. Just isn't quite right.

Sincerely, Elizabeth Messer