[Throwback Thursday — Originally published November, 2013]
I love you. I am so sorry I couldn’t be there for you and the children on Christmas. I am so sorry all of this happened. I hope you are OK. Not being able to talk to you since I’ve been here has heightened my anxiety and they’ve kept me in medical because of it. This is all a blur and I’m trying to pay attention to what is happening but I just don’t understand.
They say I stabbed a woman. They say her blood was on my pants and that they have even more evidence. They say I could get twenty years. They say I’m unremoreseful and evil. They keep saying things but they make no sense.
They’re moving me to a different block and are taking my belongings. Send money if you can, I have nothing.
I love you. I need you to know that I will stick by your side through anything that may come. They told me you’re evil but I will never believe them. They told me I’m lucky to be alive, but I don’t feel very alive right now. Other than that, they’ve told me nothing. What hurts the most is that you were not here for the birth of your son. For that, I will never, ever forgive them.
The children are Ok. They don’t quite understand. Logan has been asking questions but I’m not sure what you want her to know, so I’ve told her you’re sick and love her more than your arms can stretch. Lee is still too young to truly grasp that you’re gone, but he has been acting out more. The baby is so smart and so big and so adorable. He has your lips and hair. I give them all my love every single day and show them pictures of you so they will never, ever forget. We will always be here. We miss you.
The Honorable Judge Bernard,
I am writing on behalf of Liam Blake Ronan Sr., case number 12 1 00179 4. As you know, Liam is being charged with attempted homicide. I am not writing to plead his innocence or condemn his guilt. I am not writing to ask a favor or to beg for a miracle. I am not making excuses. I simply hope to show you the man you cannot see, the story you do not know. I am Liam’s voice, and I will not waiver.
My name is Avery Paige Ronan; I am Liam’s wife. We met in 1998 when we were both fourteen years old, still so young and naïve and new to the world. We watched and helped each other grow and mature until we married at twenty-one. Still young, we learned from each other, taught each other, supported each other’s deepest desires. Since then, we have stood by one another through every downfall and every amazing feat, helping to keep each other steady and moving forward.
When you look at Liam, you see a violent prisoner. When look at him, I see a man trapped in a world he does not belong; a prisoner not of his own cruel intentions, but of an extraordinary mistake brought on by inequitable circumstance. I see a loyal husband and devoted father. I see a son, and brother, an uncle and a friend. I see a man who has tirelessly fought for years to give his family a life that now stands the chance of being taken away. And do you know what my children see, Your Honor? They see everything. Everything they know, everything they need to know; their whole world is in their father’s eyes and touch and smile. Liam is not simply inmate number 11009163. He is our foundation, our support, our strength. And without him, we will crumble.
As you may know, Liam has a delinquent past. I could state every previous charge and the technical jargon that goes with it, but I implore you to view his history from another angle. When we met, Liam was troubled. His parents were unfit and he was unable to cope with reality, so he turned on authoritative figures and became aberrant. He was troubled, but he was strong, and he did what was needed to survive. He just indulged in distractions along the way, as many lost adolescents do. Your files only show Liam’s delinquent past. They do not show you the man he has become, the adult side of him. He was given a second chance and not only took it, but ran with it.
Liam worked in construction; difficult, body and mind-breaking construction, since he was eighteen. It was not necessarily ideal, but he did what many people will not and took every opportunity he could. Over the past few years he attended school to get his boiler operator license, and now has a career in the casinos. He works day and night to provide us with the life he thinks we deserve. We do not deserve it; we are no better than the beggars in the gutters and no worse than our real-life heroes. We are simply human and we do our best to be kind and patient, and we make mistakes. But to Liam, we are everything. We are his strength and without us, he will crumble.
Many people are spreading rumors that Liam is a drug addict. His mug-shot is not a pleasant picture, no. But he was arrested at two-o’clock in the morning after having a few drinks, and was questioned for hours before the picture was taken. My husband is not a drug addict. In all his faults, as every man has, you will not find that. His toxicology report shows high levels of Xanax, I’m aware. Liam’s public defender, provided to him by the state and the court, has failed to produce his prescription for Xanax, stating specifically to “take as needed.” His public defender has failed to inform the court that this prescription was written to treat Liam’s high anxiety by a physician, not a psychiatrist. His public defender has failed to defend him. His doctor has failed him as well by throwing drugs at him instead of helping him to get to the route of his problem. My husband takes drugs legally, he is not a drug addict.
Liam Blake Ronan did not set out to harm anyone December 24th, 2011. This is not a statement that he is innocent of harm, nor is it a confession of his guilt. Something tragic happened that night, and it cannot be denied. Justice must be served. However, Judge Bernard, please take into consideration more than just the physical facts. There is more to this story than is being told, and it will affect two families for the rest of their lives. Every side must be investigated, and thus far ours hasn’t been. I assure you, if you delve deeper, you will find more than the man you see now. You will see the man Liam truly is.
Avery Paige Ronan
They gave me fifteen to thirty years. On good behavior I can be up for parole in ten. Please wait for me.
(This is based on my personal experience. This is based on mine and Nate’s story. This is not, however, a true, completely fact-based account of what has happened, or is happening, or will happen. Some of what is written here is true; some of the information is factual, but some of it is completely made up as well. Now more than ever I feel the need to state that I am not leaving Nate, this was simply for a creative writing prompt.)