Rolling Down The Road. Estelle To Holiday To Polunsky. Love Is Like Oxygen…
Leaving my office at 7:30AM yesterday to head to TDCJ Estelle Unit, my dog Foxy Wortham was still not feeling well and like my husband, our growing concern over whether or not Foxy will ever recover after his last round of vaccinations has caused emotional anxiety. Foxy’s quality of life has continued to decline and we are now topping $5k on vet bills to keep him alive. At what point do we make the difficult decision as to whether or not to put Foxy down I have no idea as he’s been a part of our lives for fourteen years now and my husband becomes emotional even discussing the matter with the vet.
My heart was heavy leaving a crying husband behind in Fort Worth. Matthew has taken on the role of President at McBee Homes AND more importantly, additional responsibilities at work. Having Foxy become ill during this window certainly is bad timing of sorts because as anyone realizes job changes are stressful. I’m returning Foxy to VCA Thursday after a morning wedding at Lindsey State Jail. Each visit to VCA “starts at $1200 for blood work and additional tests.” My husband, Matthew is unconcerned about the cost. He is concerned about how “with our schedules we can continue to hand feed Foxy and administer medication?” He has a point. Hiring a pet nanny Foxy is unfamiliar with has been an escapade in futility.
Arriving at Estelle Unit, I call Iris. Her daughter answers. Iris is already inside the Unit in the main building. Estelle has two buildings. High security and the main building. I’ve officiated weddings in both.
Iris had sent me a message about bringing her two year old daughter late Tuesday evening. Panicking since I was driving to three Units alone and had no one to sit with her daughter who wouldn’t be allowed inside, I sent a text to my 2PM Holliday Unit bride to ask if she could sit with the child. This might surprise a few of you but I knew my bride was in Huntsville spending the night and about twenty minutes from Estelle at her hotel.
My clients are amazing, loving and an army of warriors who know how difficult finding childcare on wedding day can be. I wasn’t at all surprised that my Holliday Unit bride immediately volunteered.
A few minutes later though, Iris sent a text that her adult daughter would be joining her and could watch the two year old while we were inside the Unit.
Walking into Estelle, I hoped the rain would stop. Rain is the one thing that causes problems for my mini photo shoots. On more than one occasion, I’ve used hotel lobbies “on the fly.”
Iris looked beautiful in a blue dress and sexy multicolor shoes with a spike heel. I haven’t worn high heels in years but always admire a beautiful shoe.
As we waited for her fiancée to be escorted to the visitation area, Iris placed her house shoes under the bench and I walked into the wardens office to pay for three unit photos. Bringing an additional pair of shoes into the Unit for the long walk back to the parking lot was a smart idea. I always pack several pairs of shoes and sport coats when I have a multi Unit day myself. Why? Because each wedding is special and by changing my clothes and shoes I’m walking in fresh too.
A few months ago while traveling from Tennessee Colony Units to Holliday Unit to Polunsky, an investigative journalist was traveling with Cindy and I. Ella “noticed” my habit of changing jackets, jewelry and shoes and asked me about it. I explained that getting wrinkled and “travel worn” from one Unit to the next was and is why I feel more comfortable “freshening up” to meet my next client.
The groom was excited and nervous and walked towards Iris and I. The moments I spend sharing my clients precious ceremonies are heartfelt and memorable.Leaving Estelle, I have Iris follow me to the Texas Prison Museum to meet Jarzmeine for bridal photos. I’m driving one of our Jeeps and have loaded a wide array of inventory.Because I’m leaving Holliday Unit to head to Livingston and meet my 5:30PM Polunsky bride, taking bridal photos of my Estelle and Holliday Unit brides at the museum works better with my tight schedule. Leaving the museum, Jarzmeine and I have time to grab lunch at Chili’s and buy a to go strawberry cheesecake for Jarzmeine to enjoy on her drive back to Louisiana.
The Unit is running a few minutes behind which “cuts into my timeline” to accompany Jarzmeine to the Walker County Clerks Office to file her license.After going over the certified license and how to send it to inmate records, I hug my beautiful new bride in the parking lot of TDCJ Holliday Unit and pray she travels in Grace.
Driving on to Livingston, I take a call from a production company. Let’s review how researching me prior to contacting me is going to save us both a lot of time. First, I started Texas Twins Events to make Life Events affordable. Any event. Any client. When it became apparent that a small group of clients couldn’t afford to book in a traditional manner, I merged Texas Twins Events and Texas Twins Treasures to create a barter option, The Pawning Planners. I do not judge anyone. I do not ask why anyone is incarcerated. I welcome diversity and have neither the time or patience to educate someone who hasn’t researched me, my life, my clients or my business. I have 5 websites and encourage anyone contacting me to review them prior to “pitching me.” Here’s the list Texas Twins Events. The Pawning Planners. Texas Twins Treasures. Texas Twins TV. TDCJ Officiant.
Arriving in Livingston, I text my bride to meet me at an abandoned gas station. There’s a lake near Polunsky that works great for bridal photos.We headed to the Unit following the photo shoot. My bride and I walked into the shakedown area together and waited on our visitor badges.
The groom had memorized his heartfelt vows as had my bride who had written hers just in case she became too nervous to remember them.
As I pulled out of Polunsky Unit for a long drive home, my full day of 3 Units and 3 amazing brides was spent sharing their joy of finally marrying.
Arriving home at nearly 11PM, my husband has waited up on me with Foxy. Our dog was declining and I knew it. Matthew knew it too. Sadly a miracle for Foxy wasn’t going to happen. He had been refusing food and water. Foxy knew he was dying although we refused to accept this reality. I wish the vet had prepared us for this but instead we were given false hope. I have no idea why. More meds. More treatments. We danced to the routine of hand feedings and hope. Records of the next medication. Carrying Foxy outside to relieve himself. We expected a miraculous recovery. We expected too much.
I had scheduled an appointment to follow up last weeks with VCA for Thursday after I returned from a morning wedding at Lindsey State Jail. Because my Allred Unit Client was in the hospital with bronchial phnuemonia, a reschedule at Allred freed me up to take Foxy in today rather than Thursday. Since December 23rd, Foxy had been steadily declining. Foxy had bladder cancer. I heard something while in my office signing contracts yesterday and found Foxy unable to stand. I picked him up and headed to VCA early. Foxy died in my arms resting his head on my husband’s lap.