When I introduce myself to a stranger I always state my name, but what follows depends on my audience. "Hi! I'm Wanda, I am... a daughter, a sister, a 'single' mother of five, an aunt, a college graduate, a teacher, bilingual, from Puerto Rico, Catholic, my son's pancreas, soon to be a mother in law, A PRISON WIFE!"
For many years only a small number of people were aware of that last title. I wanted to appear to be as normal as possible. In my mind, having a husband in prison was the farthest from normal. I worried that people would not take me seriously or would think that I was a bad person. Four years into my journey I received a bachelors degree and became a teacher. That's when I really became secretive about my relationship. Fast forward almost twenty four years... here I am, ready to publish my experiences and expose myself to the world (or at least to those interested in reading about my misadventures). I have recently come to a realization; what good can come out of this nightmare of a life if I keep it to myself?
My story is not an extraordinary one, but it is mine. I hope to share the wisdom I have gained as I navigate life as a Prison Wife. If I can shed some light or give hope to one person, then I can say that it's all been worth it.
"Why so much time?" you must be wondering... My husband did not kill anyone. He is a first time offender who received 37 and a half years to life in prison in New York State. His is a Rockefeller Case which carries mandatory minimums that rip families apart for excessive amounts of time.