He's from Davenport, Iowa - you know, that part of the state that, when viewed on a map, looks like a nose - but, he's called Rochester, MN home for the past 17 years. And, he's an actual writer (whereas I'm a hack of a writer) and in our interview he used some really great words like "ostensibly," so I determined to put on my big-girl writer pants and not screw this up.
I've worked a lot of non typical, "tough," and physically demanding jobs and usually to obsession. And, despite the tough work I've had in my life being a mom requires way more hours and hard work than any other job I've had. Plus, I'm the only person I know who prefers Keystone Light to most other beers. And, I'm not afraid to admit it!
Being a correctional officer isn't being some sort of big brute tossing people around. It's having sympathy and empathy. It's former detainees coming up to you in the street and saying, "Thank you for the respect you gave me...I've turned my life around." It's people that go back into the community to be productive citizens - that's what being a correctional officer is all about.
Brian didn't live past 25, and I'm going to be 35. I have already lived the sort of life he never got to live. He never got married, he never had kids and he never left Illinois. I'm married, have a daughter and I've lived lots of different places. Because he didn't get to do these things I'm going to do them and I have done them.
In 2001, Jessica arrived in Rochester via Winona after graduating from Winona State University. Growing up in Chicago, she loved the city life, and never imagined she would grow roots in a town such as Rochester, but she and her husband have learned a valuable lesson in what it means to create the kind of life you want to live wherever you are.
We were gathered around a picnic table on a Sunday afternoon after worship. The bright sun warmed us as we ate lunch. The couple that sat across from me began to tell their story. They were young, hardly out of college, and somewhere in the conversation, I realized they were something very special, indeed.