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Thangsgiving has always been my favorite holiday, and continues to be so albeit with a tender heart. My family's new normal is getting a little easier, but the road is still long and winding.

Over the past two years I have learned so many things that are driving me to become a powerful voice in the area of criminal justice. I have written two essays, the second will be published in the Atlanta Journal Constitution on December 5th.

It has been one heck of a year or two! Frank, Paige, Daniel and I are holding up remarkably well.

Paige is in finishing up her senior year next May and will be graduating as a Biology Major! We are reviewing her options over Thanksgiving to determine her next course of action. She is a lovely young woman, we are all so proud of her.

My son was 1 day away from being born. Never in our wildest dreams did we imagine that tomorrow we would be celebrating his 23rd birthday in Central State Prison.  On Thursday, October 24th it will be one year from the date of his conviction.

The things I have learned this past year should frighten all of us. We are warehousing our kids into prisons that are ill equipped to handle them. We are creating a society of castaways that one day will be set free with no possible way of figuring out how to function.

Yes, 11 months since Daniel was convicted and hauled off. It still tears my heart to visualize his face when the jury said guilty. But I have come a long way, and so has Daniel. The process of dealing with the pain, the sadness and the anger has finally moved toward peace and purpose. I feel like Daniel's journey was destiny, that I am intentionally chosen to lead a crusade to help those without voices in the system.

Well Daniel was shipped out at 1 am this morning. Thankfully I have a good relationship with the Department of Corrections and the Counselor at Autry. I had sent an email on Monday to the person who heads up all inmate transfers and asked him if he could get Daniel closer to home and in a place that would offer some education and other programs. Autry had none of these. I had spoken to him at the DCOR's family day last May and he told me to write to him in late September to request a transfer.