Valentine’s story you’ll NEVER forget
‘Love sentence’ for newlyweds who met in prison
Two former drug addicts who met and fell in love at the Nelson Coleman Correctional facility are happily married and teaching others how love and faith in God are the key ingredients in rebuilding your life.
"When I saw him I knew he was going to be my husband," Patricia Bartley told the Herald-Guide.
Bartley says Kevin, her husband, worked in the commissary, making rounds to different floors in the prison to see if the jailers needed anything.
"I would wait for him to come to our dorm area and I would yell out as he was pushing the cart with the supplies on it towards my pod ‘There comes my husband and I would give him a big smile,'" she recalled.
Kevin says when Patricia was flirting with him he thought she was just playing.
"She's a beautiful woman and I thought to myself ‘she doesn't want me she's just playing,’ but I was wrong - she really was serious," he says.
Kevin says he started getting letters from her through some of the inmates shortly after that, but never responded to them.
"I wanted to let her know how I felt but I couldn't answer her letters because I knew I would get into trouble and lose my job at the commissary, so I had to wait until she was released from jail to really start making contact with her," Bartley says.
Patricia was released from jail first and vowed to wait for Kevin until the day of his release from prison.
"He laughed when I told him that I was going to wait for him, but I knew in my heart I was serious - so I didn't see or talk to anyone for 13 months. I would just tell people I was waiting on my husband to get out of jail," Bartley says.
Two months after he got out, they were married.
Kevin says he never imagined that he'd get a wife, his General Education Diploma and become an associate pastor for a drug outreach ministry, all while serving time in prison.
"I was a crack addict who lived on the streets, and jail was my rock bottom but it also helped me to rebuild my life," he says.
Bartley says his new life with Patricia makes him feel complete. And the couple's faith helps to keep them on the right path in life.
"We pray together every night and I love that she keeps me going when I am down. Even though times might get hard we work them out together," he says.
Questions? Comments? Write Shonna Riggs at firstname.lastname@example.org
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