Written by: J.P.G.

{The Shadow of My Father is pure fiction. As I am writing this story, I am above the age of 21. If you want a story with lots of sex, look elsewhere. This is a love story. Seeing as it is a love story, sex is in there, but it's in realistic balance in the characters' lives.

Any similarity to any real events, names, or life events is purely accidental. If you are underage, (according to your state laws as a minor), if this literature is offensive to you or to anyone around your viewing area, or it is illegal for you to view such content where you are reading it,  stop reading the story.

This story can't be distributed in anyway, shape or form without the author's expressed written consent.}

Story Written by: J.P.G.

Love Scenes Written By: Daddy Rick

Edited By: Daddy Rick

Chapter 48

Josh felt bad that his father was questioned about him, instead of what really matters. At least in Josh's mind the people that are hurting right now don't care that their current leader has a gay son or daughter. All they care about is what that leader is going to do to fix the immediate and important problems. But in the town all meeting, his father had to spend a lot of his time answering questions about his gay son and his lover.

After the town hall meeting broke up, normal programming took over. Josh got up from the couch and headed upstairs. Cesar knew that Josh was bothered by what they said about him. No matter how many times he or Josh's father or family tells Josh not to take anything people say to heart, he does anyway.

Cesar felt for Josh, so he followed him upstairs to their room. At first they just sat on the edge of the bed, looking down at their feet. Neither of them said a word. Cesar was waiting to see if Josh would break the ice, but when he didn't, Cesar decided to. He didn't want to be sitting here in the room all afternoon looking at his shoes.

"Josh you need to stop taking what people say about you and me so seriously. No matter what we do or say, there are going to be people out there that will just hate us. There is nothing we can do to change their way of thinking." Cesar turned and looked at Josh. "I think you father did a very good job handling the questions about us."

Josh turned and faced Cesar. "You know I am already used to everything. To tell you the truth, I don't care what people say about me or how I live my life. I am happy, I have a great boyfriend at my side and my family doesn't think differently of me. I can't ask for anymore than that Cesar.

What I do have a problem with is that people can't leave it alone. Having a gay son or a gay family member won't change anyone's ability to do their job. My father is more than qualified to do this job. Heck the dunce that came before my father had a back ground in politics and he destroyed this state. My father has done more in these last few months for the people than all of them put together. Why can't they see that?"

"They will see that when they start to see and feel the results of the hard work your father is doing. Right now, they only see the bills have passed and been signed into law. The real results haven't happened yet. When that happens, the people will ignore everything the nay sayers say and back your father. They have been burnt to many times by politicians."

Josh agreed with Cesar on. They talked until Josh started acting like himself. When he started laughing and playing with Cesar, Cesar knew Josh was Ok. They started to play wrestle in the room, and because they were making so much noise, Daniel, Carlos and Brandon walked in to see what they were doing.

When they say they were wrestling, they joined in. Eventually they split into teams and tagged their fellow team member in when they got tired. By the time they got tired of wrestling, Josh's and Cesar's room was torn up. The boys sat in the middle of the room, looking around at the mess they made.

"I'd hate to be in your shoes, guys. This is going to take a long time to clean up." Daniel slapped Cesar on the shoulders laughing. "I am just kidding with you guys. Of course we are going to help you clean this mess up. After all we all made it, so we all should have a hand in cleaning it up."

With that, the boys got up and put the room back together. To their surprise, they didn't break a thing. Each of them swore they broke something when they threw the other on top of it, but nothing was broken. They all laughed seeing that the only damage they caused was to each other. Each of them got a couple of cuts and scrapes on their bodies, but no broken bones or black eyes.

The rest of the evening the boys spent in front of the TV watching movies. When it came time for bed, they all moaned and groaned, but headed upstairs. They all know there is only three more weeks of school left, and then they will be up in Austin with their father. They can't wait for school to end so they can be somewhere they've never been.

Brandon has stopped sleeping in Josh's room    for almost two weeks now. It wasn't because Josh or anyone else told him that he couldn't. It was the new medicine his therapist put him on that got him through the night without a nightmare. Josh missed his little brother in his room but was happy that it looks like he is getting better.

Even though Brandon isn't sleeping in Josh's room anymore, Josh and Cesar's sex life didn't change. They made out more than they did when Brandon was sleeping in the spare bed, but other than that, nothing else changed. They always thought that they weren't having sex every night because Brandon was sleeping in their room, but they soon found out that they were wrong on that assumption.

The week started out like every other week, boring. To make things worse, the teachers are starting to go over what will be on the semester exams. Josh thought it was too soon for them to do that, but he was reminded that they have not only the semester exams to do, but their six weeks exams as well in the same week. That alone is the reason why they are starting to go over what will be on the exams.

By lunch, Josh was hitting his head against the wall. He couldn't wait to get out of class and not have to think about what will be on his exams. When he got to the cafeteria, he found Chris saving him and Cesar a spot in the lunch line.

That wasn't the biggest surprise for Josh. It took a few minutes, but Josh saw that no one was pointing at Chris or talking about him anymore. They finally got what happened with Chris' dad out of their system. Now they have moved on to either another new piece of gossip or they were just too involved getting ready for their exams to gossip.

Whatever the reason, Josh didn't care. He was happy that Chris didn't have to endure another day of his fellow students pointing at him as he passed them in the hall or in the cafeteria. It seemed no matter what they did, stay quiet or tell them off, they kept talking about Chris. So they gave up and just went on with their daily business.

When the boys reached their table, they found Bernice, Eric and BJ already talking and they joined in. Not really knowing what they were talking about, they still jumped in. At first it angered Eric because it seemed to him that Josh, Cesar and Chris were making fun of what they were talking about. It took a bit for Eric to see they just wanted to join in and be part of the conversation.

Since it is finally warming up, the guys and Bernice went outside after they ate in the morning and at noon. They usually continued the conversation they were having in the cafeteria when they got outside. Sometimes Bernice would join with Josh, Cesar and Chris to rate the guys that were in the stadium or on the football field.

Rusty stopped hanging around with the group since he and Chris have broken up. Josh tried several times to bring him back to the group, but he would only join them for a day or two before going on is own again. Josh finally gave up figuring that Rusty will join them if and when he is ready to become part of their group again.

The last time Josh and Rusty talked in private, Rusty opened up to Josh. He felt that the others were looking at him differently since he and Chris broke up. Rusty felt that the others in the group are tolerating him because Josh asked them to. If they had a choice to expel him from the group, they would, but they didn't want to go against Josh.

Josh tried to tell Rusty that he was wrong on his concerns, but he didn't listen. He allowed his imagination to get away from him. Some things did change when he and Chris broke up, but Rusty should have expected that to happen. But as far as the group not wanting Rusty as a friend, he was wrong on that.

Every day after Rusty left the group Josh would look for him in the stadium, but didn't find him. He would see him in the halls between classes, which put Josh's mind at rest. He started thinking that Rusty had completely dropped out of school.

Today was no different, Josh didn't see Rusty anywhere. Everyone knew who Josh was looking for, even though he tried to play it off. After seeing Rusty was no where in the stadium, he pulled Cesar close to him and they looked around and began their game of rating the guys. They were so confident in their relationship, it didn't bother either of them when they said they would sleep with a certain guy of they were given a chance. In reality, there is no way either would even if they were given the chance.

When the bell rang, Josh moaned. He couldn't believe that the lunch period was over. Now he has to go back to boring classes and studying. Josh started to make his way with his friends to the side entrance and up to his locker. On his way, he couldn't help but think how much he wanted to ditch class, but couldn't. He came back to reality when he and Cesar grabbed their books and headed to class.

The rest of the day dragged on for Josh. To make things worse for Josh, the rest of the week didn't get any better for him either. All day long, every day they went over the all the material that is going to be on the six weeks and semester exams.

The following week the students were told to expect the same on Monday and Tuesday. On Wednesday six week's exam will be administered and then Thursday and Friday will be semester exams.  The last two days of school the following week to turn in books and clear out lockers. The only thing Josh was looking forward to is the competitions in the Show Chorus and the swim team, other than school letting out.

On Wednesday afternoon, the District Attorney of El Paso County notified Governor Lopez that his ex-wife Martha will be appearing in court the next day. If everything goes her way, she will be getting out tomorrow and sent back to Mexico. That piece of news didn't make the Governor happy. Mr. Anderson promised him that he will do everything he can to keep her locked up, but not to count on him being successful.

Daniel didn't know if he should talk with his kids about what is going on or not. He finally decided to talk with his mother and Isaac. That way they could be ready to answer any questions that might be asked if the boys found out. Then he will talk with the boys on Friday evening after they get home from school. At least by then, he should know if his ex-wife got out or not.

When Martha woke up, she felt like this was her day. Trying not to jump the gun on what hasn't happened yet, but she knows she will be getting out. Her attorneys told her that everything is looking good. Governor Lopez was unable to do anything to keep her locked up more than what the plea bargain said, so she will be heading to Mexico today.

As she swung her legs over the edge of the bed, she felt this sharp pain going up and down her spine. Martha blew it off to sleeping wrong. She made sure her brakes were on, before getting into the wheel chair. Once she settled in, she rolled herself to the bathroom and got ready for court.

By breakfast time, she had gotten herself dressed without the help from the nurses. When they came to get her to eat, she refused to let them help her to the kitchen. As she rolled herself down the hallway, the same shooting pain came back. She stopped rolling and reached at her shoulders. The pain went away as she started to rub them.

Before she could finish eating breakfast, the guards came over to get her. They rolled Martha out to the hall, took her out of her chair in order to check the chair and then her, before placing her back in. The guards secured a belt around her waist before sitting her completely back down in the chair. They chained her legs and then her hands.

Once they secured her, they rolled Martha out to the van and got her loaded up. All the way to the court house, she tried to talk with the guards, but they didn't talk back to her. They didn't like her and how she got around the law. In their eyes, she should have spent the rest of her life locked up in a hole somewhere far from her children.

The news media had got wind of Martha's court date, so the guards didn't use the front entrance, they went through the back. They unloaded her from the van and wheeled her to the service elevator. They locked up their weapons on the first floor, since no one is allowed to take weapons past that point.

The minute the door of the elevator opened, the press started taking pictures and throwing out questions to Martha. Martha was more than willing to answer any and all questions. The guards asked her to be quiet, but she kept answering the questions. So they hurried through the press and got her into the courtroom.

To Martha's surprise, the room was empty. The only ones in the courtroom were her attorneys, a few court staff members and her friend. Other than that, no one came down. Even the District Attorneys side of the room was empty. When she saw that, she started thinking maybe they are not going to even put up a fight to keep her in.

The guards rolled her up to her table, locked the brakes to her wheel chair, and stepped back since her attorney was going to talk with her. "Martha, how are you feeling this morning?" Martha answered her attorney fine. "Let me explain what is going to happen here to day so there are no surprises.

Just like before, the judge will come out and look over the case. Then he will make sure you understand your rights and what you are giving up; your citizenship to the United States. You must answer yes that you understand, because if you don't, the plea bargain is out the door. Then he will execute the last part of the plea bargain."

"I am still going home today, right?"

"If you mean home Mexico, yes. You can't ever step foot back on American soil. If you do that, you will be arrested and brought back in front of this judge. He will throw the book at you at that point. You do understand what I mean throw the book at you? He will sentence you to prison for the rest of your life."

Right as Martha was going to answer her attorney, the side door opened and the Mr. Anderson and a couple of other lawyers walked in. As Martha watched them take their seats at their table, the thought she had when she first arrived went out the window. It looks like they are going to try and fight this until the very last minute.

Martha's attorney's walked over to the District Attorney's table, but they weren't greeted at all by Mr. Anderson. In fact he warned her attorneys that he will be putting up a fight to keep this from happening. Respectfully her attorneys told Mr. Anderson he has no chance to stop the plea bargain that was signed by the judge.

The bailiff walked in just as the attorneys started to throw verbal blows at each other. He asked everyone to rise, as the judge walked in. Martha looked at the judge as he made his way to his seat. As he sat down, he looked straight at Martha, and the look he was giving her didn't fill her with any confidence as all about the outcome.

The judge hit his gavel several times to bring the courtroom into order. "I see we have both sides present to deal with The State of Texas vs. Martha Lopez." The judge looked at both attorneys. "This is one of the cases I got from the judge that sat in this seat before me. In fact this case left a bad mark on this court, so I would like to get this proceeding over and done with. So if you are going to make motions, make them now, or I will rule."

"Your honor; District Attorney Anderson for the County of El Paso. I am asking this court to set aside the original plea bargain since it was put together without my office involvement. By the time my office was notified of this plea bargain, the judge that had your seat before you started the proceedings before I could come in to object to them.

As you know, the judge was disbarred under corruption charges and Ms. Lopez's attorneys are before the ethics committee as we speak. They want you to rule on this case before the ethics committee comes back with their decision. They know they were in the wrong and broke the law. In return the plea bargain should be set aside at least until the ethics committee has a chance to rule."

"Your honor, I object to the Districts Attorneys blanket of lies he is spilling here in this courtroom. You know as well as I do and the district attorney does, the judge that sat in your seat prior to you, stepped down. He also gave up his licenses to practice law. Never was he disbarred for anything that he did while on the bench.

As far as me and my fellow attorneys at my firm being in front of the ethics committee, well we are going to win that. We are going to win that because we didn't do anything wrong here. All the District Attorney is trying to do is throw up smoke and try to hide what you are supposed to do. That is to execute the plea bargain that was signed by this court."

"First you don't tell me what I am supposed to do in any proceedings before my court. Your version of what happened with the judge before me is wrong. He stepped down right before the hammer got dropped on him. He then got word he was about to be disbarred, so he hired your firm to represent him in turning over his license to practice law. It looks a lot nicer with him retiring and handing over his license than the other way.

Now, Mr. Anderson, I understand where you are coming from. I am knee deep with the messes the former judge left me. Every case he ever adjudicated is being looked at. If they even have a chance that something funny happened, the defendant is getting a new trial. That is a huge mess I don't see this court coming out of any time soon.

Ms. Lopez's attorneys disgust me with how they handled this case. I really hope that the ethics committee comes back and disbars them. They don't deserve to practice law in this state or any state for that matter. But I can't stop a plea bargain going through on this case. Unless you have other motions to bring, I am afraid I have to execute this plea arrangement that makes me sick to my stomach."

"No your honor I don't have any more motions. I had hoped that you would at least wait to see what the ethics committee decides. If they come back corruption charges against Ms. Lopez attorneys, and you execute this plea bargain now, we can never arrest Ms. Lopez again. We all know she is guilty of the charges; she needs to be punished."

The judge looked at both attorneys for a few minutes. "This makes me sick, but I have no other choice. The law ties my hands. If the ethics committee had come in with corruption charges before this hearing, I would have over turned the plea bargain. Since they are still out, I must go with the present, and at present Ms. Lopez's attorneys haven't broken any laws. So could you please wheel Mrs. Lopez out to the middle of my courtroom please?"

The officers that brought Martha into the court did as the judge asked. Once she was directly in front of the judge, the judge did what her attorneys told her he would. He went over the plea bargain; made sure she understands what was in it and what she was giving up.

"What we saw in this case was a proceeding that isn't common practice. From the moment that plea bargains were discussed outside the presence of both attorneys, the judge broke the law. But when both sides go on record and agree with the plea bargain in a courtroom that negates the wrongs the judge and the other attorney did. All sides here learned a big lesson through all this.

Ms. Lopez, you got very lucky here ma'am, but trust me when I say don't press your luck with this court. If you break this plea bargain in anyway, you will be spending the rest of your natural life in prison. I am sick to my stomach to be signing off on this, but Ms. Lopez you will be handed over to the border patrol. They will drop you off somewhere in Mexico. Don't ever return to this country again."

"No sir I won't break the plea bargain, thank you."

"I don't want your thanks ma'am. If it was up to me, you would be going back to lock up to never see the light of day again. As far as your attorneys, I hope you all are disbarred. I also hope that your law firm is dismantled. Every single lawyer that works in that law firm has lost their respect and privileges in this courthouse. They are never again going to ever get a plea bargain with any judge in the courthouse. That alone I hope would make you lose your client base. This case is closed and court is adjourned."

The judge got up and walked out of the court room. Before the guards could get to Martha, her attorneys got there. They congratulated her and wished her all the best. Once they finished talking with her, the guards secured her and started to wheel her out the door followed by her attorneys and the District Attorney.

Just like it was when they walked in, the press started asking her how it feels to have beaten the Governor. She answered every question that she could before the elevator door closed. Her attorneys put their hands in and instructed the guards to pull her out. As of this moment she is a free woman; maybe not an American, but a free woman just the same. Reluctantly the guards wheeled her back out in front of the cameras.

Martha was enjoying herself in front of the cameras. The guards stood there with disgust on their faces. They didn't like one bit that this woman will be in the free world sometime tonight with her family in Mexico.

"Ms. Lopez, you have done something that no one has ever done. Although you were crazy at the time you shot at your ex-husband and kids, you still beat the Governor. With all the power the Governor has, he couldn't keep you locked up. How does that feel?"

"My ex-husband may be the Governor, but he isn't the man of the house. Why do you think he got married so quickly? He was unable to go around the law since there were no loopholes for him to get through. Everything that happened here was done legally and there is nothing anyone can do to change it, including the new judge."

"Ma'am, are you telling us that his new wife is the one that is actually calling the shots, not him? She was his secretary before becoming his wife."

"When he and I were married, I ran everything. He allowed me to make all the decisions. I don't know if he was afraid to make them or just didn't want to. Since we ran our marriage like that, I am pretty sure the set up is the same with his new wife."

"Ms. Lopez, do you ever plan to file paperwork to get custody of your kids? After all you are a free woman now. And one more thing, if you do get custody, are you going to accept your son Josh the way he is or send him somewhere to become normal?"

"Yes I plan to file for custody for my kids. I have been told I will get custody after what recently happened. My ex-husband can't keep our kids or their friends safe. Two young kids lost their lives, and that wouldn't have happened if my husband was there doing what he should have been doing, being their father, not Governor.

As far as my son Josh, if I do win custody, I do plan to send him to a school that will make him normal again. I don't believe a person is born that way. My son Josh chose to date the same sex, so he can chose to stop. I want to help him so he won't go to Hell after he dies."

Just as the next reporter was about to ask Martha a question, several people in suits and several state troopers pushed their way through. The reporters stepped back when they saw them go towards Martha. Martha wheeled herself out, thinking that these guys are boarder patrol and was here to take her to Mexico, but she got a surprise.

"Ms. Martha Lopez, I have several federal warrants for your arrest." One of the men looked up at the guards and her attorneys. "Could you please remove the handcuffs and turn her over to us? She is no longer serving time for the city or state of Texas."

"Excuse me sir, I am her attorney and I am afraid you are making a big mistake here. What are you arresting my client for?" The state trooper handed Martha's attorney the warrants. He looked at them really fast. "You can't arrest my client on anything that happened the day she shot at the Governor. It is part of the plea bargain."

"Sir, neither the city of El Paso nor the state of Texas can include federal charges in their plea bargains. When your client went on a shooting rampage, she shot at secret service men, federal troops and state senators and congressmen.  That falls under federal law. Thanks to the Governor of Texas calling us up to let us know about his ex-wife's court date today, we were able to come here and execute our warrants before she got away."

Martha looked over to her attorneys for help, but they couldn't do a thing to help her. They had no idea that the federal government was even looking at pressing charges against their client. That means that the Governor of Texas pulled strings with friends at the federal level to get this done.

"Ma'am you have the right to remain silent, if you give up this right..." One of the state troopers went line by line of Martha's rights. They want to make sure there is no way anything she says can be thrown out because she wasn't read her rights. Her attorneys kept telling the state trooper she knows her rights, but he didn't stop reading them.

"I told you that my client understands her rights. She is represented by council. Don't interrogate her without us present." Martha's attorney knelt down in front of her. "Don't say a word to these guys; not a word. I will go to federal court immediately and have these charges thrown out. They can't arrest you with a plea bargain in place."

"Sir you need to decide to either come with us or stay here, but we are going now."

"Where are you taking my client?"

"She will be held over night in the county jail, on the federal floor. Then in the morning she will be flown from here to Washington where she will go in front of a judge for bail, which she won't get. Again you are more than welcome to come with us, but you need to decide quickly." The state troopers handcuffed Martha and started wheeling her away.

Mr. Anderson walked over to the press as soon as the elevator doors closed. "Well we can see who wears the pants in that family! It wasn't her! The Governor ran on a platform that he will never use his office for personal gain. He could have come in, did a lot of things being Governor, but he chose not to do so. He is a man of his word, no matter how badly it hurt him.

About the arrest that was just made, it will hold up in court. We can't add federal charges in our plea bargains at the city or state levels. There have been times that all sides work together in plea bargains, but the individual has to go before a judge at every level and sign a plea bargain at that level. Ms. Lopez never did that, and there is where her attorneys misinformed her.

Ms. Martha Lopez is now under federal courts and will be prosecuted under federal law. Every statement she has made in district court, to you the press and to anyone at the facility where she was held and will be used against her. With that said, you all can come to a conclusion on what is going to happen to her. Thank you ladies and gentlemen."

Mr. Anderson walked over to the elevator and got on without answering any follow up questions. He couldn't believe that the Governor actually did what he did. Handling it the way he did, he comes out smelling like a bed of roses. His ex-wife will serve the time she deserves to serve, and the Governor never used the power of his office to get it done.

Martha started to shake as they wheeled her through the concrete tunnel. Not realizing it, tears started to roll down her cheeks. She thought she was going home today, not being charged with new charges. Her attorneys told her that there is no way she going to be held. The courts and her ex-husband couldn't stop her from getting out today. Now she sees it was nothing but lies, because she is going to lock up.

Her shaking started to get worse. The officers at first thought she was faking it, not wanting to get locked up. All of a sudden her shaking started to look like she was going through a seizure. The guards stopped the chair and pulled Martha out of it. They placed her on her side, thinking that she was seizing.

One of the state troopers assigned as the forward guard turned around when he heard his fellow officers telling Martha to wake up. He saw that his fellow officers had pulled Martha out of her chair and had her on her side on the floor. He walked over to see what was going on. When he reached Martha, he knelt down to see if he could help in anyway. That is when he saw Martha clearly.

"She isn't seizing! She is either having a stroke or heart attack." The officer yelled out. "We need get her back in her chair and to the infirmary, if not the hospital as fast as we can." The officer started to pull Martha up from the floor.

The other officers helped him get Martha into the chair. Once they had her secure, they quickly started going down the concrete tunnel. When they reached the next door to be buzzed in, one of the officers stayed back as the others kept running with Martha. The officer that stayed back informed the guard station what was going on.

When they got out of the tunnel, the doctor and several nurses from the county infirmary were already waiting for them. They quickly moved Martha from her chair onto a bed. Working as fast as they could, they hooked her up to machines to see what they were actually dealing with. No matter if it was a heart attack or a stroke, they couldn't help her there, they would need to send her to the county hospital.

While the doctor's and nurses were working on Martha, an ambulance had driven into the bay. The EMT'S came rushing in to see what was going on. Immediately when they reached Martha, they knew who she was. The EMT'S got briefed by one of the officers that was with Martha in the tunnel on what happened. After looking at her vitals, they knew for sure she was going through a stroke.

"We need to get her out of here and to the hospital as soon as possible if she is going to live. She has already been down too long as it is without the correct care." The head EMT yelled out to the officers and county jail personnel.

"Fine, but one of us has to go with you in the ambulance. You need to take her to the county hospital, no other hospital since she is under arrest."

The EMT'S shook their heads as they put her on their stretcher. As they rushed her out of the basement doors, the press started taking pictures and going live to the local stations. Doing their best to ignore the questions and comments from the press, the EMT'S quickly loaded Martha in to the ambulance and then one of the officers got in. Once everyone was in and secure, the ambulance took off.

Josh just finished his last team event when he saw his brothers get up and walk out of the pool area. As he watched his brothers leave, Josh didn't notice Russ walking up to him. So when Russ tapped Josh on the shoulder, he jumped. Russ apologized to Josh for startling him, and then asked Josh to follow him.

Grabbing his towel, Josh followed Russ to the locker room. On his way, Josh dried himself off and then wrapped the towel around his waist. They passed the locker room, which got Josh's attention. Then when they reached the coach's office, Josh started to worry. The worries got worse when he walked in to see his brothers, Cesar, his grandmother and uncle standing around the desk.

Then he heard his father voice. Josh looked around for his father, but didn't see him. That is when he realized that his father wasn't there. He was on the phone waiting for him to arrive. Josh walked over to the desk and stood at Cesar's side. Rose spoke up and told her son that everyone is now in the office.

"I wish I didn't have to deliver this kind of news over the phone, but there is no way I can get down there before you guys walk out of the building and get hit by the press." At this point Josh knew this isn't going to be good news. "I don't know where to even start, so I am just going to come right out and tell you what is going on.

As you know your mother had a court date today to get released and deported to Mexico. She was granted her release according to the plea bargain that she signed. I didn't want her roaming the streets without paying for what she had done. I pulled in a few favors and had the federal government charge her with new charges.

They arrested your mother when she was giving a press conference. As they were taking over to officially put her into custody, she fell ill. At first they thought she was seizing, but she had a stroke. She was rushed immediately to the county hospital where she was treated, but they didn't get to her to the hospital in time. Your mother has fallen into a coma and the doctors don't believe she will come out of it."

The room was dead quiet. The boys just looked down at the phone as if looking at it hard enough would pull their father through it. Josh felt bad that he was not feeling any sorrow for his mother. He knew that was wrong, but he didn't feel sad that she fell ill. The only thing that went through his mind was that evil people get what they deserve.

"Dad, is that what you brought us in here for?" Daniel Jr. broke the silence. "If that is the reason, I am sorry, but it could have waited until we got home. Yes mom is more than likely going to die, but she stopped being our mother the day she disowned one of my brothers. There was no way any of us was going to speak with her until she came to her senses. I am sorry dad if that sounds mean, but that's how I feel."

"I am sorry dad, but the same goes with me." Carlos spoke up next and then Brandon. One at a time they echoed almost word by word what Daniel said. They all felt the same way, the day she disowned Josh was the day she disowned them all. Until she accepted Josh for just who he is, there was no way they were going to talk with her.

"Boys I understand where you are coming from, but she is your mother no matter what she has done. I know you guys are bigger than she was. Don't lower yourself to what she became, because you will regret when you get older. I loved your mother, and still do, because she gave me four great kids." Daniel cleared his throat.

"I am going to make a short statement to the press and then head home to you guys. Tomorrow we will go and see your mother because she is your mother and you guys are better than she is. Don't let the anger become hate and her bad ways of the last couple of years rub off on you. Remember your mother the way I do, the great woman she once was. I fell in love with a totally different woman than she became in the last few years and that is the person I choose to remember."

The boys agreed with their father before letting him go. Since the only thing left in the swim meet was the awards ceremony, Josh didn't go back out to the pool area. Instead he went to the locker room and changed as fast as he could. His family waited for him in the hall so they could leave the building together.

On their way out, the press wasn't around. They got into the SUV'S and left the school as fast as they could so they didn't get caught by the press. As they turned onto their street, the press had already started to gather. Due to people being in the middle of the street, the vehicles slowed down to a crawl. When they got through the road block, they were able to pick up speed.

In the mean time, Barbara packed her and Daniel's suitcases as he did whatever he needed to do before leaving for El Paso. Once she was done packing, she pulled the suitcases out to the hall. Daniel picked them up and took them down to the front door. Once they had everything they needed, they departed to the airport.

As they pulled out of the Governor's mansion, the streets were lined with people giving support. They held up signs saying they are praying for him and his family, to stay strong and on and on. The Governor didn't wave at those that were there showing him support. He didn't feel it was right to do that. Even though he wanted to thank them for what they were doing for him and his family.

When they arrived at the airport, the press had already set up and was waiting for him. Barbara turned to Daniel and grabbed his hand. "While you talk with the press, I will stay in here. It wouldn't look right with me at your side while you are talking about your ex-wife. She has already hurt you enough with her statements from earlier."

Daniel turned and looked Barbara in the eyes. "You are my wife now, not Martha. If you go off somewhere every time I talk about her, you won't be able to be at my side half of the time. Plus we are not going to let her win. You know what she said wasn't true as I do. You not being at my side will fuel that lie, and that I won't do. So don't you ever go off and hide from what she has said or anyone for that matter."

Daniel leaned in and kissed Barbara on the forehead and then the lips. "I love you Barbara, with all my heart. We are going to grow old and wrinkly together."

Daniel got out of the car, followed by Barbara. They walked over to the press and waited for them to quiet down. At first they didn't get the hint that the Governor was  going to say anything until they stopped talking, but after five minutes of him standing there, they did. Daniel cleared his throat as looked around the press corps.

"I am going to make a short statement, but I won't answer any questions afterward. I need to get into the airplane and get to El Paso to be with my family. So you will be wasting your breath if you try and ask me any questions after I am done speaking.

All through the legal proceedings dealing with my ex-wife, I was kept informed every step of the way. I wasn't happy that she got the plea bargain. It would be a lie if I would to tell you I didn't try to do some arm twisting to get my ex-wife the just punishment for what she did the day she tried to kill my son.

When I realized I wasn't going to get the plea bargain set aside as a regular citizen, I dealt with it. Again I wasn't happy, I was angry, mad as hell, but I had no other choice but to accept it. There is no way I was going to use my power as Governor to get my way.

As this day approached, I made a few calls to see if the federal level could do anything since there were federal employees present. After weeks of calling, I was told they would look into it. When I was informed that today was her court date by the district attorney's office, I placed one final call to attorney generals office. I basically told them if they were going to do anything, they need to do it now, or lose out.

Martha left that court room thinking that she had won and beaten the system. When the federal agents walked in and placed under arrest, I was happy, and I won't say I wasn't. Her facial expression I will never forget, because it told me she realized she didn't win. All of her plans were now a dream for her.

I am not a malicious man. I don't wish ill on any one, including those that hate me. But I couldn't stand by allow my ex-wife get away with what she did. I might have felt differently if she said things differently in her press conference, but she didn't. Instead she chose to show her hate and anger she has for me and our son Josh. There was no way I was going to let her hurt our kids again.

On what happened with Martha while she was being taken to jail, I feel bad. No one deserves to suffer the way she must have been suffering. The pain she was going through had to be bad. I never wished that on her. No matter what she had done to me and our kids, she didn't deserve to go through that pain.

Although I haven't spoken with the officers that were with Martha when she fell ill, I have spoken with the doctors. She is currently being treated at the county hospital. Yes she has fallen into a coma and yes it doesn't look like she will come out of that coma. No one is to blame for the amount of time it took them to get her to the hospital. They followed their procedures and got her to the hospital as quickly as they could have.

My family and I will pay our respects to her, but that is a private moment. I am asking the press to let us have this private moment with Martha. She is my children's mother and they should have this time to be with their mother without the press turning it into a must see TV movie. When the time is right, I will come back out and talk with you guys again. Thank you very much and please pray for Martha and her children to get through this."

Daniel and Barbara walked over to the staircase and walked up them. When they reached the top, Daniel let Barbara go in first and then he followed, not looking back once. After the door shut, and the stairs were removed, the plane took off. The press stayed live until the Governor's plane was no longer in sight.

When the Governor landed in El Paso and got home, it was already after midnight. Before heading to bed, he went and checked on his boys. Daniel Jr. and Carlos were sound asleep in their rooms. After checking on his two older boys, Daniel went straight to Josh's room thinking that he will find Brandon sleeping in there to.

But to his surprise, he didn't find Brandon in Josh's room. He walked in to make sure Josh was okay. When he reached the bed, he found his son sound asleep, with Cesar cuddled up into Josh's back and his arm wrapped around Josh's chest holding him tight. Daniel could see how much in love these two are, just by the way they are wrapped in each others arms. Before leaving, Daniel leaned in and kissed both of the boys on the forehead and moved the blanket over their shoulders. At that moment he realized that he's gained a son in Cesar.

As Daniel walked over to Brandon's room, he was a little worried. This is the first time he didn't find Brandon asleep in the extra bed in Josh's room. But when he walked into Brandon's room and saw him asleep in his own bed, Daniel felt relieved. Just like he did with his other boys, he made sure Brandon was covered up, kissed him on the forehead and then left the room.

The next morning when the boys woke up, they found their father already in the kitchen reading the newspaper. One by one they made their way in, greeted their father and Barbara good morning before sitting down. When the entire family was at the table, Daniel explained what they were going to do after breakfast.

"Are we going to stay long at the hospital?" Daniel Jr. Once again was the first one to speak up. "All of us know that she doesn't want us there, at least as long as Josh is with us. We saw what she said on the evening news, and let..." Daniel faded out because he knew if he said what was actually on his mind, his father would get angry.

"You guys need to forgive her because she was brought up a lot differently than you were. I am not making excuses for what your mother did. At the same time, you need to do this so later in your life you don't have regrets for not  doing it. Trust me, there are things in my life I wish I could do over because I allowed my anger and hatred to take me down the wrong path. You boys are bigger than that. Show me, and more importantly, yourselves, that you are."

All of them agreed with their father before they started eating breakfast. The table was lively, but the conversation stayed clear of their mother. None of the boys really wanted to go, but they will do it because their father is asking them to. But they can control the conversation, so they are choosing not to talk about their mother.

After eating breakfast, everyone pitched in to clean up the kitchen before they went and got ready. An hour later they were on their way to the hospital. Since they took Martha to the county hospital, the drive was almost thirty minutes from their house. They live on the far west side and the county hospital is located on the other side of downtown.

When they arrived, the limousine pulled into the emergency entrance so they could go straight from the car into the hospital. The press tried to get close to get pictures, but Jonathan had them across the street at Jefferson High School. With that much distance between them and the Governor and his family, they couldn't get any good pictures.

The people in the ER quietly looked on as their Governor and his family walked passed them. None of them asked any questions or for autographs since they knew why they were there. They just stood back and looked on as the first family went past them.

Martha's doctor greeted Daniel as soon as he and his family got off the elevator. He briefed him on as much as he could. Being that they are no longer married, the doctor couldn't give Daniel a lot of information, which Daniel didn't mind. He is only here so their kids could pay their respects to their mother.

"Do you think one of your sons would like to be told everything?" The doctor asked Daniel. "Since they are her kids and only blood relatives here, I can let them know what is going on with their mother. Then if they choose to tell you that is up to them."

"That question you need to ask my children, not me. They are old enough to make that decision on their own. But once they give you their answer, you need to accept it. This is already hard on them. They shouldn't be troubled with things they don't want to deal with. So go ahead as long as you follow that simple request."

The doctor agreed and walked over to the boys. He asked them all at once, and all at once they said no. They didn't want any detail about the condition of their mother. The doctor accepted their answer and walked back to Daniel. He explained to Daniel the rules of the ICU. Daniel in return went over and explained the rules to his boys.

Daniel Jr. and Carlos were the first to go in and see their mother. They spent about fifteen minutes with her before rejoining the family in the waiting room. Daniel Sr. watched on as Josh and Brandon made their way to their mother's room. Seeing that they were moving very slowly, he decided to go with them.

They walked into the room to find their mother laying in a bed in the middle of a very small room, with several machines connected to her. Both Josh and Brandon stood at the door for a few minutes and then moved in. They walked to the edge of the bed and looked at their mothers face. She looked at ease, almost with a smile on her face.

Daniel Sr. looked at her facial expression and couldn't help but think that his wife thinks she actually got in the last word. By getting sick, she will never be held accountable for what she has done. In one way she is right, if she is thinking that, but in another, she is not. She lost her life because of her anger and hatred. Even if she lives, her life will never be normal again. From the stroke to the wheel chair, she won't live a comfortable life.

All of a sudden Daniel heard yelling that brought him out of his thoughts. "You are one conniving woman, with nothing but hate and malice for all of us! You deserve everything that is happening to you! You put us all through hell and you enjoyed doing it!" Brandon started to cry as he started to hit the edge of the bed.  "Now look who is hurting and having to pay for their demons!" Brandon wiped the tears from his eyes as he yelled through his sobs. "You were right on one thing mom! The lord does come for the wicked on this earth. He is coming for you, and that is if you are going to heaven."

Brandon started to fall to the floor when Josh caught him. He held his little brother as he cried and yelled more at their mother. Brandon got so loud, doctors and nurses tried to run into the room, but the security detail stopped them. At the same time, Daniel had closed the door so where no one else could see what was going on. He knew it was wrong, but he wanted to protect his son from getting into trouble.

Josh and Brandon fell to the floor holding each other. Daniel reached them just as they hit the floor. He bent down and grabbed both of his sons, and held them tight. At this point, Josh started to cry as well. He joined in with Brandon yelling at their mother about all the hurtful things she did and said to them through out the years.

The rest of the family that was waiting in the waiting room had run to the room when all the yelling had started. Rose knew it was Brandon that was yelling. The young voice with so much hurt echoed through the hallways. There is no doubt in Rose's mind that Brandon's voice had pierced the floors on top and bottom, he was screaming so loud.

Isaac tried to settle the doctors down, but they kept banging on the door making things worse. Martha's main doctor ordered one of the nurses to call security and the police. At that point Lloyd stepped in and stopped the nurse.

He wasn't trying to cover up for what might be or not be happening in that room, but it wouldn't do them any good. If the rented cops or the police tried to go into that room with guns, they would have no other choice but to stop them since the Governor is in there. That is exactly what he told the doctor, but he refused to listen.

When the police got off the elevator, they stood back and didn't interfere. They did though tell Lloyd he has to bring this thing to an end and fast. Lloyd understood and walked over to the room. Just as he reached the door, it opened and the Governor and his two sons walked out. Lloyd rushed them into an empty room and closed the door.

In the mean time, the doctors and nurses ran into the room to make sure nothing happened to their patient. As they examined her, several police officers and security detail stood and watched. They wanted to make sure they didn't make up things that weren't true in order to get on the six o'clock news.

When the doctors finished checking ever inch of Martha, they found that she wasn't touched at all. They looked around the room, and nothing was out of place. The doctors looked at the nurses confused on what had happened in here. From all the yelling they heard coming from this room, they thought the Governor and his two boys were finishing off this patient.

"Sir, could you explain to us what exactly happened here with the Governor, his ex-wife and kids?" One of the officers walked up to Lloyd for answers.

"If you want any information concerning the Governor and his family, you need to speak with someone else that has the authority to speak on their behalf. My job is security, not to gossip about what I think happened in that room."

Lloyd walked over to the room where he put the Governor and his sons. The officer that was asking Lloyd questions went over to Rose and Isaac. They refused to answer the questions and asked the officer to leave them alone in order to grieve. The officer tried to ask another question, but Rose and Isaac walked back to the waiting room.

It took Daniel Sr. almost a half an hour to settle down his boys with the help from Barbara. Once they were presentable, they walked out of the room. Before heading down to the limousine, Daniel thanked the doctors and staff for their help and patience. He fell short of asking them to keep their mouths shut on what happened earlier.

But Rich wasn't that kind. He stayed back and waited for the elevator doors to shut before talking with the staff. "Some of you may know me, but some of you might not. I am the Governor's Chief-of-Staff, and part of my job is to make sure no one tries to grab fifteen minutes of fame off of the Governor's family.

You all need to understand where this family is right now. The woman in that room tried to kill them and almost got away with it. Then she went on national TV to tell everyone that was listening that she wasn't going to go away quietly. Her children saw that and of course thought that their nightmare wasn't over.

Ms. Martha Lopez tormented her kids both physically and emotionally for years beyond just trying to kill them. I know you all know the stories on how she treated her son Josh when she found out that he was gay. They had and more than likely still have a lot of pent up anger for their mother. What you heard here to day is a little of that pent up anger getting out. I am surprised the kids made it this long without yelling at the top of their lungs to any one that would listen.

Nobody can stop you guys from running to the nearest camera and tell the world what happened in here today. What I can do is ask you to put yourselves in their shoes. How would you react if you went through what they went through? They let out some of their anger and that shouldn't be told to the world. Let's not hurt those kids anymore. They had enough hurt in their lives. Now it is time to let them heal."

Rich thanked them for listening and asked them again not to speak with the press about what happened earlier. When he made it downstairs, the press had already made their way to the hospital to see if they could get any that talked with the Governor or his family to give a statement. Rich tried to duck in the crowd, but several reporters saw him. They started asking Rich questions, but he kept saying `no comment' all the way to his rental car.

The Governor planned to head back to Austin later that evening, but decided against it. Instead he will fly out on Sunday evening. Barbara was torn on going back with Daniel or staying here with the boys in case they needed her to talk to. By the time she crawled into bed with Daniel, she had made up her mind; she is staying.

Sunday the Governor went over with each of his boys the schedules they decided to take next year. The two older ones are pretty much are sticking to the same schedule, football, JRTOC and the required courses. They both plan on going into the military after graduation, but Daniel Sr. told them not rush that decision. He'd rather them go to college than go into the military. Something in his bones is warning him against it.

When it was Josh's turn, Daniel handled him differently. "Son you can drop the ROTC class for next year. Take a semester of PE to finish getting you PE credits, but there is no need for you to take ROTC." Daniel erased the selection of ROTC off the schedule.

"Dad, Daniel and Carlos took the class before me, and I should take the class after them. I don't want you to have to explain to them why they have to take the class and not me. Plus you did it, and I want to do what you did Dad."

"First of all your brothers will understand why you are not taking ROTC next year. The way the military is set up today, they won't take you. They are losing a lot of great leaders by this rule, but it's there. I don't want you to do something that makes you unhappy and you won't get anything from it.

And as far as doing what I do, you are already doing it. In fact you are a lot better public speaker than me, and you aren't the one that is Governor. You are going to be a lot more than I ever will be. I really can't wait and see what you do in your life."

Josh agreed with his father and put in PE instead of ROTC for next year. When Brandon came in, Daniel was different with him as well. He didn't demand Brandon to take ROTC and do football for an after school sport, but Brandon insisted on both. They talked it over and they agreed with Brandon following in his older brothers' footsteps.

The rest of the day went by too quickly. Josh hated that the days he wanted to drag on went by fast and those he wanted to go fast, went slow. Daniel didn't want to put his kids in front of the press, so they said their goodbyes at the house again, only Barbara went with him to the airport. When Daniel left, he reminded his kids that they will see each other in a week and a half and to cheer up.

Monday and Tuesday was more of the same from last week, studying and going over what is going to be on the exams. Wednesday was their six week exam, which all the boys knew they aced all their exams. That evening Josh and the Show Chorus had their last competition of the year, and they won it. Making them winners of four competitions to the Glee Clubs zero since they started to compete.

The semester exams are run a little differently than the six weeks exams. On Thursday they have three periods, there morning ones. They are two hours long, with a two hour lunch break, which the students love! On Friday they have the same lengths of classes, but it is their afternoon classes instead of their morning classes. Again the students have a two hour lunch break on that day as well.

Just like their six weeks exams, Josh and his brothers feel they aced them. Josh thought it odd that he saw many of the same questions that were on his six weeks exams on his semester exams. He didn't mind because it made it easier for him to pass the tests.

Brandon was lucky since he didn't have to worry about six weeks or semester exams at the end of each six weeks and semester. But this is going to be his last year not having that worry. Next year he is starting high school and the world that he knows is going to be gone as far as school is concerned. Josh promised him that he will be with his little brother every step of the way, which eased Brandon's concerns a little.

He will come with his group of friends, but everyone knows that when a student goes to high school, they change from what they were in junior high. Josh only kept one of his friends from junior high, Eric. All the rest of their friends went to different groups. The group of friends Josh has now, he and Eric put together throughout the year. That's why Josh wants Brandon to hang with his group. Who knows how many of Brandon's friends are going to stick around.

Friday after school was the swim team's last competition of the year. They had six meets, and in the six meets they took first place in almost all the events. The events they didn't take first, they took second, but it was a close second. Once the final race was over and they were clearing out their lockers, the ones that are returning the following year agreed they are going to be a hard team to beat.

The swim team invited Josh to the party they were having that evening, but Josh had to decline like the times before. He gave the same reason, his detail. If he would   go, it wouldn't be much fun with his detail watching everyone and every move they make.

As Josh talked, Russ overheard him. He felt bad for Josh because he can't have fun like a normal teen. What he told he fellow team members is true; they wouldn't have that much fun with an entire security detail lurking around. In Russ's mind, a security detail is actually worse to have around at a party than the parents.

The only good thing that came out of Josh going to straight home after the meet on Friday is the phone call he got from Patrick. Patrick informed Josh that he is going to get out of the hospital on Monday, and would like to hang out with him and the others. Josh agreed and Russ promised to do whatever it took to make it happen.

After getting off the phone with Patrick, Josh sat in the kitchen unable to believe his first year of high school is coming to an end. In four short days, he and his brothers will be going to Austin to spend the next two months with their father. That's something he has been looking forward to for weeks now, if not months.

They are going to go to new places and live in a house they have never lived in before. They will have adventures they could never have here since Austin is a lot larger city than El Paso. Josh just can't wait for summer to begin. He will leave a house that brings nothing but bad memories and never step foot back in it again.


I have a home page for you to see what the characters look like or what the places look like. If you want to walk in their shoes, please go to: http://jacobmillertex.wordpress.com/



{Hey everyone, welcome back to another packed chapter of Shadow of My Father. I hope you enjoyed this chapter as you read it. A lot happened and a lot of time went by in this chapter. At this rate this story will be caught up with the other three very soon. When that happens, the pace will slow down in this story.

Let me start out differently in my summation of the chapter by jumping to the middle of it. I will go back to the beginning, but I want to write this before I forget. The plot of Martha having a stroke came from the minds of many of you out there. I got a lot of email wanting me to make Martha pay for what she did more than I did. Many of you said heart attack, stroke, killed or ran suicide. I went with stroke, because that works best.

Martha thought she was going to be a free woman after going to court that Friday. It looked like it was going to happen until Daniel Sr. was able to pull a rabbit out of his hat. Getting the federal government to step in was a stroke of genius on his part. He was going to be able to keep her in jail without using his influence.

I am very surprised that Martha didn't have that stroke right there in front of the press as she was being arrested.   She was blowing her own horn, but it backfired. That woman never learned from her mistakes. She was more than willing to continue to make her kids lives a living hell. Falling short of the stroke, there was nothing that would have stopped her. She has more lives then a cat does. With that said, I don't think she is gone.

Josh takes everything to heart. Take the beginning of the chapter when he felt bad for his father being slammed with questions about him. He was also right there for Patrick, his friends and Brandon because he feels he needs to. If Josh doesn't watch it, he will follow in his mother's footsteps in one thing having a stroke from stressing out!

Unlike in "Jacob Finding His Way", I didn't want to go too much into detail about the final weeks of a school year in El Paso. I already did that in "Jacob", so I didn't want to repeat it here. But I will say this; Josh was bored in those weeks. All that was happening was review, study, review and more study every day.

A reader asked me in my site after looking at my picture of the real El Paso High School how things worked in such a large high school. Well let me briefly go over that here, but for more detail go to my comments on the "Jacob Finding His Way" page, pictures and El Paso High School. There I answered his question.

Simply put, when I went through high school, we had six one hour classes, with a one hour lunch. There was a zero period for those students that fell behind on their credits or wanted to get ahead on their credits. Almost the entire first floor of the school was the cafeteria, so there were only two lunch periods. The year after I graduated, the school district adopted the two hour classes. I really don't know how that works. Again if you want more detail on this go to the page I directed you to above.

Now back to the chapter. The school year is coming to the end in this chapter. We know that the Show Chorus beat the Glee Club and the other schools in their meets the rest of the year. You also found out that the swim team won all six meets, and they are gearing up for next year to repeat what they did at the end of this year.

You learned what classes Josh and his brothers are going to take next semester. You were reminded that Brandon will be starting high school the following year. With what we have seen with Daniel and Carlos in the last couple of chapters, Josh won't be the only one taking Brandon under his wing.

Finally Patrick, he is getting out of the hospital right before Josh leaves for Austin. It is cool that Patrick is doing well enough to be getting out. Also he wants to hang with Josh and the others before they head off on their summer plans. We know for sure that Josh is going to be gone for the rest of the summer but what about the other guys? I hope someone stays in town to be with Patrick if Patrick himself stays in town over the summer.

So many open plots and so many more plots to come in this story. I love the political scenes a lot and I hope I am not offending anyone with them. Keep in mind it is only a story and I am trying my best not to preach my beliefs. Please stay tuned and I promise that you guys won't regret opening every new chapter.

I could stay here all day long, with all the open plots already in this story, but I won't. I warn you though! Don't skip a chapter, or you will be lost. There is a so much to answer in the chapters to come. Keep reading the future chapters, and enjoy! Please email me and let me know how I am doing at jacobmillertex@aol.com, Thanks!}

It appears that we have hit a watershed moment in Josh's saga. We have the end of a most eventful school year and Josh and all in his family have come out on top with one notable exception; Martha.

It's interesting that Daniel Sr. even encouraged Josh to drop ROTC and do PE for his credits. Daniel has evolved in many ways as a father since he became fully responsible for his kids' upbringing, when Martha abdicated her maternal role. He's learned a lot about each of his boys' individual personalities and is dealing with them as individuals.

Before Martha stroked out, she sure gave the press an earful! I wonder if the lead story will be her stroke or what she said prior about the Governor. Both issues will foster good ratings for viewer or reader numbers.

I am wondering what the reason is behind Martha's stroke. It is her being partially paralyzed or was it simply stress. The stress level was relatively low when she experienced the pre-stroke symptoms, so I suspect that there's something purely physiological that caused it. We do have a cliffhanger going there. Will Martha come out of the coma? Will she be herself when and if she does? I guess we'll have to wait and see what is in store for her.

Like JPG said, I hope that Patrick won't be without friends present through the summer. It's going to be hard on him with Josh being away. Perhaps he can spend some of the time across summer in Austin. I'm glad Patrick seems to have recovered emotionally to the point he's being released. With the amount of school he missed, I wonder if he will have to attend summer school to stay with his class.

Josh won't stroke out with his concerns for those around him he cares about. Yes, he takes on a lot emotionally, but that's also a reason for his existence. It is a large part of who he is as a person. He's truly empathetic. As he matures he'll learn ways to manage the empathy so that he doesn't allow other's problems to drain off his energy while he still remains involved. He needs that involvement.

Yes, Austin is a larger city than El Paso but it's far from a tourist destination in and of itself. I hope that the Lopez boys will find enough things to have their adventures. There's nothing more awful than having a summer of leisure time and being bored. I hope they are able to stay out from in front of the TV and video games.  Perhaps there would be some opportunity to bolster their resumes for college with some volunteer activities.

Yes, the past year has been a rollercoaster ride in every respect. I'm looking forward to the future adventures of all the characters as they live their lives.

Until Next Time,
"Daddy" Rick