Hello, everyone. My name is Kevin R., PEP class 6 graduate. I’ve been out since June of 2007 and the payoffs for living a clean, honest life continue to amaze me. It hasn’t always been easy, and upon occasion, wreckage from the past shows up. But instead of taking the easy way out, I’ve faced the fear, owned the consequences and moved forward.
One of the hardest challenges I had to face was the loss of my son. Not that my son was dead, but that I was dead to him.
My son Kyle was 8 years old when I got arrested in May of 2005; he was 11 when I got released in June of 2007. I missed him so much while I was away, and couldn’t wait to get reacquainted after I got out.
It took me a couple days to build up the nerve to call Kyle, but finally, I nervously dialed his number. When my son answered the phone, I said, “Hi Kyle, it’s Dad.” He hung up. I called back and his mom answered, saying, “Don’t call here anymore. You have caused enough pain in Kyle’s life. He has a new dad, raising him responsibly. We’ve moved on. We don’t want anything from you. Now leave us alone!” Then she hung up on me.
I was devastated. Tears rolled down my cheeks. Three days out, and I wanted to quit already. But PEP equipped me with a new set of tools. One of the most important things that I learned, which I will never forget, is to do the next right thing for the right reason, without expectation. It was time to take what I learned and apply myself. I was committed to this transformation.
Within a week of my release, I had a full time job. Within a couple of months, I went to the Attorney General’s Office and started paying child support including arrears. I knew that the way back into my son’s life was going to be through responsibility. But regardless of outcomes, it was time to grow up.
Within a year, I bought a car and relocated to the Dallas area to be closer to Kyle. After being in Dallas for a couple of weeks, my son agreed to meet with me for lunch. My hard work and dedication was paying off.
Since that first lunch in 2008 until now, there have been many milestones and memorable moments. Sleep overs, summer vacations, concerts, prom send-offs and skiing in Santa Fe, just to name a few. But I think this past Friday night tops them all for me. Kyle was nominated for Homecoming King, and part of being on the Homecoming Court is to be escorted onto the field by your parents. The announcer introduced Kyle, and as his friends, family, and peers cheered, the announcer said “escorted by his father, Kevin Rainey.” As a lump swelled up in my throat, I struggled to fight back the tears. It was indeed one of my proudest moments ever. Father and son, Friday night on the football field. What an amazing event.
One thing I forgot to mention… It was Kyle’s mother who asked me to escort him onto the field.
Now that’s transformation.