Chris's Journal-Turbulent Transitions
|Chris's Journal Entries ~Turbulent Transitions
By Tannertexaslady, Connections by Tonny.
Additions & Apprehensions, and Reconciliations co written with Wendymypooh.
Connections by Tonny
|* Turbulent Transitions was nominated in the Best Series Category and Illusions was also nominated for best Hurt/Comfort story. Tonny's Connections was
also nominated. Past Transgressions (Adult version)was nominated for best Adult het. Adult Reconciliations nominated in 2007.
|The MCAT AU was created by Tannertexaslady.* Also the original characters of MCAT, the Wild Bunch and the Larabee 7 Ranch.
|Journal entries taken from the Turbulent Transition Series. Story collage by Bountyhunter'slady. Thanks Wendy for pulling these together.
Connections by Tonny
Connections by Tonny
When I lost Sarah and Adam eight years ago, I thought my life was over, and I stopped believing in the
future. That is, until I became the leader of an unruly bunch of misfits and formed the best ATF unit in the
country. People call us the Magnificent Seven, I just call them family. My brothers have become the catalyst
to resurrect my old dream of owning a horse ranch.
A year ago, after a long string of dangerous cases, we started to plan for a future that does not include
having someone shoot at us several times a week. We needed something to be there, for retirement or if
suddenly one of us were permanently disabled and could no longer work. We pooled our resources and
invested in good breeding stock to start our new horse ranch ‘Larabee 7’. Some day the best horses in the
country will come from here and our name will be synonymous with quality breeding.
At the rate our family is growing, it has been a wise move.
Josiah met and married Mallory five years ago. She is an ATF agent and the leader of Team Six. Joanne,
their two year old will have a baby brother in about two months. They live just down the road. Buck has
been married to Inez four years, and now they have two of the most beautiful daughters in Colorado. Their
home is finished and only one half mile from the main house.
Nathan finally married Rain, and although they keep a place in town, they are building a home on the ranch
property. Rain found out last week she is pregnant, so I expect construction will speed up. JD and Casey
married a little over a year ago. They live with Nettie. She needs their help to keep her place going and it
joins this property so they are still close. Only four days ago, Casey gave JD the news. He is going to be a
dad before Thanksgiving.
Who knows what Ezra does with his personal life? The southerner spends a lot of time traveling between
the ranch and his townhouse. He never seems to have a problem finding female companionship. Ezra
passed the bar and now he is the personal legal counsel for Larabee 7 and the family.
As I watch Vin come up from the barns, I think about the brother of my soul and friend. He moved out here
last year to oversee the breeding program and keep an eye on me. We remodeled the living quarters next to
the main barn to suit his comfort and to make him closer to the horses he loves. Tanner can be one very
dangerous sonofabitch if crossed or if his family is threatened, but with women he is painfully shy and more
insecure. I hope someday he finds the right woman and settles down, too. His record of success, so far, has
not been too good in that department, but if anyone deserves to be happy, it’s Tanner. Without him, I might
still be stuck in the past, but he has pulled my soul out of a black hole and refuses to let me slide back.
Overall, I would say, I am a damned lucky man to be surrounded by men like these. I may never marry
again, but that does not mean I will not look. In addition to three nieces, and soon to be new babies, we
have several mares due to foal. I hope that my neighbors will retire soon and offer their place for sale. That
property would be a perfect fit with this one and would give us the room we need to expand. We will all
still be working for a few years, but the future is looking good.
Two months is sixty days or eight weeks… It does not seem long, but I find it hard to take in all that has
happened during that time. I never did like change, but the changes that have occurred around here are
mostly good ones. The family has some new additions, and the newest is Adam Josiah Sanchez, born
yesterday. When Josiah and Mallory came to me and asked about using my Adam’s name for their son, I had
mixed feelings. They counted themselves lucky that at their age, they had one baby girl, but when Mallory
found out she was pregnant again at forty-three, they felt it was a special blessing and he needed a special
name. So, I said yes, and then when I held him for the first time, I knew it was the right decision.
JD and Nathan are just now beginning to realize how quickly life can change. Waiting for little Adam to be
born brought home to them, the fact, that in a few short months they will be waiting on their own babies to
come into this world. Little do they know that their life will never be the same again.
Buck shared with me yesterday that he and Inez are talking about having another baby. They hope to have
a boy, but I know Buck, and he would not mind being surrounded by all females. Another girl would be
more than welcomed.
Ezra, though, is still the stable one. Did I really just write that? His life continues to amaze and amuse me,
but one of these days, he will surprise the hell out of all of us and let his last defenses fall. When he does,
some woman will be there to catch him.
Vin, I suppose has made the biggest personal change, and I had to laugh when I read my last entry. I said he
was shy and insecure about relationships with women. Tanner did surprise the hell out of me when he
found the woman to share his life. He knew within days of meeting her that she was the right one for him
and set a tenacious plan into motion, to win her heart. He brought Kelli into the family when they married
two weeks ago. As usual, Tanner’s instincts are right on and I know they will be good for each other.
Larabee 7 has twelve new foals, three belong to Kelli, as her horses now reside here. She and Vin were given
a winning racehorse for a wedding present and My Texas Lady has brought some good publicity to our
ranch. Our foundation stallion, Hunter, also has a famous winning relative and that has put a good boost
into our breeding program. We did have a fire a few weeks ago, losing five horses and two stables, but the
rebuilding is almost complete and will be even better than before.
There have been two big changes in my life, the first concerning work. Travis called me into his office to tell
me Team Seven was history and I felt like a loved one had died. Then he had the nerve to offer me a new
position doing something that had never been done before. Starting a completely new type of law
enforcement unit with a whole new set of standards. Well, my first impulse was to tell him to go to hell,
but then I listened to what he was telling me, and I wanted to hear more. The idea intrigued me and when
he said the boys could stay on with me, I was hooked. We had six weeks to put it together and just finished
our first case as a team. With MCAT, we have an opportunity to accomplish more than we ever imagined.
The freedom to work cases the way they should be, the resources to do it with and the authority to override
the red tape that has kept us tied down. Team Seven was, and still is, the best quick response team in the
country and now we are training more agents to be just as effective. Damn good agents, too! I am looking
forward to what the next weeks and months will bring.
On the personal side, the change has been even more dramatic. I did not think I could find love again, but I
did when I met a woman that now shares a big part of my life. Linda accepts me for who I am and
understands my needs at this point in my life. She has filled a place that I never realized was so empty, until
now. I missed the presence of a woman in my life to love and share things with. As I write, she is asleep in
my bed and last night we shared a fantastic night of love. I think I will let her sleep for a while, to rest us
for later when we can have some more time alone.
I do not know what the next few weeks have in store, but with a new lover, a family like mine and a new
team to work with I know it will not be dull or boring.
I can't believe it was only four weeks ago that little Adam was born and we celebrated the success of our
first case. So much has happened. Sam Reed revealed himself, and turned out to be placed on the team by
someone who wants to take it over. Having control of this team and a computer system like CASSIE can
give you a lot of power and there are always those who crave that power. Luckily, we could stop this
threat; at least we could for now. We'll have to stay very alert, because we still don't know who was behind
this attempt to take over the unit. Travis is working hard on his end to help ensure something like this
won't happen again.
At least we've safely concluded our second case and caught a very brutal serial killer. I will have to learn to
deal with what he has done to me, but I have my family, and I have Linda, to keep me sane and help me cope.
Also, I finally know what's been bothering Linda about Vin. It isn't Vin himself, it turns out she really likes
him, but it is the connection he and I have. She isn't as troubled about it as she was at first, because she
knows it helped Vin save my life, but she still has problems with it. I will have to find a way to make her see
my connection with Vin isn't a threat to our relationship, just as my still existing connection to Sarah and
Adam isn't. That she and I have a connection all our own, something no one can destroy, unless we let them.
Actually, the thing that worries me the most is not this unease of Linda, the threat of someone wanting to
take over MCAT or my upcoming testifying at Cleaver's trial, but the media. I can't believe how they
jumped all over this last case and over MCAT itself. The fact that the higher ups wanted the positive
publicity as a sign to everyone that they are dealing with terrorism and the rising crime in our country
didn't help matters. And the fact that Linda's family is well known in the jet set didn't help either. Luckily,
the story finally seems to be getting old news, because if I see Linda and me on TV one more time, I'll throw
a rock through the damn thing!
As for the family, everything is getting back to normal there as well. Inez's birthday was great, even though
I couldn't do much besides hanging out on the couch. Josiah could hobble around a little more than I could,
but not by much and he mostly kept me company. He is still baffled by all the publicity around himself.
Well, he shouldn't be, he was simply great and so was everyone else for that matter. He and I are taking
longer and longer walks every day now, to get our strength back.
It was the most rowdy birthday we had in a long time with the new team members there as well. That was
good thinking of Vin and Nathan, they have been through a tough time and needed to see that everything
was going to be alright for the unit. It better be, because they were already working two new cases when I
was still in the hospital and a third is waiting on the sidelines. Luckily, we will have our own forensic team
I think MCAT can do a lot of good given the chance and I'll do anything I can to protect this wonderful unit.
I have not found much time to write in the last three months and here it is, almost the end of September
already. After I returned to work in July, our caseload has kept me busy. Personally, my family life has been
full of activity. Linda is spending more time with me at the ranch and I find myself looking forward to
seeing her here at the end of the workday. Our relationship is getting stronger with each passing day and I
feel the time is fast approaching that I will have to decide what our next step will be. In spite of what my
head tells me, my heart seems to have a mind of its own where Linda is concerned. I can feel the ties to my
past loosening and I am more inclined to spend my days looking to the future. I do wish she had a better
understanding of how Vin and I communicate, but given enough time maybe that will change, and she will
realize that Vin’s connection to me is no threat to us.
Rain and Casey are keeping Nathan and JD on their toes, too. With both of them pregnant, it makes for
lively conversations at the family dinners. Inez has her hands full with the girls and Mallory has a challenge
with Joanne’s jealousy of her new brother. Kelli seems to be adjusting to having family around, and she and
Vin are very good for each other.
Five months after the inception of MCAT, the all important six-month review is looming just around the
corner. MCAT survived the attempt by Reed and his backers to take over and our team is stronger because
of it. Politics and jealousies still surround us, but we are proving to everyone that this unit is here to stay.
Our reputation is growing and I am pleased with our accomplishments. I am enjoying my position as
Commander and Vin has found his comfort zone as Captain. Ezra remains an essential player with his
people skills and legal expertise. Buck is in his element working with the younger agents and JD has made
CASSIE an effective member of our team. Josiah is in demand for his profiling abilities after all the publicity
we had on the last three cases and Nathan is spending most of his time coordinating our new forensic
department with Dr Metfield’s help. Gotta go meet Travis, more soon.
I promised myself I would be more diligent about writing, so here I am again. Two more weeks and it will
be November; the weather feels more like winter every day. It has only been a few short weeks since my last
entry, and I did not think I would have much to write about, but I guess that I do. The time may have been
small in the grand scheme of things, but what has happened will have long-term effects.
Family is always a good place to start. Sarah celebrated her third birthday and I tell you, Buck had better
stay in shape to keep up with that one. JD and Casey announced at our last bar-b-q that they are having
twins, which means two more girls will be joining our growing brood. Rain is home until after the Jackson
baby makes his entrance, and the rebuilding of the clinic is finished.
We discovered who was responsible for the attack against MCAT or more specifically on me and to Vin, but
we paid a high price for the information. The man hired to do the dirty work dared to attack my family.
Nathan and Rain were trapped after the clinic was bombed and an attempt was made to kill Ezra and
Kelli. Even Maria and Sarah became involved when a siege took place at the ranch. We almost lost Vin
when the same people made an attempt on his life by running him down with a car, but thank God, he
I was angry that they targeted my family, but I also learned how much strength abounds in this Wild
Bunch. Nathan and Rain recovered quickly, The Wilmingtons’ took a little longer to get over their scare
with the girls though. I also discovered that Kelli has more inner strength than I gave her credit for before.
She fought hard for Vin, when he couldn’t fight for himself, and refused to allow anyone a chance to hurt
him while he lay unconscious in the hospital. I also gained enough of her trust for her to let down some of
her emotional barriers, usually something she only does for Tanner.
There were many decisions made in the last three weeks. MCAT now has permanent status and we control
our own destiny with the unit. I decided to add a new man to the forensics team and I think Greg Ramsey is
an excellent addition. I also requested and received a helicopter for the unit. The agent I decided to choose
to fly it has already found his place on this team, and saved my life when Madera tried to kill me. Raphael
Cordova is a man that I can respect as well as like and I am proud to have him join us.
Mark Westin decided to specialize in explosives and Buck is his trainer. I decided to send Ezra to anti-
terrorism training and I know I made the right choice. Katrina decided Forensics was the assignment that
she wanted and she is furthering her education in that field. From now on, we decide which operations we
take or reject. Next week I am sending Tanner, Dunne, and Standish to Seattle to do some surveillance
work on a new case. More soon…
I see from my last entry that it has been another two weeks since I took the time to write here. So much has
been going on it has been hard to stop for those quiet moments needed to reflect, but I will give it a go this
morning. Where do I start? I suppose with the kids. Since Sarah has had her birthday, she thinks she is all
grown up and Lord, she is a bossy bit of goods! Maria has her birthday coming up soon and I am glad that
she is an assertive child that seems to be able to handle her big sister with no problem. Adam is growing like
crazy. He has such a quiet nature and studies everyone that he encounters; he is so much like Josiah.
Joanne on the other hand is her mother’s daughter; like Mallory she is self-assured and …well not always
quiet. She has had difficulty adjusting to the fact that she is no longer an only child and as she approaches
her fourth birthday, it is already clear she will be a leader, not a follower. Josiah has completely healed from
the attack that landed him in the hospital a few months ago, and he is getting a well-deserved reputation as
one of the best profilers in the country
Nathan and JD are anxiously awaiting the births’ of their firstborns. As we approach the first part of
November, both Rain and Casey are due to deliver within the next three to four weeks. Nathan is reading
books about parenting and JD just worries about doing it right and adjusting to the idea of twins. Buck
and Inez are still trying to decide if they want to add to the two they have. Since Inez is working part-time,
she is enjoying her ‘grown-up’ time more and more. Admittedly, Sarah and Maria are more than a handful,
but when you add Buck to the mix, it is like having three children at home most of the time. Buck is busy at
work training our younger agents, and I am proud to say, doing a damn good job of it.
Ezra is still single, but I have been watching him. I see the look on his face when he thinks that no one is
watching him. I believe our southerner is considering how having a family can enrich his life. All he needs
to do now is find the right woman to share his future with and I feel it is only a matter of time before he
finds her. I did pair him up at work with Kel and I tell you, the two of them working together is an
experience. What one does not think of, the other one will. They do make an effective pair, but their
methods are exasperating, both tend to walk close to the edge of the rulebook. On the other hand, I guess
that I should be used to that by now; after all, I have had enough damn experience dealing with that type of
behavior from some other edge-walkers that I know and love.
Vin and Kelli are good together, just as I suspected they would be. Vin has recovered from the most recent
attempt on his life and by observing the way they handled it, I believe they balance each other very well. He
gives her stability, and a safe haven to free her emotions, two things that were missing in her life. She
sooths his restlessness, and gives him that inner calm that he was always seeking, and could never quite find
without having to go off alone. Now they find those things in each other, along with a lot of love. Buck says
they are one of the most physical couples he has ever known and coming from Buck that says it all.
I have found a new direction for my life, too. Linda is what I needed; I just did not know it until she came
along. Loving her is sometimes like being inside a tornado, but I would not change what she has brought
back into my life. When that crazy killer shot Josiah and abducted me, I was afraid that Linda and I would
not get the chance to be happy. Thank God, I was wrong and that is all behind us now.
When Sarah and Adam died, I thought my life was over. However, the God that I felt had deserted me had
other plans and would not allow me to quit. Yesterday was Thanksgiving and I had more than my share to
be thankful for this year. My family has grown and so has the love.
First, I suppose I should record the new births. November twentieth Nathan and Rain welcomed Terrell
Nathaniel to their family. I am thankful that Nathan could be there for the birth, for a while it looked like
he might not be able to. The next day, November twenty- first, JD and Casey welcomed twin girls, Daisy
Jonetta and Lilah Rose. Lilah they named for Buck’s mama and he was thrilled about it.
We almost lost Buck, but he is tougher than most, and survived the attempt on his life. He will be home for
a while, recuperating, and with Inez and the girls to look out for him; I know he will be fine. Hell, according
to my doctor, I will be healing, right here with him, at least until the first of the year. Vin tells me I am
responsible for saving Linda and Kelli’s life. I may be hurting, but I would do it again to have the same
results. My future depends on them being safe.
Linda has agreed to marry me and we will welcome our baby sometime before June. At times, it is hard to
believe that I found another woman to love, but I did. She brings a zest for living and happiness back to my
life, and I am looking forward to our child arriving. However, to get to this point, I had to take a painful
trip to the land of guilt and the past. I am grateful my family did not give up on me and made sure I came
through it. My reward was in finding a child I did not know I had, when she found her past, I had to let go
of mine, and by doing so, I gained the emotional freedom to move forward.
It took Kelli over twenty-five years to find home, but she is here now, and knowing that she is my daughter,
only increases my love for her. She was already family, as Vin’s wife, and now we can work on a new
relationship. She has some healing to do, too. During this time, I hope to make a good start on building a
bond with her, and I am thankful I will have that opportunity.
Vin is in charge of MCAT until I return and he will have his hands full until I am back on my feet. In the
meantime, we will be making some changes around the ranch. More quarter horses are coming in and we
are looking to do some diversification. The next year will bring some big changes and I find that for the
first time in a long time I can view the future clearly without having to looking through my past to see it.
Journal Entry ~Friday January 6 ~midnight
January 9th is a day I did not think would ever arrive. Doc says I can go back to work Monday. I will still
have to use crutches for a couple of weeks and I will have to pass physical requirements to get back in the
field, but it is a start. Last November, the first of the year did not seem so far away and I thought it would
be easy to recover and return. Ha! The first couple of weeks were not so bad. I felt so awful most days
that time was not important, then as I began to improve, the days got longer and it seemed that the weeks
would never end. Every visit to the doctor ended the same way, one more week and we will see. Hell, is it
my fault that my leg was taking longer to heal? I have been good, followed the damn rules, gone to therapy,
and still had to fight to be released for desk duty.
The best part was spending time with Linda. She is a great nurse and has been beside me every step of the
way. This time has given us a chance to build our own family bond and now she is in full planning mode for
our wedding. I love that woman and I know that we will have a good life together. But she needs to make
the arrangements and I need to be in the office, at least then we have a chance of surviving all the plans for
the nuptials, ideas of how to remodel the house, lawyer pre- nuptial agreements, and meetings with the rest
of the Dubois family.
Of course, some of the time off was entertaining. Watching JD and Casey deal with twins has been
enjoyable; their idea of parenting is the exact opposite from Nathan and Rain. The Jackson’s have read
every book on child rearing, have a schedule for everything, and Terrell thrives with it. The Dunne’s have
more of a free style type of parenting going with the girls, they roll with the flow and it appears to work for
them. Christmas with all the kids and their assortment of gifts was great. The best part was having my
entire family here to share the fun and love.
Josiah and Mallory are pleased that Joanne has finally accepted Adam. Most of the credit goes to Maria; her
love for Adam convinced Joanne he was worth taking a second look at and when she did she discovered that
being a big sister could be a good thing. Inez and Buck are blessed with Sarah and Maria; both girls have
nurturing souls and hearts full of compassion.
I did get to spend time with Kelli before she went back to work last Monday and I feel that we made good
progress on building a relationship .Although I wish that I had known about her sooner, I am just glad that
we still have an opportunity to be family now. Besides, as she pointed out, maybe we would not have been
ready to accept this before; maybe Vin coming into my life was fate’s way of directing the future for all of
us. All I know is that claiming Vin as my brother, certainly has played a big part in changing the course of
my life, and her world was changed forever the day she met him. Of course, if we dubbed him the Larabee
family angel he would probably want to shoot someone.
We found several things that we have in common, some of which are a love of quarter horses, good books,
Native American lore, and history, especially of the Old West. I educated her about the Larabee family tree,
the good, the bad, and the ugly. I even told her about my imperfect childhood. I suppose my folks did what
they believed was right, but it seemed that we never lived up to their expectations. I vowed at a young age
that if I had my own family I would do everything in my power to make sure they knew they were loved
unconditionally, something my parents failed to achieve. Kel was surprised to find out that the Larabees
were not the perfect family everyone always believed them to be, but I wanted her to know why keeping my
family together is so important to me.
I think that I have almost convinced Vin and Kelli to build their home adjacent to the ranch house instead of
up on higher ground. I hope so, because I really would like them to stay close to us. They have been giving
some serious thought to building sooner rather than later, since they have decided to enter the system as
emergency caregivers. Somehow, they have found time to begin courses to qualify as foster parents, in
addition to becoming CASA volunteers and Ezra is helping them with all the paperwork to be certified. They
even convinced Standish into attending some of the classes, and that is something I would have loved to see,
although he did not need much encouragement to go with them for some reason.
Buck got the go ahead to return to work last Wednesday, and wild horses could not hold him back. He
loved spending time with Inez and the girls, but he was more than ready to go back. The entire team has
stepped up to the plate and they have done a great job, but Buck is anxious to finish training ‘his’ students.
Vin is coming over in the morning to bring me up to date on MCAT, up until Doc gave me the green light
today, he refused to tell me anything on orders from Orrin and the others have kept quiet, too. Tanner has
done a helluva job with the unit, but he has been running twenty-four seven for weeks and is due for some
down time. At least when I get back in the office I can relieve him of some of the extra responsibility he has
been carrying and we can all get back to normal. More soon…
I know that I have been remiss in writing, but I have been away for a while. I feel as if I have been on a long
journey and just returned home today. The last few months have been a mixture of reality and illusion for
me. At times, I found it difficult to separate the two, but I suppose if I just hit the highlights of the last few
months it will be enough to record here.
January started great, I thought things could not get any better in my life. I was back at work, had a
beautiful woman beside me, and I had a daughter that was beginning to accept me as her dad. Then my
world began to fall apart. I found out that my identity had been stolen, Kelli was almost killed in a car
wreck, and Vin was shot; all because someone wanted me to suffer. When I found out that it was my baby
brother, being the cocky sonofabitch that I am, I thought I could fix it all by myself. I damn near lost
everything that I value in this life instead.
Jack pumped me full of drugs and waited for me to get hooked on them. I did not disappoint him. The only
good thing that came out of the eight days he had me captive was finding out that I had a niece and
nephew. When Vin and the others found me, they found the kids, too, and then they brought all of us here
to the Larabee 7. That should have been the end of that story and we all lived happily ever after, but I had
to go and make things worse.
February was a time to heal, except instead of listening to my brothers, I did things my way. While Vin and
Kelli cared for the kids, I compounded my problem by taking more pills. I lied to my family; I tried to bully
them into accepting my decisions, and damn near killed myself in the process. My family intervened and
after I spent another ten days in hell, I was finally drug free for the first time in a month. However, when I
was able to see clearly again, I found my life had been shattered into what seemed like a million pieces. I
began the slow, painful process of trying to put it back together.
Linda was there for me though and we took this trip together. We were married on the eighteenth and
then we spent two weeks alone in the mountains. During that time, we really got to know one another in a
way we had never done before. Our relationship is stronger now than it has ever been, but when we
returned, I still had a long way to go.
March flew by; I went back to work and resumed my role as Commander. My agents accepted me, but I
had to prove to myself that I was all the way back. I worked long hours and tried to push my doubts behind
me. I could not admit how scared I was that I would fail. I also did not allow the people that I cared about
to get too close because I thought they would be able to see how imperfect I really am. I put off making a
decision about the kids, Vin and Kelli still took care of them.
April saw me feeling almost like my old self. I worked on the nursery and we attended some parenting
classes. Caught up with some family stuff and I realized for the first time that while I had been ‘away” Ezra
had found himself a special lady named Barbara. I also was forced to accept that I had been keeping Vin at
arm’s length, and had not even known it. He called me on it and I finally had to admit my fears. I am glad
that he pushed me because now that I had said it, I could let him back into my life completely.
I was ready to decide about the kids and was surprised to find that while I was taking my journey of
rediscovery, they were making themselves a home. I suppose I should have seen it, but then again I think
Mistress Fate was working overtime. It hit me last week, I did not have to do anything to make sure they
were loved and protected. It had already been taken care of without my help. Jason and Andi had a place to
belong, and I could still be a part of their lives.
This afternoon Jason came to me looking for my approval of Vin and Kelli keeping them. When he
understood that I would always be there as part of his family, even if Vin and Kelli adopted him and Andi,
the look on his face was priceless. I felt as if we had all found home again.
Vin called Barbara this afternoon and she is filing their petition to adopt on Monday. Within a few weeks,
there will be a hearing, but she assured all of us that she could not foresee any problems. Next week is Vin
and Kelli’s first wedding anniversary and after a party for them on Saturday, we get to baby-sit while they
spend the night at their cabin. Soon they will begin building their home not far from here and I very happy
they decided to stay close by.
Linda has less than six weeks to go and we will welcome the newest Larabee into the family. I am both
excited and extremely grateful that I have been given another chance…more later…
Journal Entry ~May 12
The last two weeks have been busy both personally and professionally. Personally, my repeat tests for AIDS
and hepatitis both returned negative, thank God. Linda is in the last few weeks of her pregnancy and is very
uncomfortable, but that is expected. I know she is apprehensive about the impending birth of our first
child; but according to Dr. Ryder, she is doing well. I know she will do just fine and about this time next
month, we will be settled with our new baby.
Barbara wasted no time in moving forward on the adoption proceedings for Jason and Andi. She and Ezra
even postponed their special weekend together to have the adoption completed first. Ezra understood
Barbara's decision and was as eager as the rest of us, to see the children's future secured. Since it was a
kinship adoption, with pre- approved applicants, things moved quickly, and as of this morning at ten, it is
official; Jason Cameron Tanner and Andria Nicole Tanner are legal. The Tanners put their status as foster
care parents on hold for a while and Vin is working hard on the plans for their new house. I expect they
will be breaking ground to build anytime now. The kids are excited about the new house and they are
looking forward to helping Vin build it. They have come a long way in the last few months and have
definitely made themselves comfortable in their new surroundings.
Last weekend the Tanners celebrated their first wedding anniversary on the seventh and Vin’s May tenth
birthday a few days early with the kids. Then Linda and I had Jason and Andi overnight to give the Tanners
some time alone at their cabin. Buck made a point of letting them know that they are not newlyweds
anymore, and now that the children have come into their lives they are an old married couple like the rest
of them. Somehow, I don’t think Vin and Kelli will ever settle into their marriage like the rest of the
brothers and their wives have. Their relationship is unique, I expect they will continue to keep it as fresh,
new, and exciting, as it was when it started, and will give Buck plenty of ammunition for his good-natured
MCAT turns a year old in the next week. We have certainly given people something to sit up and take notice
of for sure. Our cases are more distinctive and challenging than any others that we have tackled in the
past, but that is what this unit is designed to handle. Josiah has come into his own as a profiler and his
work is respected throughout law enforcement. Our team is tight and they work together well. The
younger agents listen to, and respect the experience of our original seven, and I couldn’t be happier with the
way the unit has turned out. Our success rate in clearing our cases is at 98% and we are no doubt the best
tactical response unit in the country.
Of course, sometimes we take on cases for political reasons, which is, I suppose, all part of the price we have
to pay for MCAT existing. JD has been grumbling about getting out in the field again and I have decided
that he deserves to get out from behind that CASSIE desk once in a while. He is a good agent out in the
field, as well as behind a desk. The next opportunity for his skills to come into play, I will send him out. The
Forensic Team that was established as a part of MCAT is extraordinary and I believe they are one of the
reasons we have such a high conviction rate for our cases.
Nathan is expanding his role of medic and has enrolled in some Forensics classes at the college. He has
always been compulsive about staying on top of the latest techniques in emergency care and wants to be on
top of this part of the investigative work as well. Having him liaison between the unit and Bones has
proven to be effective, and bonded both sides of our investigative unit, making our team even stronger. This
weekend we will celebrate our MCAT Anniversary with a team barbecue on Sunday here at the ranch. I
guess that catches me up, and since I am meeting Vin early in the morning to ride, I will close now.
Journal Entry ~ September 14th ~Reclamation~ week two
I have not written in here for a while… It’s been too long, I’m afraid. I am not sure that I can even write
about the last few months just now, but I can write about the last two weeks. It began September third…I
can now admit that I have a problem with addiction to pills, and it took a six-year-old to lead me to the
truth about myself. Regardless of the reasons, or how I became addicted…, I was in trouble, nonetheless.
Jason’s four simple words reached deep inside of me in a way that no one else’s has since this whole
situation occurred. While he might be a Larabee by blood, he has already become a Tanner through and
through with his own unique ability to see into the hearts of the people around him, especially the adults,
and call them on things that they don't want to admit. “It always comes back…”
Making the phone call to the counselor Josiah recommended to me, was one of the most difficult things I
have ever had to do. After two weeks of intense, one-on-one sessions, as well as participating in group
meetings three times a week, I see my life from a different perspective now. Before I could attempt to
untangle the mess I made with my family, friends, and work; I had to learn a few things. Most importantly
that there is no quick fix, and it will take time to straighten my life out. I also had to realize that it will be
an ongoing process that will never be finished. The counseling will end eventually, but I will never be an ex-
addict, only a reformed one.
The withdrawal stage was hell. Recognizing, and admitting that I had a problem was even worse. A man
doesn't like to admit that he's wrong about anything, especially me! It seems that I have been wrong about
a great many things recently. Eating humble pie has never been my strong suit. I have learned that what is
called early recovery pertains to the first two years of abstinence…not just the first two months. Finally, I
have come to accept that I must make an ongoing effort to keep a clean and sober lifestyle to remain free
from addictive substances. This is where my counseling and attendance at recovery group support
meetings come in to play... Recovery is not an event that happens at a given time. It is a process of
involvement that encompasses all aspects of my life.
Narcotics Anonymous provides a recovery process and support network inextricably linked together. One
of the keys to NA’s success is the therapeutic value of addicts working with other addicts. Members share
their successes and challenges in overcoming active addiction and living drug-free productive lives through
the application of the principles contained within the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of NA. These
principles are the core of the Narcotics Anonymous recovery program. I believed that admitting I had a
problem was the hard part, but making amends to everyone I have hurt is going to be a challenge.
Besides keeping a record of my progress, my counselor also informed me that I needed to find a sponsor. A
sponsor is someone who will help me to stay on track, be brutally honest with me at all times, and see to it
that I don't get away with using excuses to explain my actions or feelings. I wouldn't be honest if I didn't
say that I was hesitant about getting a sponsor. I've never been one to talk easily about my feelings, outside
of my brothers...especially Vin. To have to do so with a total stranger is something that I'm not comfortable
with at all, but if it helps in getting my life and family back to some resemblance of what it used to be...then
I'll do just about anything...even talk to a stranger.
Impatient, controlling man that I am, I wanted it all to be wrapped up in a neat little package, finished and
for me to be able to move on…that is not gonna happen…not this time. I have found the hardest part to ‘fix’
is with those people closest to me. So, I started with the relationships outside my family first, and then
moved onto the Wild Bunch.
I went to the hospital and to see Raphael. He assured me that Victor Donner was the man he blamed for his
being laid up in that hospital bed, and not me. Thank God, he is recovering! Although I still feel at least
partially responsible for his condition, he refuses to judge me, and said he would go undercover with me
again if the need arises in the future. Cordova is a good man and a damn fine partner.
Josiah…well is Josiah. He has the patience and wisdom of a saint and I am humbled by his faith in me. He
will bide his time and wait to see what I will do, and he has the tenacity to keep me focused if I wander off
track. Buck has seen me at my worst too many times to reiterate here and no matter what, he always
stays, and I am extremely lucky to have such a steadfast friend in my life. I know we will be fine. Nathan
sees my problem from a medical perspective and that’s okay. Ezra is not naive about the evils of the world
and he is willing to let me work through what I need to. JD does not understand it all, but he has shown
more insight than I would have given him credit for in the past. Underestimating him in anything isn't
something I'm going to be so quick to do in the future. All of them, however, are waiting to see how I
handle things with Vin.
Vin…At this point I am not sure how or if I will ever be able to ‘make amends’’ to him. I do know that it will
take a good long time before we reach the level of trust and friendship we have always taken for granted. I
went too far over the line this time to expect unconditional forgiveness from him. If it were only a matter
of our friendship, I have no doubt that he would forgive me in a heartbeat. But I hurt more than our
friendship. I struck at the core of who he is and the people he cares most about. I disrespected the man,
called him irresponsible, and insinuated that he was not concerned about the unit, or the lives of the people
on our team. I accused him of greed and valuing his temporary position as the commanding officer of
MCAT as being more precious than the gift of life. I deliberately attempted to undermine his marriage and
failed him as a brother. Yet he has not once said one judgmental word to me…
Some of the things that I had accused him of doing were the very things I was actually guilty of myself. I
got too wrapped up in my own personal crusade to save as many children as I could, as if believing that by
doing so I was making up for my not being able to protect Kelli from all she had endured as a child, and to
prevent Grace from ever being hurt in such a manner in the future. The Demerol in Mexico may have been
unintentional, but the pills I took after that were my choice to take, and I could have thrown them away. I
refused to listen to anyone and damn near hit bottom before I realized what I had done. Several people
that I care about were hurt in the process. Hard truths to swallow, but if I am to be completely free, I need
to at least be honest with myself.
Tanner has been in charge during the rebuilding phase of MCAT and the new office will open in a couple of
weeks. Our injured teammates are recovering slowly, but surely. Vin has done a helluva job under a
tremendous amount of pressure and I should have told him that, but…. Once I return to work, I hope we
can find our way back to the easy comradeship we had before, or close to it. Time will tell. In the
meantime, we will be polite to one another for the sake of our families and the children. Vin personally
asked for a truce between us and wants me to attend Jason’s birthday party next Wednesday.
Kelli…I lost all the progress I had made with her as a father. Expecting her to choose me over Vin was a big
mistake on my part, and one that I will have to work hard to mend if I am to restore our personal
relationship. As far as work is concerned, she is a professional and while we may not have the easiest time
of it, I expect we will manage. I still have almost sixty days to work out how I will handle myself with the
unit when Travis gives me the green light to go back.
Linda…Part of my recovery is to make amends to those that I have hurt. As difficult as the last eight
months have been on me, they have been hard on her too. She has had to endure so much in just a short
amount of time in our married life, that I'm going to try my damnest to make things up to her. I want to
make her happy, but I realize that might not be as easy to do as I hoped it would. She has given me a list of
her demands and I will make every effort to address each one, but we will have to reach some kind of
compromise on more than one of them. I do want her and Grace back here on the Larabee 7 though, so I
have agreed to accept as many of her ‘requests' as reasonably possible. Having Grace with me is worth a
few sacrifices of comfort.
She wants me to quit working with MCAT…I agreed to stay more on the administrative side and do less
She wants more time away from the Wild Bunch…I agreed on one family get together per month, along
with the children’s birthdays. I refused to give up attending them, and she reluctantly agreed.
She wants to remodel the house with her money so her old jet-set friends can come visit for a week-end or
two….I agreed to allow her to do the remodeling on the condition that she has to keep me informed of what
she plans to do, before any of it takes place.
She insists that we do more together as a couple: romantic dinners, attend the theater, going to parties
given by some of her friends, and traveling …I agreed to try to do more of these things with her, although I
don't see us traveling much right now . Grace is far too little to be jet-setting all over the world, and I'm
not willing to go more than a day without seeing my little girl.
She wants a full-time live-in Nanny for Grace…I agreed to a part-time Nanny that does not live with us.
She and Grace are coming home today…
Journal Entry~ September 26~Reclamation
I shared tonight at the meeting for the first time. It wasn't so much that I wanted to get up in front of all
of those people and talk about what a mess I've made of my life, but was prodded to do so by Colonel Mike
Tai. He's a short, older Asian man who's a decorated Navy Colonel. He has been clean and sober for almost
thirty years. He sort of dared me to speak in a play of words that were as philosophical as Josiah's, and
elegant like Ezra's. Something about the man makes me think that I can learn a lot from him, and I've
made a decision to ask him to be my sponsor at our next meeting.
Tomorrow I face the firing squad, correction… the whole Wild Bunch, and I'm not sure if I'm up to it yet. It
is Jason's birthday though, and I wouldn't miss that for anything.
Journal Entry~ October 3~Reclamation
It was a proud day for me when I received my thirty day sobriety chip tonight at the meeting. One month
with the program and I am clean and sober, eleven more months, and my first year of recovery will be
something to celebrate. I didn't tell anyone in the family that I was receiving it. I don't want them to pat
me on the back and say, 'Good going Chris'. That isn't what my recovery is about. It's about me taking
back control of my life again. Although, this time around, I have to realize that to have control of my life,
I've got to give some of it over to a higher power...Mistress Fate.
Journal Entry~ October 10th ~Reclamation
I don’t know if it was a result of my counseling sessions, or the fact that the MCAT office will re-open
tomorrow without me, but my nightmares have returned. Visions of what the twelfth floor had looked like
after the grenade attack invade my sleep. Maybe if I had listened…Do not go there Larabee. It is over and
done with. Second-guessing yourself will not help anyone, especially you; at least that’s what they keep
telling me at our meetings.
Seven weeks into my sobriety and I'm still no closer to having my life and family back, although I am
making progress. Or so Col. Tai has told me that I am. He agreed to be my sponsor, and as I had expected,
he's a hard taskmaster...but also fair one. Although I'm still having doubts about how things are going to
work out in the end, I'm beginning to see things with more clarity.
It is getting a little easier to relax a bit at those meetings, but I still have difficulty talking about myself.
More accurately my fears...I don’t know why it is so damn hard for me to talk to Vin or Kelli, but it is.
Maybe I need to talk to Colonel Tai about it. He seems to be an okay guy and he does understand where I
am coming from…
Journal Entry~ October 11th-Reclamation
I wish I could talk to Linda about all that I'm feeling and thinking, but she doesn't seem to have the time for
it. She does not find the time for Grace either, and when I try to bring up the family or my job, all I seem to
get is arguments and attitude. It's seems as if attitude is all I'm getting from her anymore. She doesn't like
my job, my family and friends, or my house. I'm beginning to think that there's not much she likes about
our daughter or me either.
Maybe I'm being unfair to her, I don't know. I just wish that we talked and laughed with one another like
we used to do. I know that things have been rough on her, but damnit, they've been rougher on me and I'm
doing everything that I can to make things right again. Why can't she meet me in the middle and do the
same? Why does everything have to be her way or no way at all?
Journal Entry~ October 31st~ Reclamation
Grace and I have stayed busy the last few days. I am not sure what Linda has been doing, she sure in the hell
has not shared whatever it is with us, but it probably involves spending money. I feel as if we are worlds
apart from one another, hell maybe we always have been, and I refused to acknowledge it. Something has
to give soon though, because it is damn hard to live this way.
Last night at my meeting, we had a new guy come in and I suppose I saw myself as I was the first time I
walked in to that room. Angry, defensive, and just plain pissed at the rest of the world for having to be
there. This young man though reminded me of Vin when I first met him…not the drug part, but he had that
same me against the world look in his eyes that Tanner did eight…no nine years ago. I supposed that is why
I made a point of talking to that young man after the meeting and letting him know that the first time is
the hardest and it does get easier. When I had finished my little welcome, I looked up and saw Colonel Mike
nod at me and I would have sworn that he smiled, but he never smiled so it must have been the lighting in
As of today, I have made my amendments to each one of my brothers, except for Vin. I couldn't bring myself
to approach him before now, and I hope that I'm not too late. I said such awful things to him...accused him
of so much. I can't help but wonder if too much time has already passed and he won't be able to forgive
me. But I have to try…November is a new month... my new mission…talk to Vin and clear the air between
us. Tomorrow will mark the beginning of a renewed friendship for us, hopefully one that will bridge the
chasm that lay between my eldest daughter, and me too.
Journal Entry~ November 1~Reclamation
It was a proud day for me; I received my sixty-day chip. I didn't tell anyone in the family that I was getting
it either. I feel better about myself than I have felt since before California. It is getting easier to talk at the
meeting and as I see more first-timers come in, I find myself even reaching out to a few of the newer
members. Who would have thought that I would be doing that?
I spent the rest of the day preparing for my meeting with Travis. I saw my shrink early today and then had
an even longer discussion with my counselor at NA. Finally, I talked it over with Colonel Mike. They all
agreed that I was ready…now all I have to do is convince Travis. I have to do this because it’s the only way I
can find out the true reason Vin left MCAT. I know the story Buck gave me sounds good, but my gut says
that Tanner is walking on dangerous ground.
Journal Entry-November 3-Reclamation
I am sitting here alone and it is close to midnight. Linda was in a strange mood this evening, she never
mentioned the fight we had last night and turned in early for the night. It was unsettling because I have a
gut feeling that I have not heard the last of it about my going back to work. Sooner or later, though, she is
going to have to explain why she and Kelli are on the outs, too.
Travis did listen to what I had to say and took to heart the recommendation letters I gave him. He deferred
the rest of my suspension and I now have my command back, but not my entire unit. I still have a few
agents out due to injuries, and I have a missing Captain. Tanner is out there in the middle of a potentially
explosive situation with no one to cover his ass if he runs into trouble. Correct that… with Vin, it is not if he
runs into trouble, but when trouble finds him. Orrin gave me full control over this covert mission and I
plan to get that smart-ass Texan home. I was able to talk to him tonight and made certain that he
understood that anything less than his safe return was NOT optional.
I have to admit that it felt good to talk to him again. I know that there is a long road ahead of us in getting
back to the closeness we once had, but I’m no longer doubtful that we can reclaim the friendship my actions
nearly destroyed. It is even more imperative now to make sure that Tanner returns home safe and sound
to the wife, children, and family that loves him. I’ll be looking out for them for him while he’s gone, but it
will not be a hardship for me, in fact, I plan to enjoy it. At least my eldest daughter is talking to me again.
I know I will still face some challenges with my recovery; however, for the first time in a long time I can
truthfully say that I feel self-assured again. Still there are a few things missing to make my life complete.
Only when Vin is home again, and the entire family is back on an even kilter with one another, will I feel
that everything is fully alright again in my world.
Journal Entry ~ November 18th, 7:00am
In spite of the fact that the ranch has apparently become a target for the RMR, and life with Linda is
deteriorating fast, I did attend my NA meeting last night. I feel good about the progress I have made in the
four months since California, but anyone that tells you that it is easy to reclaim your life after you make a
wreck of it, has never been in that position. It’s damn hard.
Here I am, though, with my job back a month early. My youngest daughter is asleep down the hall, my
eldest is speaking to me again, and my health is good. Best of all, I managed to heal the hole I tore in the
relationships with all my brothers, especially Vin. My mind is open again, and so is his. I can feel Tanner
back in my life and as soon as he makes it home safely, we have a lot of catching up to do. That is, after he
gets over the shock of the delightful surprise that Kelli has waiting for him. They are finally going to have
the baby they have wanted since the day they were married. The sooner I can get him home, the sooner she
can tell him, so that is a priority for me.
Linda is due to have our second child in the last part of May. I know that it has not been easy for her over
the last year, but it has not been bad enough to account for what she is putting us through now. She has
changed… hell, maybe that’s the wrong word…I think maybe I always knew that Linda had a spoiled side to
her, and that she was impulsive. I may have found that part of her personality endearing at first. Now it’s
way past that…her childish demands are putting a huge strain on our marriage, even worse she seems to
have lost interest in being a mother to Grace, and that is unacceptable. I do know that something has to
give soon because living this way will only hurt our children and do irrevocable damage to our marriage.
Today, Grace and I are headed over to the Dunne and Wells' place. Casey has prepared a joint birthday
party for Lilah, Daisy, and Terrell; all of them will turn one-year-old this coming week. I have a feeling we
will also be celebrating Caleb’s adoption. It was finalized yesterday and the Wilmington's officially have a
son, Caleb Evan Wilmington. Knowing that the adoption is official was only a formality for Buck, and Inez,
and Caleb, too. From the moment that Caleb entered the Wilmington’s house, he had already become a
member of their ‘forever family.’
Journal Entry~ November 22 ~6:00am
Today is the day before Thanksgiving and I suppose I should write down a few things that I am thankful
for. My children are an unexpected, but wanted blessing in my life. My unborn child is still a mystery, but
he or she already has a place in my heart, and my youngest daughter has truly lived up to her name as my
saving Grace. She has given me a new outlook on life, and her presence makes each day special. My eldest
daughter has showed me that guilt and what if’s have no place in my life. Kelli never held me responsible for
her turbulent childhood, although she could have, and she did not criticize me for my bout with pills. The
only thing she exploded over and rightfully so, was when I unfairly blamed Vin for things he had no control
over. That is what a wife should do. She should stand up for her husband and she did, not only to me, but
to Linda also. I think we may have finally made it to a solid father-daughter relationship, and I am looking
forward to being there as she goes through her first pregnancy.
My family of brothers and our crazy Wild Bunch are a blessing too. We have been through years of ups and
downs with one another and still know that together we are strong enough to face anything that comes
our way. I need to add Colonel Mike Tai to my list, the man has been a great support for me, and talking to
him brings things more into focus. Last night he listened as I attempted to work through feelings of guilt
that were trying to resurface. He made me realize that while we are not able to completely erase those
feelings, admitting that they are there, and keeping them in perspective makes a big difference. It did for
me and today, I feel 100% better about myself than I did last night.
I told Linda that I expected her to mend some fences over the holidays, and I hope she was listening. If we
are to have any chance of getting back to a comfortable relationship, she has to realize that my extended
family will always be a part of our lives. I will be watching to see if she was sincere when she said she would
make an effort to fix some of the wrongs she has done. School is out starting today and I promised Jason
that I would go riding with him. I know how much he misses Vin and maybe I can help. I hear Grace letting
the world know that she is awake and ready for a new day so I will close for now
Journal Entry ~November 28~11:30pm
I no longer attend my meetings three times a week, now I’m down to only one, and I have finished the
counseling sessions with my therapist. I was running late tonight, but I did make it. It’s funny, I never
thought I wanted any part of this routine in the beginning, and now I find that I miss it when I cannot
attend. Maybe it’s because I can see the difference in my counterparts each week. It’s not the same as
family, but having shared similar experiences makes it comfortable to be in this group. The feeling of
accomplishment is great, and being able to help new members is gratifying.
When I arrived home, Grace was still awake and I spent time with her before rocking her to sleep. I tried to
talk to Linda, but she was still upset over our morning argument and refused to listen to anything I had to
say. After my conversation with Vin and hearing his excitement about their new baby, it started me to
thinking. I really would like to be more involved with Linda’s pregnancy, and I miss hearing all the little
details that are happening with our unborn child. I suppose Linda believes she is punishing me for not going
along with her plans for us, and in a way, she is. Hopefully we can find some middle ground soon.
I am concerned about Kelli; she has been too stressed and does not look well. I talked to Max and she
assured me that she will be able to keep her in line at home. If it had not been for the fact that Kel was
pregnant, I think I would have still been yelling at her for that stunt she pulled last night... But, she made it
back safely and I will reluctantly admit, although not to her, that we do have more information to work
with now. Hopefully with what we have, and a few more days of Tanner reconnaissance we can get Vin out
of there and home where he belongs. The two of them have waited long enough for this baby to be a reality
and now they deserve the opportunity to share the experience.
If I could just get that knot in my stomach to disappear I would feel as if we were home free, but I learned a
long time ago,…it ain’t over till it’s over.
Journal Entry~ Friday December 8th ~Midnight
It has been close to four months since California, and today I feel that I have finally broken free of the past
that has weighed me down over the last year. My recovery is solid, and although I still attend my meetings, I
know that the addiction in my life will never be a threat to me again .Vin was the last person on my list to
make amends to, and I have done that. Our bond is reconnected and strong again, maybe even stronger
than before. I’m not saying that everything is perfect in my life, but it is manageable, and something that I
can handle. I sat here tonight before I began to write and picked up Sarah’s bible, it fell open to a verse that
I know she wanted me to read.
There is a time for everything, a season for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant, and a time to harvest.
A time to kill, and a time to heal. A time to break down, and a time to build up.
A time to weep and a time to laugh. A time to mourn and a time to dance
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace, and a time to turn away.
A time to search, and a time to lose. A time to keep, and a time to throw away.
A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak up.
A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace
Whatever exists today and whatever will exist in the future has already existed in the past. For God calls
each event back in its turn.
This verse sums up our family and my life. I now realize that my time with Linda had a purpose. I have
moved forward, letting go of the past that held me back, but our time together as a married couple is
almost over. We have two children to forever bind us, but we both see our future differently. Mine is here
with my family, hers…she thinks there is something out there she is missing. I do not know what it is; I only
know I cannot give it to her. Do I regret being with her? No, I don’t. I am however resolved to the fact
that our differences are irreconcilable. Surprisingly I am okay with that, as long as we can come to an
agreement about the children.
Tonight we went to the Southern breeze and had dinner with Matt. I met Marshall Vanderson, and
immediately disliked the man. Not because he followed Linda around like a faithful puppy, but because he is
an egotistical bigot. Money, social position, and status are top priorities on his list of important attributes.
Aside from his obvious prejudices though, he is exactly the type of man that Linda needs in her life in order
to be happy. He would make her, and her family fortune, the center of his attention. He is smart enough to
know that she likes to be in control, and he would accept that; he lives the lifestyle she wants me to be
comfortable in, and I cannot do that. Maybe I should encourage her to spend more time with the man, so
she too could realize that we…she and I…are just too far apart to have a future together. All I know for
certain is… I have embraced our life, and now it’s time to turn away.
Journal Entry ~ December 20th ~7:30am
This is the time of the year that the children of Larabee 7 are in their element. Even though Linda had our
tree delivered this year, last Saturday Grace and I went on the traditional Christmas tree finding expedition
that the Wild Bunch has made every year. Thankfully, I was able to disperse with my sling, and my shoulder
is healing well. We hitched up the two sleighs in the barn for the kids, and took them with us in search of
the perfect trees. Of course, Tannis stayed home with Inez, and Linda bowed out, but the rest of the Wild
Bunch made the trek. By the time we had finished we had a tree for the Sanchez, Dunne, Wilmington, and
Tanner homes, ten tired, but excited children, and several adults that were ready for spring.
The Jacksons will not be able to move back into their home until sometime in January, so they will continue
to stay with the Sanchez family through the holidays. Barbara and Ezra are staying with the Tanners, but
they are alternating their attentions with all the Larabee 7 children during this special time of the year.
Grace and I have managed to be at each of the brother's homes for a range of tree decorating experiences. I
did not want her to miss out of the fun, and the special time spent with our extended family.
On the home front, Linda and Amberlyn have been immersed in party plans, and any free time they have had
has been spent at the Southern Breeze. I sense that my wife has been slowly coming to the same realization
that I have…that we are not ever going to find a compromise between us that will make us both happy. She
wants Grace and me out of the way today while the final preparations are finished for the party tonight, so
we are headed over to Vin’s house this morning..
Journal Entry ~December 26th ~9:00am
In five days we will face a new year, I for one am ready to let this one go, it has not been an easy twelve
months. I do however; feel as if a heavy burden has been lifted from my shoulders. Linda, I believe is as
relieved as I am to end the battle between us, and although she would not have admitted it, she had known
for a long time that we were not going to find common ground between us, at least not enough for our
marriage to work, and make us both happy. The last few days have begun to make up for the past months
of misery that we have suffered. We even managed to salvage a few peaceful days for Christmas, and found
we can talk without worrying that what we say will lead to an argument. Marshall and Amberlyn have
gone back to Louisiana, and I have discovered a new respect for Matt Dubois.
After the first of the year, Linda and I will announce our decision to the family, and then sit down with
Ezra. We agreed to have him represent us in our divorce proceedings, of course, it will not happen until our
son, Cody Christopher is born, but we will have an agreement worked out beforehand. We’ll let Standish
haggle with Linda’s estate attorneys, and hammer out the child custody agreement.
Christmas day we spent at the Wilmingtons and Linda quickly discovered that the Wild Bunch had enough
‘class’ not to mention the events that transpired at our party on the twentieth. In fact, I think Linda even
enjoyed herself around them for the first time in months …no pressure to perform…she could just be herself
for a change. The children kept everyone entertained with their excitement over ‘Santa’s visit’, along with a
steady stream of descriptions of what he had brought them. I was also amused by my oldest child’s pleasure
over receiving the stuffed twin teddy bears that Vin gifted her with. Vin and JD pulled out the snowmobiles
from the barn and spent the afternoon giving the kids rides on them.
While we have enjoyed the holidays, none of us have forgotten the danger that lurks out there from Karl
Chambers and the RMR. It’s like waiting for the other shoe to drop. A statewide search for the man and his
followers has turned up nothing, and even Raven has not been able to get a good lead. I will not be able to
rest easy, until I am certain that Vin, Nathan, and Paul are safely out of that man’s reach, however I have
confidence though, and we will prevail over the evil that men such as Chambers produce.
Linda went over to the Southern breeze today to have a heart-to-heart with Matt, while Grace and I spend
the day working on plans for her baby brother’s new room. I already have a good idea about what I want,
and Tanner agreed to help me draft the blueprints. With my great ideas, his talent for drawing plans, and
our brothers to help, we should have Cody’s nursery ready to build, as well as a good start on the one for the
twins, in no time at all.
Journal Entry ~ January 17th~6:00am
The last three weeks have been tense around the Larabee 7. After the late Christmas present that Chambers or his hired help sent, all of us have
been on alert for suspicious activity around the ranch. Travis agreed that the MCAT team should come back to work, however our priority has
been to find Chambers and the RMR, and we have been centering the investigation out of Camp Larabee instead of our regular office. So far, we
have no leads on the whereabouts of Chambers or his group, and Raven is not having any more luck finding him than we are.
Tanner is still in protective custody so, he will have the time off he wanted without any question, and Orrin had some strong words for the U.S.
Attorney’s office. They wanted to put Vin and his family into seclusion, however Travis convinced them that Tanner was in the safest place
possible here on the ranch. If we don’t find Chambers soon though, I am afraid Vin might take matters into his own hands, and go after the
maniac himself to give his family the peace they deserve once and for all. It helps that he is too concerned about Kelli at the moment to even
consider it, but his patience is wearing thin. Dr. Weeks put Kel on fulltime bed rest for almost three weeks after the bomb incident, citing
excessive stress and borderline anemia as the reasons. Her blood count is back up almost to normal and she had only a few days to go to make
that critical three month mark so, Dr Weeks has taken her off total confinement, but will not even consider her returning to work. The
problem now is that Kelli is allowed to get up and move around, and it is getting increasingly difficult to keep her restricted. Vin is with her
constantly, while Raphael and Selina stay at the school all day with the kids, but the tension level in the Tanner household is growing.
I am still attending my NA meeting once a week. My goal is to reach the twelve month mark. I do not feel that I have to attend anymore
because I am positive I have my problem under control, but found that I want to. New members are coming into our group, and it makes me
feel good to know that my presence may help them reach their own objectives. It has been a year since Jack started me on this dark period of
my life, and to know that I've risen above it is something that I savor. Even though I do not know what the future may hold for me, or what
temptations it might bring along with it, I am confident in my ability to resist giving into them.
Linda and I talked to Ezra and he has agreed to represent us both in our divorce. We've made a decision to hold off making a big
announcement to the family. I'm not certain that an announcement by Linda and I will be necessary with this bunch anyway. Word usually
spreads fast enough from one person to another. Amazingly, Linda and I have been amicably communicating with one another more since we
decided to divorce, than we ever did before, and I am beginning to think we might have a few peaceful months together waiting for Cody to be
born. Gotta run, I still need to drop Grace off with Max, and pick up Nathan. It would not be good to be late for work when my temporary
office is a five minute drive from my front door.
Journal Entry ~ January 22nd~6:00am
The last three months have been rough on all of us. In spite of all our precautions, and added security measures, I know we cannot completely
stop the ugliness of the RMR from reaching us on the ranch. We have of course, faced difficult cases in our careers, but to have them hit so close
to home as the last few have is a whole new ballgame for us. I suppose I have known since the day Orrin called me into his office to discuss the
formation of MCAT that all our lives would change in one way or another. Travis warned me about the risks we would encounter, but I never
imagined the mental toll it would take on my agents or our families. Our work in law enforcement has always been dangerous, but at least we
knew the rules, could identify our adversaries, and usually it did not include personal attacks on our families as a result.
Somewhere along the way though, yesterday's common criminals have evolved with technology to become ever larger threats. We also have a
domestic breed of terrorist that have brought their war to us under the guise of freedom, and attack us from within the very heart of what we
all hold sacred. Our role under MCAT, while necessary, has altered the line between black and white. We operate in a gray area between the
two that sometimes produces more questions than answers.
Our unit has been under the gun since its inception from one source or another, and our caseload has read like a bad horror novel. Sam Reed
worked under orders to destroy MCAT, but it was strictly motivated by a quest for power and politics. Lady Ice was a paid assassin and Brad
Cleaver was a serial killer that had clearly lost touch with reality. Phillip and Rachael Deveraux allowed revenge to take over their lives. Paul
Madera was a mercenary that did what he was paid to do and Jack's reasons for coming after me were strictly personal. Victor Donner was a
monster that preyed on innocent children and believed he was above the law. He made it his business to try to destroy us and damn near
succeeded. Yet in the end, he succumbed to his own greed and ego. We were battered all to hell, but we survived, and even though I could not
condone any of their reason for breaking the laws, I could understand their motivations.
Karl Chambers and men like him are another matter completely. Hate groups are not motivated by reason; they are obsessed by convictions
that are intent on destroying the very principles on which we base our laws. Equal justice under the law is something they do not recognize. To
white supremacists, and armed militias, our rules do not apply to them, nor does the authority of our government. We are the enemy and
anything goes. They bomb our Federal buildings; kill innocent civilians for the color of their skin, spread hatred, and disregard our laws. They
are not afraid to die for their cause and have no conscience when it comes to taking a life.
When Chambers sends his soldiers out with the intent to harm members of our family, he crosses a line, and whether we like it or not he drags
MCAT into that gray area between strict adherence to the rule of law, and our personal right to protect ourselves from the evil he has injected
into our lives. MCAT will undeniably be facing more of the Karl Chambers of the world in the future. If we allow men like him to succeed with
their threats against our families, and make us question the principles we live by, they win. Somewhere in that middle ground is an answer for
my team. As Commander, my job is to find it, and set the course for them to follow.
Travis wants us to increase the size of the unit. My intention is to convince him that to meet the objectives that are expected of us, it is the
wrong direction to go at this time. The old standards of operation will not work for MCAT, and bigger is not always better. We must
definitively define our perimeters within our new configuration as an independent agency, and carefully plan the most efficient way to get the
job done without jeopardizing the well-being of my agents. Later this morning I will meet with Orrin to lay out my recommendations
Journal Entry ~February 23 ~midnight
Today has been a day to remember. I made it through my ‘trial by fire’, and I am finally free of the last string that bound me to California.
Travis withdrew my probation, and I am one hundred percent back in control of my unit. I know it was just a formality, but I felt the weight of
the world lift off my shoulders when Orrin handed me that folder. I am back in total control of my life, admittedly, it is a slightly different one
than I first imagined it would be, but I have no complaints.
Linda and I have managed to reach a level of understanding. It’s almost like living with a part-time girlfriend. We keep separate rooms, but
when the mood strikes, we have a few hours of wild sex, and then return to our separate lives. She still doesn’t take more interest in Grace, and
she shows no signs of regret about leaving once Cody is born. Linda has already begun cutting her ties to the ranch, too, and has told all the
ladies that she does not want a baby shower. She told me today that her car was shipped to Louisiana this morning, and slowly she has been
packing more of her personal items to send there within the next couple of weeks. We have come to an amicable agreement about our divorce,
and the only thing left unresolved is how long she will stay once our son is born. That is the one thing she refuses to discuss.
Vin and Kelli found out today that they are expecting boys and everything looks good. I am happy for both of them of course, but especially for
Vin. He never believed that having his own family, and planting roots was written in his destiny…he was wrong. I was watching him while the
kids replayed the video from the ultrasound and the emotions that showed on his face were truly priceless. I am pleased that Cody will have Vin’
s sons to grow up with.
I think Max said it best when she said, “Lord help us all, another generation of Larabee and Tanner men.” …I believe he already has helped… all
Journal Entry ~Sunday ~April 8th~6:00am
I was looking over some of my old entries and had to laugh when I found this one from almost two years ago…
Ezra, though, is still the stable one. Did I really just write that? His life continues to amaze and amuse me, but one of these days, he will
surprise the hell out of all of us and let his last defenses fall. When he does, some woman will be there to catch him… *
Well, he did, and she was. As Vin would say, our Ezra is taking a step into his destiny. Barbara will be a delightful addition to the Wild Bunch
and I feel confident they will make a good life together. I also believed when Ezra married it would be all formal, and by 'The Book of Protocol',
but he and Barbara decided to involve the entire family, throwing the book out the window. They are building a home here, and bringing Reins
of Change to the ranch.
Change seems appropriate, because that is exactly what is happening around here. Buck and Vin have built a great tree house for Jason and
Caleb, but there are no girls allowed of course. They have even reserved a place for Adam, Terrell, Cody, and the Tanner twins. Vin has almost
run out of building projects since he completed the corral and barn close to his house, and has offered to help with the equine center.
Construction began last week, and if the weather cooperates, Reins of Change will be up and running by September.
Cody’s room is finished, and we almost have the twins nursery completed. Linda and I only have a few short weeks to go before our son is born,
and then…our time is finished. It has been surprisingly pleasant between us, since we decided to go our separate ways, proving that we are
better lovers than husband and wife. I do wish her well, and maybe someday Linda will find what she is looking for. Grace and Cody will be
keeping me busy, and as of now, I have no other plans except to be the best Dad I can be to them.
Do I have regrets? Yes. I wish we could have found a way past the obstacles we managed to throw in our path. Can I live with the failure of
our marriage? Yes, because I don’t think it was a complete failure. We have both resolved issues that were holding us back; we are moving on,
reasonably intact and ready to face our separate futures. That in itself is a success. Our children are an extra bonus for me, one I will never
take for granted.
As for me personally, I made it through a dark period in my life, and have managed to come out of it stronger than I was before. I am
surrounded by the strength and love of my family, and I know I will never go back to that hellish place. My brothers and I are on solid ground,
and no matter what the future may bring, we will face it together. A man can’t ask for more than that.
Guess I should close now, as groomsman I have to make sure Ezra is ready for today, and that his best man doesn’t get cold feet about wearing
the monkey suit.
Journal Entry ~ Sunday ~ May 20th ~Midnight
Adam Sanchez turned two-years-old today. How in the hell do these kids grow so fast? It seems like only yesterday when Josiah announced he
and Mallory were expecting again, and now… A lot has happened in two years, some good, some not so good, but one thing has not
changed…Time moves on, whether we want it to or not.
We have had a lot to be thankful for this month. Most importantly, we survived an attempt on Vin’s life at the courthouse, and no one was
seriously injured. Ezra and Barbara moved into their new home and building began on Reins for Change. I received my nine month coin from
my NA meeting yesterday, and in another week or two my son will be arriving. We made it through Vin and Kelli’s anniversary, Tanner’s
birthday, and MCAT’S second year. Travis conceded to my recommendation, and did not insist on hosting a big celebration. Instead, we have
focused on monitoring all known members of the RMR and security for Tanner and Jackson, along with their families.
The last two weeks have been an exercise in frustration for our team though. Our shooter seems to have vanished into thin air, and we are no
closer to ending this nightmare. For every man we take into custody another one climbs out of the woodwork to take his place. We are keeping
the U.S. Attorneys busy though. As of the last Friday, we have arrested thirty-seven militia members, and have a good case against each of them.
Karl’s attorney is still playing games and it looks as if his trial won’t begin until late August. We had hoped to have this over and done with
before school started again, but the children might have to continue being home schooled a little longer.
Realistically, I suppose we could all give up the dangerous, sometimes nerve-racking, work of law enforcement, and concentrate on raising
horses. It would certainly be safer for our families, but none of us would even consider doing that, at least not for a few more years. The work
we do is essential, and keeping MCAT operating with the best available team is too important. The world we live in makes fighting major crime
and acts of terrorism a necessity and as long as evil tries to attack us, we need to be there to stop it, or at the very least slow it down. We have
to have faith, and trust in fate to lead us safely through.
Journal Entry ~June 3rd ~ 5:00am
This is the first opportunity I have had to sit down and write since Cody was born. Not that I am complaining, but it has been a hectic week of
adjustments around here. Linda has been gone seven days and no one has heard a word from her, not even Matt. I know I could probably track
her down if I wanted to, but I am going to respect her decision as to how she handled her departure. In retrospect, I can see where she had her
disappearance planned down to the last detail. I supposed I should not have been surprised, no matter how good the last few months have been
for us, Linda was still Linda. She made her exit her way, and I should have seen it coming.
Expect the unexpected. She warned me when we meet, but I thought it was all about being spontaneous and found it endearing…at first. There
is nothing wrong with being impulsive, but there are limits, and unfortunately, Linda never found those boundaries. While I could never do
what she has done, she made her choice freely, and I wish her well. Ezra has filed our divorce petition, and now all that is left for me to do, is to
wait for it to become final.
Bringing Cody home was bittersweet. It marked the ending of my marriage, but the beginning of my future. Having him with Grace and me
has completed a journey I thought I could never finish after Sarah and Adam died. When I look at my newborn son, I swear I can feel their
presence, surrounding us with love. I believe that Grace, Cody, and I have two special guardian angels to watch over us.
Uncle Matt has been here every day, getting to know his nephew, and letting Grace know he plans to be a big part of her life. I honestly have no
problem with him being here for the children, and I am making room for him in their lives. Finding Dottie Morris as a caregiver for the kids has
been a godsend for me, too. She is great with the children. Grace already loves her, and Cody will, as he gets older
Today is Grace’s birthday party, and the entire Wild Bunch will attend, along with her Uncle Matt. So far, she has not shown any reaction to her
mother being gone, but I'll deal with it if she does. All I want is for today to be great for her, and then we will take the future, one day at a time.
I hear Cody, and he sounds like he is ready for breakfast, so I'll close now
Journal Entry ~July 1st ~10: 00pm
Linda has been gone for a month and it has not been as difficult as I expected to adjust. Truthfully, Grace, Cody, meetings, and work keep me so
busy I have not had much time to dwell on the failure of our marriage. While Grace has been the light in my life, Cody is the wind that fills my
sails. Each time I look into the beautiful faces of my babies my heart fills with so much love it feels as if it will burst. They are the most
wonderful gifts a man could ask for in this life. Dottie is great with both children and I feel confident that we are going to do just fine.
It would be easy to use my dwindling time as an excuse to quit going to my NA meetings, but I won’t. I go not because I feel I need to, but
because I made a commitment to myself to see this through and I intend to do just that. As much as I would like to erase that part of my life
with Jack and the pills, it makes up who I am, and has shaped my future whether I wanted it to or not. Attending the meetings keeps me
focused on what is important in my life, and how fragile it really is. In the blink of an eye, we can lose what we hold most precious through no
fault of our own. It is how we handle it and move forward that determine our destiny. We can wallow in our misfortune or take a stand to
become stronger. I chose to make a stand to hold on to life’s most precious treasures, and have come through it all a better man.
Today Inez had a big blowout birthday party for Caleb and Buck since his birthday was yesterday. I was not here when Caleb joined their family,
but seeing him today, you would think he had always been a part of their lives. He has thrived under their love and protection, and his sisters
adore their big brother. Not to mention that Caleb and Jason are closer than some biological kin I have seen, but then I should know better
than most that the brothers we choose are the miracles in our lives.
Kelli is fourteen days away from her due date and has been experiencing false labor for the last two weeks. I am not sure who is more on edge,
her, or Vin. Dr Weeks is very satisfied that she has carried the twins over thirty-eight weeks, especially considering that she has estimated each
of them to be over seven pounds in weight. Vin wants to take an active part in the delivery and if all goes well he might have the chance to do
so. Kelli is just tired, and I believe more than ready to deliver anytime the boys decide to make an entrance. Buck says they are waiting for my
birthday, if that’s so, we’ll know in six more days.
I know it will be a relief to all of us to see those babies safely delivered. With all that’s happened, and the bomb scare at the hospital when Cody
was born, I am not the only one concerned. Thank God, JD was alert or we could have had a major disaster. Tomorrow Vin has to be back in
court, and I hope this is the last time before the trial. We still have not found anyone other than Karl who could be directing the activities of the
militia, but we will not give up the search. We have too much riding on the outcome.
Journal entry ~ Saturday~ August ~11th ~6:00am
The Wild Bunch has grown by more than a couple of members over the past two years. Some of them were born into the family, while others
were brought in by other means. Amid all the chaos that our cases have caused in our lives, the family celebrated four weddings, including Kelli
and Vin's, Ezra and Barbara's, Max and Walter's, and of course ,mine and Linda's. Andi, Jason, Caleb, and now Ronesha have been adopted into
the family. We had nine babies born into this Wild Bunch of ours, starting with Adam, Lilah, Daisy, and Terrell, and then Grace, Tannis, Cody,
Bren, and Trey. These births were joyous occasions that helped us all continue to strive, and to hold tight what we all held so dear. They also
saw us through the times when we each wondered if what we were going through was worth it at all.
Personally, the last two years have been both hardest and yet the best for me since Sarah and Adam died. On the plus side I married again,
found a daughter I never knew I had, and saw the birth of two more of my children. MCAT was formed and I was given command of one of the
finest group of agents ever assembled.
On the minus side, I was injured more than once, forced into a drug addiction by a brother I had not seen in almost twenty five years, became
addicted to prescription drugs, and turned on my team and family. I saw our offices blown all to hell, and thought I had lost my brothers
forever. My marriage ended in divorce, and Linda is now out of my life.
I did however gain full custody of our children, went into the NA program, and found my way home. September first will mark one year of
sobriety for me, and there will be a small recognition ceremony where I will receive my one year coin. Colonel Mike will be there, but I don't
plan to make any announcement to the family. To me it is a personal triumph of achievement that has given me back control of my life.
It has been almost a year since our first MCAT office was attacked, and it has been a stressful twelve months. I have decided it's time for the
seven of us to regroup. I cannot remember the last time my brothers and I have had an opportunity to spend time away from the ranch,
without our families or outside of work. All of us need to be together to reinforce the bonds we formed so many years ago. Buck, Nathan, JD,
and Ezra agree. Josiah feels we need not only to strengthen our bonds of brotherhood, but also take time to evaluate the changes in our lives
brought on by MCAT and the cases that have challenged us over the last two years. We need to talk about where we are and more importantly,
where we are going from here.
I have made arrangements for us to spend next weekend at a mountain retreat not far from here. The only problem is that Vin will not
commit to being there. I know something is weighing on Vin’s mind, and I had been waiting for him to talk to me about it. Whatever it is,
Tanner is not sharing his thoughts on it, and my patience is coming to an end. Today I hope to find out why Vin has been avoiding his brothers,
and more specifically me, not so much by his physical presence, but mentally.
Journal Entry ~ September 1st ~ 10:00am
Having our retreat on the one year anniversary of the attack on MCAT was good timing. It turned out so well we all stayed an extra day. We
were able to put the bad dealings of the last year behind us and strengthen our bonds of brotherhood. Did we solve all the problems we are
facing? No, but I believe we left that cabin better men, husbands, and fathers. I know we left there firm in the certainty that none of us will
ever walk this path alone. I am not convinced, however, that we have heard the last of the RMR, but it will take them a while to reorganize, and
for new leadership to surface. Until then we move on with our lives and stay vigilant
Things seem to be getting back to normal around Larabee 7, or as normal as it gets. Barbara and Ezra have worked hard to help Caitlyn get
Reins of Change into operation and her first kids are due out here in two weeks. Everyone is looking forward to helping and being a part of
something that such can make a difference in a child's future. The first week of October, Ezra and Barbara Standish are leaving for Italy to
visit with Maude and meet her new husband. I think that visiting Ezra's mother is only an excuse that Standish cooked up in order for him to
spend some quality time alone with his bride. What better way than to do that, than taking a real long honeymoon in Rome. I cannot think of
two people who deserve it more, and I was glad that I could approve four weeks of vacation time for Ezra.
Nettie's birthday was last week. JD and Casey were able to fulfill a lifelong dream of hers by giving that fine lady the gift of a trip to Paris.
Casey and the girls accompanied her, and JD put them on a plane to France yesterday morning. He used work as an excuse for not going, but I
believe he wanted Casey to be able to spend time with the woman that had put her life on hold to raise her after her parents were killed. Casey
will be going to work soon with Caitlyn, and JD knew that time was getting shorter for his wife to enjoy the special moments in Nettle's life. He
figured he and Casey would have plenty of opportunities in the years to come to make a trip like that for just the two of them. This was the
time for Casey to make some treasured memories with her beloved aunt.
Mallory has found her place on JD's team and she has proven to be an asset for the unit. As much as she loves her children, she loves being able
to contribute to our ongoing fight for justice. She and Josiah have found the right balance between work and family. While Joanne is in school,
Adam plays with Terrell and Ronesha under Rain's watchful eye. Nathan and Rain will be in court next week to finalize Ronesha's adoption and
with Dr. Jackson working so close to home, they will have plenty of time to enjoy their babies.
Inez likes working at home instead of leaving two days a week to work at the Standish Tavern. Ezra arranged for her to take care of the
Tavern's paperwork while she does the accounting for Caitlyn's Reins of Change. Even with Caleb and Sarah in school, Maria and Tannis keep
her and Buck busy as beavers. Buck enjoys his family life as much as I do and our working schedules make the times we get to spend with them
even more special
Mila is now working Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Tanner's, Monday, and Wednesday at the Sanchez home and Fridays belong to the
Jackson's. Max is anxious for Kelli to return to work so she can keep the twins fulltime, but my daughter plans to take every day of her leave to
spend with her children, and she won't be back to work until October 5th.Vin has reluctantly agreed to return next week. He has spent every
available minute with Bren, Trey, Jason, Andi, and Kelli over the last few weeks and has turned into quite the family man himself. It was
difficult for him when Andi joined her brother for the first day of school. He said they just grow up too damn fast. Considering how Vin and
Kelli feel about kids though, and the importance of good foster care, I expect there will be children in the Tanner home for years to come.
I still have not heard one word from Linda, and our divorce will be final on the 15th of September. It really does not surprise me that she has
not contacted me, but I thought she would at least check in on the children. I was wrong. It's okay though; Grace and Cody fill my life with joy.
I treasure every day with them. Like Vin said, they grow up too damn fast.
Today marks one year of sobriety for me, and there will be a small recognition ceremony later this afternoon where I will receive my one year
coin. Colonel Tai will be there, but I don't plan to make any announcement to the family. To me it is a personal triumph of achievement that
has given me back control of my life.