Shelley, Bryan and Tony Myers have lived most of their lives with their father incarcerated inside the walls of Maryland state penitentiaries.
For that same period of time - more than 30 years - Dale Abbott, Dana Gigliotti, Kimberly Lyn Nace and Duane Abbott have lived without their mother. Mary Ruth Myers was found dead in her home Aug. 30, 1979, shot nine times.
Robert Lee "Bobby" Myers, a former Westminster businessman, was found guilty in 1982 in the murder-for-hire plot to kill his wife, Mary Ruth.
The murder forever altered the lives of the children of Bobby and Mary Ruth, who are the offspring from separate marriages each had before they wed.
Bobby was sentenced to life imprisonment following his conviction and has remained in prison.
Now 71, Bobby has been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. He can barely speak, his family says. When he does, it's one or two words at a time in a whisper.
Bryan, 45, Tony, 42, and Shelley, 50, have been holding out hope that their father would be medically paroled and allowed to live at home for his remaining days.
The three maintain their father's innocence and believe the person guilty of the crime is Tina Myers, Bobby's mistress who introduced him to the hitman, Daniel Chadderton.
"I know we're not going to get the last 34 years back and I know that we're not going to get our dad back at this stage. He's pretty much laying in bed and can't do anything," Tony said.
"So what we've asked - and been asking - is can we please have him home for a couple of weeks before he passes?"
Gigliotti, 55, said she and her siblings, Dale, 57, Kimberly, 50, and Duane, 48, wish only the best for Myers' children, but they are against his release.
"We cannot begin to convey the anguish, anger and inconsolable pain caused by such a senseless and selfish act," the family wrote in a prepared statement submitted to the Times.
"We do not know nor do we care to know the mental or physical state of Robert Myers," the statement reads.
"We do know that when he was found to be of sound mind and body, he had no empathy or compassion for our mother; no compassion or empathy for her children; no compassion or empathy for her siblings; no compassion or empathy for her mother and no compassion or empathy for her yet to be born 10 grandchildren or her great grandchild."
The Myers children thought they were getting their father back two months ago when a representative from the governor's office called Tony and told him his father was being paroled.
Tony remembers the exact moment he received the phone call he had waited 34 years for. He was walking in a Walmart parking lot.
"I just screamed, it was elation, 'Oh my God, I get my dad,'" Tony said.
That elation evaporated when a subsequent call came weeks later. Tony said he was told the governor had removed his signature from his father's pardon documents.
Gov. Martin O'Malley denied Myers' request for medical parole on Sept. 11, according to Dori Henry, a spokeswoman with the governor's office.
The only information made public regarding Myers' parole request is the decision, Henry said.
Executive communications of an advisory or deliberative nature are confidential, said Bill Toohey, director of communications for the Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention.
Tony said he was in disbelief when he heard the news.
"I couldn't accept it," he said. "What do you mean no? You already said yes."
According to Tony, he was told the governor denied the request after Pennsylvania officials refused to supervise Myers' parole, and after statements were received by the governor's office from Mary Ruth's family.
"The governor has the authority to approve parole for people sentenced to life in prison, and this is a responsibility that he takes very seriously," Henry wrote in an emailed statement.
O'Malley reviews each case individually and carefully considers its merits, Henry said.
"Protecting public safety is the governor's most important job and plays a critical role in his decision-making process," Henry said.
The governor also weighs the institutional history and progress of the inmate, the inmate's role in the crime, the risk of recidivism, victim input and the acceptance of responsibility, according to Henry.
Mary Ruth's children believe Myers belongs in prison.
"He was convicted of murder by a jury of his peers and sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison," their statement reads. "The jury did not decide on imprisonment until he's not feeling well."
Bryan Myers is a member of the U.S. Army. He wants his father to pass in peace, outside of the prison system, surrounded by loved ones.
"One day he's just not going to wake up, in this four-bedroom room that he shares with the sick, coughing, hacking prisoners that come in and out on a rotating basis," Bryan said.
"Why is Maryland keeping someone like this in there, why are we paying? Why are we funding something that his family would do for free?"
"He was given a life sentence with parole," Bryan said. "He wasn't sentenced to life without parole or the gas chamber, so to be a stage 4 cancer diagnosis, to have that, and to keep him in there, and not give him medical parole is the current injustice."
Bryan still keeps fond memories of his father. He was 13 years old when Mary Ruth was murdered.
He remembers getting a battery-powered car for Christmas, and sitting on his father's lap drinking sodas at his office.
To the Myers children, their father is an innocent man behind bars and they are still hoping he will be able to take his last breath outside of prison, at home, with them.
Mary Ruth's children will never have their mother back.