Monday, June 5, 2017

Visitation and cliches

I have received quite an education during my years as a Prison Wife. Each visit is a lesson, an experience added to my collection. Some cliche sayings come to mind as they relate to visitation. I guess you can say that I've had some time to make the connections...

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst- It's surprising to see the reasons why some people are denied visitation. The best way to increase your chances is to be prepared. For example, having extra clothing and identification documents in case they (correctional officers) give you a hard time. Getting in is a lot of work!

Count your blessings- As sad as it may seem to the average person, for me, sitting at a table having a conversation with my husband feels amazing. Spending time with the one I love, especially when we are both feeling so disconnected, is such a blessing! Sometimes all I need is to hold his hand, to feel his energy.

The best things in life are free- Agreed! I couldn't put a price on the feeling I get when I see him walking towards me. Butterflies in my stomach and all. For a brief moment, we are the only people in the room. I am reminded of how rich we are to have the kind of love that transcends walls and time.

When it rains, it pours- See my previous post!

Laughter is the best medicine- I can count the times I have cried during a visit. We do laugh a whole lot, though. We reminisce about old times and laugh about the crazy things that happen on a daily basis. Laughter has always bound us. It has carried us through the darkest of times. We always have something to laugh about, and everything feels better!

A picture is worth a thousand words- Not too many people appreciate the value of a picture more than those with loved ones on the "inside." As I walk away from the visiting room (also known as the 'dancefloor') I often take away little more than some new memories and if I'm lucky, a picture from the visit. That picture, usually taken in front on an unfortunate-looking background, is proof of the human being I just left behind, that he exists. It's the only (full)family photo my kids have; a Polaroid, a throwback that speaks to time standing still for so many people.

Out of sight out of mind- This is what comes to my mind when he asks me, "have you heard from anyone?" I shake my head no, knowing he feels forgotten by most people. I try to explain how busy everyone is, so on and so forth. He says he understands, but knowing him the way I do, it hurts him. 

When the going gets tough, the tough get going- I didn't know my own strength until I had to be strong for my husband's sake. If the system had its way, I would never visit him. I hate how degrading the process can be, how officers treat visitors and inmates alike. I'm almost certain the Department of Corrections strives to push families away. They weren't counting on Prison Wives' resiliency. 

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