Sunday, December 9, 2018

Escaped from Dannemora!

Last month, the real life drama that unfolded in Upstate New York became a Showtime mini-series, Escape at Dannemora. Meanwhile, my husband sat at Clinton Correctional Facility, where these events (and some on-location filming) actually took place. He waited to be transferred somewhere, anywhere else, but expected to go to a medium security prison and hopefully be closer to home, at least in proximity. 

Having visited that prison for the last two years, I can see why someone would want to escape it. I wrote about how it made me feel to be there and can only imagine what it must be like behind it's great wall. My husband never looked well while he was there. He actually suffered an injury on his index finger and never received the proper treatment despite asking for medical assistance numerous times. He was left to treat his finger on his own and months later it is still not back to normal. 

A couple of weeks ago, my husband asked me to call Albany to find out the status of his transfer. He had written to his counselor but got no answer. I suggested having his attorney call, so after explaining the situation to her, she thought she might call the counselor first. She did and told me that his transfer had been approved to go to a medium security (as we hoped) as soon as a space became available. Awesome! Now, it was a matter of waiting. Unbelievable, though, that it took his attorney  calling to find out that he was actually approved... he should have had that information. 

Last Sunday, four days after that phone call, I received a call of my own. It was one of my husband's prison-mates. As I heard the unfamiliar voice telling me he was calling on his behalf, I held my breath. My mind went in different directions... oh no! Is he in the box? Dang, this close to transferring!!! NO... he's gone, that's what! Wait, could he be hurt? And in a flash, I heard the words "he's on the draft!" then he said, "he wanted me to tell you that he loves you!" I hung up the phone and felt... relieved! He's escaped Dannemora. 

My husband was on his way to a medium security prison, closer to home. I couldn't wait. He left the facility on Monday morning and arrived near Attica on Tuesday afternoon. All the while he was shackled. "Even when you slept?," I asked him. "Yup," he replied. He told me of his long journey. Then landing at a facility that he did not ask for. This one doesn't have Family Reunion Program, which means we may not have family visits, perhaps for the rest of his time. But I'm unconcerned! He's only one hour away... ONE!!! 

Yesterday, after helping run a Breakfast with Santa event at my school, I jumped in my car and headed to see my husband. I had a package ready for him and a change of clothes (since I was in my Elf dress, not visiting floor friendly), so I was all set! Before I knew it, I was upon his new spot... and I felt the familiar butterflies in my stomach. 

After walking with two heavy bags, then having to run back to my car because I forgot to take off my Apple watch... I was in! My husband made his appearance after I sat in the unfamiliar visiting room for a while. During which time I watched the families and noticed their casual interactions, perhaps unaware of how lucky they are to be in such a relaxed environment. I wondered how many of them had ever visited the horror that is a prison like Clinton (Dannemora). I greeted my husband, so happy to see him!

My husband already looks more like himself and less like the stressed out person I last saw just a month ago. He proudly announced that he had ironed his polo, adding "they let us use irons here!" The smile on his face was so big, it reminded me of a small child on Christmas morning! After the last four years, being so far apart, having struggled so much to keep it together... I can only hope that this home stretch will be the respite I have been praying for. 

No comments:

Post a Comment