Yesterday...an opportunity to see and hug my son for the first time this year. It was good to see him. His eyes were clear and his complexion was glowing. I had expected to see him emaciated with all the weight that he had said he lost and somewhat thinking that he might looked bruised and abused because of the past allegations. Turns out....time has passed and wounds have healed and more food has been consumed.
We had good, interesting conversations and the time did pass relatively quickly.....something that I wonder about at times because we don't always connect in comfortable ways.
The biggest change that i saw in him this time was his maturity....he no longer looks like my boy and he's definitely a man now. Also, the last time that I had visited him in a prison setting.....back in 2008....he still looked innocent and seemed to need protection. Back then I could see the fear of him being there and I saw a broken down boy....but much time and experiences have occurred since that time and he definitely does not look innocent anymore and if he is experiencing fear, it doesn't show.
Just before we left, he found the time to ask for money to be put in his commissary. I explained that my boundaries does not allow me to provide him with money but that Christmas was not that far away and he can look forward to a bit of money then. He seemed to accept that and resigned to go without. I, on the other hand, felt pretty good about being able to say no without feeling the usual pangs that would grab me in the past and I have no regret for saying no either.
All in all the personal connections were warm and inviting.....the facility on the other hand could use some help. I hate the fact that when I go there, I have to go through a rigorous patting down search, go through a metal detector and finger prints verified....all along waiting in lines in less than acceptable 'waiting room'. The bathroom was a joke....with opened doors sans locks, no papers in all of the stalls, no hot water for washing hands and no paper nor air for drying hands.....though the place smelled like bleach.....go figure.
It was our first time at that particular facility and the usual requirements as to what you are allowed to bring in are the same....a key for the car, a photo i-d card and no more than 50.00 in cash. At first I wondered who would spend that much money while visiting an inmate....then I got my answer. It turned out that we were there at lunch time and they supply ready made sandwiches (from Ohio!) LOL and several snacks, water, soda, candy, chips etc.....I couldn't believe how much my son could consumed while we were there...most of these items are not provided for food consumptions but are available if you have money in the commissary. Oh well, he got his fill for the time being.
He anticipates being moved to another facility....so we'll get to find out about yet another one, hopefully it will be a bit closer to our home as the 6 hours drive was a drain and when we returned we were exhausted.
So for now, we'll continue to exchange letters and accept his collect call once a week. More will be revealed.