Last weekend, Sprout and I went to visit her Papa in prison. I know I haven't much talked about his arrest and the experiences following it. There's not a lot to say - he was arrested, he had to use a public defender who was more interested in getting rid of the case than actually defending, who lied to Someone about what he would ask for regarding leniency, sentencing, and where Someone would serve his time if Someone would just plead guilty instead of taking it to trial. Someone pleaded guilty and the defender said NOTHING to the judge, simply accepted the full sentence from the prosecutor. He didn't ask for any of the things he said he would.
I am, perhaps, a little bitter about that.
Someone was finally sent to his "permanent" facility, where he will be until next April. Sprout and I hadn't seen him since last December, and we hadn't had physical contact since October.
All this time we have been waiting to be told we may visit. I filled out 14 pages of paper work - that's 7 pages two time, since they said they never got the forms the first time. Someone hounded every officer and official he could find inside the facility, begging to see his family.
Last week, on Friday, we finally found out we could go see him. At the last minute, on a shoestring budget largely funded by my mother, we drove four hours, checked into a motel, and went to see Someone. Contact visit!
Sprout launched herself across the room and clung to him, hugging him close and fierce. She kissed him. Throughout the two visit periods (up to 5 hours Saturday afternoon, and again on Sunday morning), she patted his face, held his hand, kissed him, hugged him, stared at him, smiled at him, leaned on him, played with his shorn head and his cold hands, shared cookies and chips from the vending machine with him, and generally orbited him like a sweet little moon.
I got to kiss him, and hug him, and occasionally, surreptitiously, hold his hand. We're not supposed to have that much contact, but it seems the guards are marvelously near-sighted as long as folks don't get too out of hand. They also seem to be especially understanding of children wanting to love on their family members. I appreciate the leniency - we are touchy folk, tactile.
I didn't realize how fully I missed Someone until I was there, looking into his eyes, touching him. I felt shy, awkward, as if we were meeting for the first time all over again. There was a place in me that was empty, a place that is only filled when we can touch, share light and air and space. I think he felt the same way. The place in me where he should be was dark, and I had been having difficulty seeing him in my mind. That part of me is a little renewed, a little refreshed. My gauge isn't on empty any more.
Leaving my home and going all that way, going through what we have to go through to see him, wasn't easy. My psyche doesn't like it one little bit. I told Someone that I will do things for him and for the kids that I would never do for myself - they make me brave in a way I don't think I would be if it was just me. Left to my own devices, I'd stay in bed most of the time and never hit a lick at a snake. I'd hide from the world, hide from the light, try to hide from myself.
I've never been as good at doing for myself as I am at doing for others.
Despite having been out in the world every day this week, I'm taking Sprout back down to see Someone this weekend. We'll go whenever we can, when we have the time and finances. It will help us speed the time until he finally comes home.
Until then, I'll be worried about him, about his safety, his well-being. I'll be lonely. I'll struggle with everything and want to give up, but I will keep on keeping on because he needs a home to come home to.