Visiting Days

I’ve been thinking about something that I am very surprised to be in my consciousness after so very long.

From late 2015 to mid 2018 my two youngest and I, and occasionally my older kids, would make a road trip to FMC Carswell from Tulsa to visit my wife (now ex and my youngest kids mom). 305 miles, and 5 hours each way. We were up and out the door by 4 AM, arrive there by about 9am, spend the day together until 3pm, and then get back on the road for the trip home. Twice a month.

It was a difficult time for all of us BUT for some strange reason, and I mean strange, it’s a time I am thinking of somewhat fondly of late.

Maybe it’s because it became so ingrained in our routine, maybe it’s because it felt good to be missed, appreciated, and loved, maybe it’s because we knew we were helping someone we care/cared about. Maybe it’s because that despite everything that had transpired we were needed to help someone thru a miserable time in their life.

Maybe too it was the bonding experience my kids and I shared; the breakfasts at Waffle House, driving down I-35 in the pitch black, the arguments over who got the back seat, a particular song just right for the moment, the vending machine lunches at Carswell, burgers at In-n-Out or answering the kids questions on the way home.

Having been on both sides of the equation, incarcerated spouse, and also incarcerated, I have no doubt that in many, many ways it’s harder on the families waiting for their loved one to return home.

So if you haven’t yet served your time please remember this: visiting day is as much about your family as it is about you. When you are on the inside visiting day can be a pain in the butt, don’t make them regret they made their effort, be forever grateful they made the journey.

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