Swimming Lessons

April 13, 2013
It's been two weeks since my son was incarcerated.  Since then, we've learned to tread water in the judicial system of our state.  We've hired an attorney, our life raft, and we've discovered that the word "strict" doesn't cover what a level 5 correctional institution is.

Once we learned that we had to have phone accounts with at least $25 deposited in them for him to call us, his dad and I have each received several calls.  It seems our son is learning to swim in this new murky water too.

And once I learned that he had to buy his own socks, deodorant, and the like, I followed the directions about depositing money into his commissary account.  This "order" gets filled weekly, every Sunday.  Last Sunday, there was a mistake with his order. So he's been handwashing his one pair of socks for the past 14 days.  He's written us letters that he cannot mail because his commissary order for stamps and envelopes was not filled.
He's not permitted to be mailed anything but letters and money orders (for the commissary).  Ironic?  And he's lost 15 pounds.

While all of this may sound like he's miserable, and he most likely is, he maintains a remarkably hopeful attitude when he calls me.  He says "I love you" at least five times per call.  In fact, in the past 14 days, I've spoken more to my son than I have in the past year.

His sunny mood when he calls reminds me of all the beautiful summer days we spent at the beach over the years.  He loved to body surf.  He didn't use a boogie board or any sort of raft.  He wanted to do it alone.  And he was good at it.  Thank God for that.  Because now he is alone.  Swimming in murky water facing waves that may engulf him or that may bring him safely to shore.  He doesn't know and neither do we.

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