Now I could see the light at the end of the tunnel, and it wasn’t a train! Only a matter of days till I returned to society as a semi-free man, still bound by restrictions though much freer than I am now. Four and a wake up as we say in here. I vowed to kiss the ground when I left as a gesture of enjoying the freedom of life outside corrections.
I had decided to give most of my stuff, clothes and everything but my Bible, radio, headset and a couple of other things away to some guys who had nothing. I would take advantage of the generous State offer of brown khaki’s and a white shirt for my trip home as well as practicing my being non-attached to things. True, many would see me and know where I came from because of the clothes, but many would not. Besides, my giving would help more people than my taking all that stuff home. This way I would be down to one bag, and that would only be half full with State issue boxers, t-shirts, socks and my other personal items. And of course the $ 40.00 the State gives you when you leave.
A friend from the church I used to attend on the outside had graciously offered to pick me up thereby saving me the long bus ride into Rochester. He promised we could stop along the way and get real eggs, bacon, cinnamon raisin toast and home fries, you know, a real breakfast, not the powdered eggs, no bacon and lousy white bread I had suffered through for almost five years. Then he would take me to parole and finally, the shelter, my new home for awhile. After that, who knows what I will be doing and if I continue to utilize the talents God has given me.
So I had something to look forward to even if it wasn’t what I really wanted. I basically was getting what I deserved I felt. After what I had done I was fortunate that anyone from my past life, especially my wife, was even talking to me. My son was very supportive, but he was living and working in New York City. My daughter was also very supportive, but was living and working at a mission in England for the past year and a half. Some friends had not wanted to have me contact them but most were still wanting a relationship. So I had plenty of opportunity to practice being non-resistant, even if I wasn’t very good at it much of the time.
In actuality I was in a deep depression. I knew things with my wife were bad, but I held hope of reconnecting when I got out. I knew it would be an uphill battle and would take time, especially because many of our differences had been highlighted the last couple of years. But she had made it clear we would not be reconciling. I thought once I was outside, I might have a chance, even though there were obstacles.
For one, my faith and beliefs were far different from when I first came in, and thus from hers. That would be a problem, as my guide book tells me in 2 Corinthians 6 v14 not to be unevenly yoked. She had made it clear on numerous occasions that I was too conservative in my views for her taste. Interestingly enough, others from the outside had made similar statements, even some so called Christians.
I had made financial plans to keep her in our house and my daughter in college when I came inside. Fortunately, both had worked out. But I knew the cost of having to not only parent all alone but handle the day to day issues had taken a huge toll on her as it would most any spouse of a incarcerated guy. So she had changed in some ways, gotten tougher as she had to do, almost like some of the inmates had done in here during their time. It was always said the ones on the outside do the time with you, and so she had.
Then there was the trust issue. I had broken all forms of trust with her with my many actions and offenses. From her statements, as well as her actions of not wanting me to parole to our home, she made it clear opportunities to build it back would not happen because she was not a willing participant.
So the last few days became a blur not only because I was thinking of getting out, but because of a phone call on 11/11/11. a Saturday night I will never forget as long as I live. Maybe those numbers were satanic. Whatever, it started me down into that deep depression.
I had played basketball and done really well and returned to the dorm feeling great. My shower was satisfying and I was next in line for the phone to call home, something that was difficult to do with over 30 guys and two phones. Fortunately they were in large booths which were more like closets with doors, so they were really private. Little did I know how I would need it.
My turn came late, well after the 10:00 count, but I was still feeling good, hoping I might use this one last time to change her mind on things, at least letting me stay in our 2800 square foot home somewhere until I could get an apartment or room elsewhere. The conversation was civil at least, until we were about to finish. It was then I heard someone in the background at our home. When I inquired, she told me who was there. She seemed very comfortable with this. They had just finished dinner and were getting ready to retire when I called. I was in shock and didn’t know what to say at first. I had long thought she had a boy friend, but friends and even relatives said no. Well, it now seemed they were wrong.
Regardless, I was devastated. It appeared she had been with him for some time, probably about the time she removed her wedding band I reasoned. In reality, when I meditated on it later that night, it was probably just how she felt when I shocked her with my betrayal of her. I could think of little else. Fortunately the classes were boring and didn’t require much action on my part which was good as I couldn’t concentrate anyway.
I remember crying and begging her not to go upstairs with him but to no avail. She was very matter of fact and simply responded this is how it was now. I am not sure how I ended the call, but someone was knocking on the door for their turn so I had to exit.
The main lights were off in the dorm fortunately as I made my way to bed. No sleep for me as my mind replayed the phone call all night long. I bounced back and forth between self pity, shame and guilt. The ripples of my offenses were still being felt in all our lives. And I certainly was not being non-judgmental.
For the next couple of days I existed in a fog. Further attempts to contact her went unanswered. I knew she was soon going away for work for a few days out of town and I wouldn’t be able to contact her. I wondered if he accompanied her or not. Truthfully, my mind played several games with me despite my attempts at prayer and meditation in scripture. It was not like I could talk to anyone here about it, and God was already aware of things – even the outcome. So I prayed and cried to him for mercy and help in still processing this whole train wreck. Only He knew what would happen after I got out and years to come, so I prayed for the wisdom to continue being faithful and holy, and ultimately after a couple of days, for His will to be done, no matter how difficult it would be for me to accept.
I still had so many inside corrections to work on, and this presented a huge one. The only thing I could do, the only thing I had to do, was to prepare for life outside corrections. Prison and marriage. I struggled with them both for the last four and two third years.
Now, its over.