For the past six years my son, Patrick, has called me every week, sometimes more than once a week, and each time we engage in a 15 minute conversation. He always calls me. I am not allowed to call him back. We try to exchange as much information as possible in those weekly conversations. Things that need to be handled, questions, and some general fun information on what is going on in each other’s life.
This past week Patrick called me in the middle of the day while I was at work. It was a very special call and he was bursting with good news. He finally received notice on the outcome of his parole hearing, which I talked about in All We Can Do Is Wait. He is being paroled! On March 20, 2018 I will be picking Patrick up from the prison and driving him home.
He will be on a two-year parole and is being released on a tether. It is a six-hour drive home and Patrick will need to report to his parole agent here in our county that same day. He will need to get a driver’s license. The majority of his clothes will not fit as he has gotten taller and broader in the past six years. Patrick was twenty-four when he went in, and will be thirty when he comes out.
It is exciting to have Patrick coming home. In the time he was incarcerated he lost two daughters (my granddaughters) to foster care/adoption. He also missed the funeral/memorial services of one grandmother, two grandfathers, and his father (my husband). In addition to a general loss of freedom, those who are incarcerated can lose much on a personal/emotional scale as well.
We are both looking forward to the day of Patrick’s parole with excitement, but I think also a bit of trepidation. Neither of us are the same people we were when he was arrested all those years ago. There will be an adjustment period as he will be living with me initially while he gets his feet under him. My home will need to meet the requirements of his parole. He is used to living under the constant scrutiny and control of a prison and will now have the ability to enjoy freedom within the confines of his parole requirements. He is used to living with all men. I am used to living alone. It will definitely be an adjustment.
The countdown has begun. Seventy-seven days to go, but who is counting. Freedom is on the horizon.