We were the first family at the prison, and while the weather was not too bad, at four something in the morning, rain slicked roads are confusing and fog can come up at any time and blind you. The light didn't help until we were almost there, and it rained all the way home. There is a new metal detector at the intake desk, and clothes that I usually wear set it off. I was just not in the mood. I told the COs the only metal I knew I had on was the zipper on my jeans, and I was not taking THEM off. I already have to wear a hugely uncomfortable sports bra with no metal. It's not every women that has a "prison bra" in her undies drawer, LOL! Well, we got in immediately to see Bran, and he just looks smaller and more fragile every time we come. He's lost about 80 pounds, and has a full beard. He's also rather short and wears glasses, so instead of looking like the hulking mountain man he used to, he looks like an elf accountant.
I suppose after we got into conversation I could see the wisdom of it just being the old folks. The vending machines were either not well stocked or out of order, which thankfully changed as the day went on-I could feel my temper rising again-"if my kid wants chocolate milk after three months, by God he'll have chocolate milk or else"...so we had a good time. It's so hard sometimes to make the shift into funny and natural conversation after months of separation, a long and tiresome ride to the prison and the hour wait to get in. But we do it. And Bran needed to just talk about his life there. It's frustrating and hard, and he doesn't have a chance to speak freely about how he feels often. Commissary prices are through the roof, stupid stuff, working in the dirty side of the prison laundry for basically nothing-it's not supposed to be Club Med and he knows this, but for a 23-year-old to live with no hope of things changing or getting worse every day, that's hard. He needs sympathy and encouragement, some normalcy and the reminder that there is a life "out there" that time will bring about once again.
It was good to get home and get back into the routine, but visitation is a "normal" part of our lives.