And I've really been struggling with dealing with it all. It's not all in this matter, but this being one more thing to add to the mix has made some days nearly unbearable. This is going to be long.
E-mail updates from Monty's mil are still pretty regular, though they've slowed down a bit. Back on the 6th, we were planning the first visit. It didn't go through because Monty was supposed to submit a list of the people who are allowed to visit him. They did not have that list, so no one could visit. We found out that Monty certainly did submit his list, but it somehow didn't get where it needed to be. He talked to his case manager about it, and the problem was taken care of that day.
Since Tuesdays are the only days to visit him, and you have to schedule on the Monday prior, we had to wait for the 13th. This day was during my vacation, so I didn't have to contend with work. I told his wife (remember she is soon to be ex) and mil that I really wanted to be on the list to visit that day. Mil called on Monday, while I was not near the phone, to confirm that I wanted to go. I called her back, she got me added to the schedule (because I was already on the approved list, it wasn't a problem) and plans were set.
I don't like driving into town. Who really likes city driving anyway? Thankfully, I was staying with my parents that night and could approach the facility from a little closer. It took a while to decide if I was actually going to drive, or drive to the Metro and walk the couple blocks. I ended up driving, I was more wary of taking the Metro alone than I was of driving into town alone. As it turned out, my friend Fox was also off that week and he last-minute offered to drive with me. He had no problem reading a book while we were inside. I cannot express how deeply thankful I am for that, and how much it eased my mind about the whole thing.
The group was myself, mil, wife, Kelly, and his two youngest children. I was the first to arrive. Wife and children were late, mil came in late waiting for them. After going through the pat-down, and the metal detector and then sitting in the room waiting for that precious hour to begin, it almost looked like it would just be Kelly and I. A part of me is glad it worked out the way it did. There is no way to get a private moment during these visits, but Kelly and I came close with just the two of us there. The others did make it in. With the kids, it became chaotic. How can you get two kids, both little more than infants, to sit around for an hour while the adults talk?
Personally, I would not have brought the children on the first visit, if it were me. I'd rather scout it out, find out what things would be like getting there and going in before I subjected young children to it. While I know he was happy to see them, it was really hard to keep our eyes on them.
Monty's wife has never liked me. I think I've mentioned this before. She told him otherwise, of course, but her actions, body language, toward me are as clear as the Patuxent River when John Smith first navigated it. Kelly and I had a moment to talk before the visit. She said that wife approved of her, to which I was glad that she was being treated well by someone who had a big problem with me. We thought it might have been that I knew Monty first, and that's why she thought I was a threat. Kelly was surprised to hear of her behavior towards me, though.
During the visit, with Monty in a chair and six chairs around him for us, the chair next to him was vacated by one of the little ones. Kelly and wife got to teasing him across the table. He looked at me, smiled and said, "why don't you come sit here?" in the now-empty chair next to him. As soon as I got up to move, his wife, who was sitting next to me, moved into that chair and stayed for the rest of the visit. The meaning was still clear.
Despite me being in the company of people I like and one person who has a problem with me, it was so good to see Monty. I took it for granted when he was out, I know I did and I'm sorry for it. All I can do is what I can now. There was a visit this past Tuesday, and one planned for next week, but I likely won't be making either.
We still don't know where his long-term facility will be. The local stop is just a place to hold him for now. We have heard, however, that he will be going to a facility in Oklahoma within the next few weeks. We don't know if that's where he'll stay for the duration or if he will be moved again. Oklahoma is not making us very happy. We're still holding out for an ultimate facility in Pennsylvania or West Virginia, but the fact that he's going to Oklahoma soon is very worrisome. It may not be another stop along the way. It may be that's where he stays. Not good news.
Monty hasn't called me at all. I set up the phone account, he knows it. I told him the best times to call if he can get to the phone then. Nothing. He talks to others, they tell the group about it sometimes. Why hasn't he called me? I hope it's something simple. Like, he's afraid that he'll pick a time and I won't answer. It's true that I usually don't answer if I don't recognize the number calling me, but if I hope it's him, I'm going to pick up. I'll chance answering a wrong number. I would really like to hear from him, hear how he's doing.
I used to wonder how people could still love and support someone who committed a horrid crime. Even murderers still have support sometimes. Is it delusion, like how some parents believe their bully of a child can do no wrong? Is it just ignoring the parts we don't like and embracing the parts we do? Is it forgiveness, even when the world thinks it's not deserving? I don't know, I don't think I'll ever know. What I know right now is that I miss my friend, and I want him to come through this with all the support we can give him. I want him to come out having grown, not diminished into a shadow of what he was as I know him. But, from here, what can I really do?