Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thought So

Got an e-mail update from m-i-l. Apparently, it was as I thought, Monty just used up all his minutes for the month. It renews on the 25th of the month, so he was able to call a few people (not me) yesterday. I was thinking and hoping that's all it was. Glad that's all it was.

While I didn't get a phone call, I did get a letter. Say it with me: YAY!!
He reports that he enjoyed the ACEO that I sent and was glad to get a print-out of the story I wrote for him in May. He couldn't get a job tutoring math, but he did get a job landscaping. He expressed some sympathy at the situation with the cats, and talked about some of the things he does in his copious spare time.

The letter was like opening a present. I bet receiving them is much the same on his end. Any little connection, even just mail, is...I don't have a word for what it is. A blessing, a comfort. Flaws aside, there's still a person there. A person who was and is very dear to me.

So, I stayed up way past my bedtime answering his letter (though it won't get in the mail until Friday). I am making an effort to write him weekly. I may not be able to, but I'm going to try. I've also challenged him to fold 1000 origami cranes. I think I might have to send him the paper, a few letters at a time, though! If I send two papers a letter, he should be done by the time he gets out. Ok, I'm not really expecting him to do this, but it's fun to challenge him anyway.

Since it is past my bedtime, I'll stop there. Happy to have heard from him.

Monday, November 23, 2009

No News Means What

After three separate 15 minutes of talking with Monty, should I be concerned that I haven't had a call in a week? One of the group sent a text message on Thursday morning that she hadn't heard from him either. Granted, he gets a limited number of minutes to use a month, and there are a good number of us on his call list. Still, I think it means as much to us to hear from him as it does for him to hear from us.

I have been sending letters, though. Well, two since he started calling. I would really like to send a letter a week, but I don't know how long that will last. I need to write one for this week anyway, and I do have some news to share.

Still, should we be worried that he hasn't been in touch with at least a couple of us? There's been no e-mail word from any in the group either. Are we all falling into a kind of rut, that even the support we have for each other is falling off?

Maybe it will and maybe it can. I don't think no news is good news, though. I think no news is no news

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Call Again

The other people in Monty's home support group decided to get together yesterday just for a bit of face-to-face fellowship. I couldn't make it because the landlord is inspecting the condo sometime this week and my roommates and I have been really lax about keeping it clean. We needed to take the weekend to clean up.

Monty called in the morning yesterday. He told me that he was having a bad day earlier in the week and he was able to turn it into just a day. I imagine there are more bad days than not where his is, and proud of him that he could turn it around. Maybe not completely, but at least somewhat.

He told me that one of the guys in his work-out group is from this area and has virtually no support from anyone. That makes me sad. Being on this side of things, I can see how someone who commits a crime brings everyone around him into it too. I can see how many find it better to cut ties and pick up than to still show love and support. Still, that one person has the misfortune to have everyone in his life do so is disheartening. Monty was thinking of asking us to write to him as well. I'd be willing to do that, and I bet others would. Sometimes, I find more compassion than I really thought I had.

Since Monty called in the morning, I was able to tell him to call his in-laws that day too. He called back later in the evening to thank me for the tip, because everyone was there. I'm sorry I missed it, because I bet that turned into a very nice gathering. They even had Monty there for a bit.

Don't let me forget to check my phone account so I can find out how much three 15 minute calls cost (and one three minute one). It's time to work that account into my budget, I think.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


I got to talk to Monty yesterday!! At first, we got about 3 minutes before the call dropped (and we're not sure if it was on his side or mine). I was all prepared to write that three minutes wasn't nearly enough time, but it was better than nothing. He called back almost two hours later and we got the full 15 minutes that his calls are allowed.

Oh, it was so nice to talk to him. Things are going as well as they can. He's got a group of guys he works out with. He's trying to get a job as a math tutor. He gave me a whole list of books that he thinks I would be interested in.

Even 15 minutes wasn't enough. But, at least I know my phone account works. That is quite a comfort.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Talking and Listening

I had a nice talk with one of my coworkers, Pat, this morning. He was very helpful in getting me through the day on Wednesday until the manager got out of a meeting and I could get permission to leave early. As we were talking today, it occurred to me that my friendship with Pat is very similar to my friendship with Monty.

Pat knows the facts but not the details. He said he doesn't need to know and he doesn't want to know. It's in my best interest to not give details anyway for various reasons, and I don't. Besides, if people are willing to help me, I don't need them to react the way that my roommates did.

So, he reminded me that I could talk to him about things and that it was ok to be upset when I learned that Monty was suddenly very out of reach. He told me I have to give myself time to grieve over it, to feel it before I can move forward. Other friends didn't understand this.

Just last weekend, I spoke with another dear friend. There were actually two people there, one of them left me alone when I said I didn't need anything and the other didn't. We had just celebrated the new year in my faith, and I was focusing on how much I took Monty for granted while he was here. My friend reminded me that it was ok to do so, because everyone does, and that I'm ahead of most because I realized that and can make an effort to not do it.

I've found that I get more support from people who don't know details. Perhaps because it's easier for them to not get caught up on the crime and realize it is me they are supporting. Maybe it's that most of those who know (and it's not many) can't help but feel that, by helping me, they are helping Monty by proxy. Not everyone who knows all the facts does this either. So, there are times when I feel very alone, and there are times when I'm dumbfounded by the people who appear out of no where to help me.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

One Disappointment After Another

I have a lot more to update today.

You may remember when last I wrote I mentioned Monty had not called me. It turns out that he did call, several times. The problem was that my phone was not ringing. I called the billing service and was told it was one of two things: either I was not actually on his call list at the facility (a real possibility with the things that facility got wrong) or that somehow the call waiting feature on my cell phone was blocking the calls. I called my cell phone provider and the first guy I talked to said it was because their service doesn't accept collect calls (but, it is not a collect call, that's why we set up the prepaid account). This guy really did not sound like he wanted to help. I sent an e-mail to the group asking if anyone gets Monty's calls to their cell phones and what provider they have. If it's a feature of my provider, I need a new one, right? Ex-wife has the same provider I do and gets calls fine. So, I went back to the cell phone provider, where I spoke to another person who put me on hold for 10 minutes after hearing my problem. He sounded like he understood what I was talking about and wanted to help. He came back, apologizing for the misinformation I was given earlier, and said there is nothing wrong on their end and it has to be some problem either with my call account (which I already verified), or at the facility. This was Monday. I did ask m-i-l to tell him that it was some other problem and not that I'm just not answering my phone.

Tuesday is the only day we are allowed to visit. We had scheduled one for 6pm, and I was going to go with his mother, step-father, and grandfather. I got permission to leave work early to give me plenty of time to get downtown. I took a nap and worked on some crochet orders in the car because I did get there about an hour and a half before they would start processing. We went in, got frisked, went through the metal detectors, got seated at a table and waited. One of the guards came up and asked if we were waiting for Monty, upon our confirmation, he told us that his cell-mate just told him that Monty was transferred that morning. The guards didn't know. The guard who checked us in didn't know. The people we called in the afternoon didn't know. How in the world can you not know if an inmate is there or not?? We were so disappointed. There was so much I wanted to say.

Fast forward to today. After his m-i-l's rushing to get a new phone account set up (because the other one was specific to that facility and didn't transfer) he was finally able to call her (she is the designated point-of-contact). We found out that he did, indeed get moved to Oklahoma. This is also a temporary stop and he'll likely be there for a couple weeks before they move him to his long-term location. IN TEXAS.

Well, once again, I was going to write more but I can't deal with Texas right now.