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.