when love calls, you better answer
One of the effects of having a mate behind bars is that you must be flexible. My life is very much about my beloved, and yet it isn't. I get up, get dressed, go to work, feed my son, and live my life just like the next women, but there is one overarching thing that I have come to schedule my life around: phone calls. Those magical moments when I can hear his voice and feel as though he is sitting next to me (despite of all of the noise in the background), is how I schedule my time. My life is parceled out in 5 hour brackets. For now, he can make calls every 5 hours, but we have managed to set ourselves on a schedule: 5:30am, 1pm, and 6:30pm. Before we made this schedule (and while I was on maternity leave) I was pretty much tied to the phone. I would run whatever errands I had to run & do whatever it is I wanted to do in 5 hours or less, just so I wouldn't miss his call. Occasionally I missed it, which led to arguments about my whereabouts. But those arguments weren't really about me not being at home, they were about his fear of me leaving him. You see, when you have nothing but time to think, you start to think crazy things. You get paranoid. You get scared. You want so very much to hold on to the thing you love the most in the world, but you don't know how to express those feelings because it's not cool to speak openly about emotions when you're trying so hard not to show them. Those were his thoughts. We have since talked through most of his fears, and what it all boils down to is me leaving him. He couldn't take it. He hates not being here for me & our son. He gets upset. He gets suicidal. He gets angry. He loves harder.
To help him remain sane (and to help myself) I move heaven and earth to get those calls. They are my gifts. I begin my day with my beloved in my ear, and I end it with him on my mind. It's crazy. Our worlds have become consumed with each other, and yet they aren't. We long for those calls. Long to hear the smile in each other's voices. We survive on 21 minutes at a time, 3 times a day. 7 hours and 21 minutes a week. We make sure we make the most of it. Discussing God and babies and lawyers and sex all in 21 minutes. It's astonishing, the amount of things we talk about in one phone call. Soothing, therapeutic, yet amazingly painful, especially when the phone suddenly clicks in mid sentence, before you can say 'I Love You' one last time. It hurts. To sit after a call and remember his voice playing in your ear. But in spite of the pain, and the high phone bills, and the short calls...it is still worth it. To be completely at peace, even for a short while, is a gift from God.
Thank you, Lord. Amen.