Posted by the prisoner's wife On 4:54 PM
we are back home after a week of visiting. of trying to distill each moment into memory. beloved is well, softer around the belly, but in good spirits. we were blessed to have a "family visit." forty-four hours of normalcy, or as close to "normal" as you can get while being locked into secured area. it's not as dismal as it sounds. we stayed with beloved in a small apartment on the prison grounds. i am always uneasy about being there. i don't feel comfortable not being able to leave, but imagine how he must feel? i kept telling myself that as i felt a bit closterphobic about the gate surrounding the apartments, but we had a wonderful time. watching beloved play with our son, and our son responding in such a way that now i am SURE that he knows his dad is flesh and blood and can lay down a mean tickle & make some good pasta, and doesn't just reside in pictures, made my heart giggle. yes, we had a GREAT time, and i am moved everytime i watch them together.
watching them reminded me of how much our son has grown. how smart he is, even at two, and how soon i will have to explain why daddy can't leave with us. what will i say? i'm not even sure. when we were getting ready to leave the visiting room on thursday and friday our son said, "lets gooo daddy!" and held out his hand. i smiled, knowing he was now sure daddy was his, but i also wanted to cry because daddy could not go & will not be coming with us for some time.
the irony of watching CNN's expose on Black men in America while just coming off a visit to a prison, wasn't lost on me. the visiting rooms are always full of Black men in State Greens, and women visiting--holding them down--with kids in tow. i never wanted this to be our life, never thought i, with all my degrees and education, would be visiting prisons with my son. but this is our life. all i can do now is make sure my son does not end up in the same predicament.
in other news i am completely addicted to ancestry.com. yesterday, i started compiling my family tree. after a slew of phone calls to my grandmother & my aunt, and coping pages from my great-grandmother's family Bible, i am about 5 generations deep on my mother's side, and a 3 on my father's. the linage the men in my family (my father, my grandfather) will be harder to track down. their families are not close and most of the older relatives have passed away, but i have hope. i am already into the 1830s and hoping to reach the 1700s. oddly enough, it has now hit me that many of these names, especially those in the mid 1800s were probably slaves. i'm not sure how i really FEEL about that. i mean, it's one thing to talk about slavery in historical terms, but quite another to know the names of your ancestors who were enslaved. my grandmother told me about her great-grandfather and how he used to tell her about his days in slavery. i know slavery is in the history of just about every American negro person, but to put actual names to the people is quite surreal.
what have you guys been up to over the past week? i want to thank everyone for contributing such wonderful comments to the posts. i absolutely love the conversations and the different perspectives that are being shared! keep them coming!