Last night I returned safely from the very long drive home from seeing my husband. I had five hours to think about the visit, my life, and my close relationship with the prison system. Sometime between the third and forth hour when I was driving in the dark of the Winter night, I started to feel a great deal of strength and perseverance rise from deep inside of myself. I was tired and energized at the same time, in love and out of place. I imagine that is how most women feel on their drive home from the prison, whether they decided to go for a two day visit or just one like myself.
Ely, Nevada is not an easy drive to get to from Reno. The road seems endless at times and all you want to do on your drive out is get there and see your loved one and on the drive home all you want to do is get the hell out of town and get back to your own bed. There are times, as with any emotionally draining situation, where I find myself thinking “What am I doing?”. More specifically I ask myself why I`m out in the middle of nowhere alone long after the sun has set. When I`m exhausted and those questions start popping into my head I think of my love, my dedication to my husband, and how incredibly lucky I am to have the bond with another person that I do. Those thoughts are the lights that guide me from place to place and illuminate the entire world in the darkness.
I think on my drives. I think a lot. I wonder what other visitors think about. I see these visitors(mostly women; mostly spouses)when I`m waiting to be processed and faces become familiar. Sometimes the camaraderie takes place as a lively conversation and sometimes just as a silent nod, a silent understanding, a kindness extended from one very tired woman to another. I haven’t thought about this until recently but I respect these women. No matter who they are there to see, what has transpired to bring them to the prison, I respect their dedication. To those women who I see regularly, who brave the drive and the heartache, I say to them: Thank you for making me feel not so alone. Thank you for rejoicing with me when I finally got my contact visits back. Thank you for being human in an otherwise difficult and cold situation.