The Moment Prison Was Harder On Me Than On My Wife

By · Wednesday, January 21st, 2009

On most occasions, I would say that imprisonment is harder on the family members who are not incarcerated. The prisoners grow used to life inside boundaries. The rules and rituals become part of life, no more annoying than a rainy day. I grew up in Seattle, so I’ve learned to thrive in spite of the rain.

A few days each year, however, the longing for home can sting a prisoner. Those who follow my daily writings know that I’ve passed more than 7,835 days in prison. One would have thought that I would feel totally used to confinement by now. For the most part, I do. Yet I am a man. And I am a man who is very much in love with a woman. Fortunately for me, the woman I love, cherish, and adore, happens to be my stunningly beautiful wife, Carole.

This love is a splendorous gift for me, and I thank God for the blessing. My longing for time with my wife sometimes reminds me of where I am. I sit in this plastic chair, my feet propped upon the steel rock on which I sleep, and I gaze at the several photographs I have of us together. These photos can help.

Carole has been on the prison journey with me for many years already. All of our memories of marriage have come from prison visiting rooms in three separate time zones. I look forward to giving her more.

My aching for Carole began yesterday, as I was watching President Barack Obama’s inauguration. I felt so close to the millions of people who, like me, welcome this promise our new President brings. I felt my wife’s spirit with me, but I wanted her hand in mine, wanted our fingers interlocked, wanted to feel Carole’s head resting against my chest. I missed her. I wanted to tell her how much I loved her. I wanted her to know that with this changed that has come to our great country and to the world, my love and my commitment to her and our marriage grew stronger still.

I missed Carole then. And that was the moment that imprisonment was harder for me than it was for my wife. We are scheduled to visit in 39 more hours. Only the feeling of her heart beating into mine can alleviate this pain. I’m waiting.

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