A week or so ago in Sunday School, someone mentioned that being in solitary confinement sounded wonderful. Then of course the laughs and giggles followed.
“But no one is around you then.”
“That sounds like heaven.”
And then I felt the tears threatening to start. My eyes burned while I fought them. I did not want to sit there and cry over something everyone thought was funny.
This time I realized that I didn’t feel like crying BECAUSE they thought it was funny. I admit I can still feel tender when people joke about jail and I rarely say anything. But I felt like crying because I remembered OUR experience with solitary.
I remembered how it felt to visit Lee and be told he was in solitary.
I remembered how it felt to go sit in that big metal booth in the visiting room in front of everyone.
I remember how it felt to have all eyes turn and look at you wondering what your loved one did to be in solitary.
I remember how it felt to talk to him on the phone and look at the video monitor and try to see–you both have to sit in the exact correct position or you don’t see faces.
I remember how it felt to feel cheated out of touching his hands or getting a hug.
I remember how it felt to hear him say he was cold because they didn’t allow him a blanket.
I remember him saying how it’s loud and not quiet at all.
I remember him feeling completely isolated and as if he were at the end of his rope.
I remember feeling desperate because there was nothing I could do to make him feel better.
It’s not a vacation or relaxing or fun. It’s terrible.
Yes, I know it’s his fault. But it’s still terrible.
I am thankful to realize finally, that my tenderness isn’t really outrage at others for their silly comments. It’s just tenderness because I remember how it felt and I’m sad we ever experienced it.