Q: NOT Home For the Holidays (Redux)

Prison is not the ideal place for spending the holiday season. Disgruntled inmates treat the holidays with either contempt or disregard. For the last 12 years of my incarceration, I opted for the latter. However, I feel the next few though will be different… now that I have S….

We’d been talking for only a few months. Had some face-to-face time, and solidified a higher level in our relationship. Deciding to carry on a relationship given the condition is a monumental choice; and backed by the pressures of the holiday season to “be together…” let’s just say our first holiday season couldn’t have been foreseen.

S loves to travel… which for a slightly over-protective individual like myself, being unable to be “there” for her, is very troubling… but life persists…

Thanksgiving, S travelled to her mother’s house: a nice driving distance away from home. We try our best to stay connected via phone, especially when she’s traveling. Even though it doesn’t necessarily change the way we communicate for the majority, its like I can feel when she’s not home… I get the same deep sinking feeling…

Even when I know S made it to her destination, the feeling remains. The holidays is about family… and to have her around hers, yet splitting the difference on the phone with me, seems wrong. So I try to avoid it… What seems to be a vacation and a time for embracing to everyone else, is more of a time for restriction and limitation for S and I. Which is okay, because it’s real.

Sometimes, I fear that our relationship won’t be as strong because it’ll lack “real world experience.” Like its staged in a fantastic play, where negatives are often hidden in an array of flowery words unaided by presence. But when those moments arise where you can feel strain, you can’t deny that you are being tried. Strangely, that brings me a sense of relief…

Of course I can’t wait to “be with” S for the holidays. As I have told her multiple times, she IS my family. The visions of us cooking, sharing, loving, and thoroughly enjoying the season are hard, but motivating. A few more holiday seasons dot our path to one day being free together, bringing in the holidays…

Until then though, I guess there is something special to learn of our love and the holidays. We just have to remain open and receptive to the wisdom the times and the trials have to offer us in our life now, and in our future…

Q, written 1/5/20
(Read the S version here)

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