My mom and I made the long trek to Alamosa yesterday. It took us 14 hours because of the snow. But thankfully no minor or major mishaps occurred on the trip. But just in case, I did pack my snow boots, a toothbrush and some double chocolate cookies. It is all about the essentials in a time of crisis, am I right?
It has been six weeks today since that rotten day in the courthouse. And over the last six weeks I have been asked a lot of questions about my dad, Camp Alamosa and other miscellaneous questions that pertain to this rather large bump in our road.
For your reading pleasure and intellectual delight, I have compiled these questions for you. Prepare to be enlightened.
How is your dad doing?
I love this question! Please ask me about my dad every time you see me because I love talking about him. My dad is doing great (as great as you can be with limited freedom). He has seven roommates, gets a new chore to accomplish every week, holds a Bible study every Wednesday evening and has received the moniker "Old School" by most of the other "campers." He also remains positive about the future and knows that God is at work.
How many guys live at Camp Alamosa?
My dad thinks around 100, at least in his section of the camp. He says it's like going to a small high school with cliques and cafeteria food. So, if you ever want to re-live your high school glory days again, be sure to commit a non-violent crime and it can be yours!
Did your dad get my card?
You guys, you should see the stack of cards my dad has received! He brought them out yesterday to show us and we laughed and cried alongside with him. You all are the best! These cards bring him so much encouragement so keep 'em coming!
Is your dad working?
Camp Alamosa is a transitional facility that requires each person to work (remember: they have to pay $450 in rent each month and have a savings account for funds they can use when they are released). After several weeks and countless bureaucratic hoops, my dad is hoping to begin working with his employer this week. This would be a huge answer to prayer.
Can I send your dad food?
Ah man, he would so love it but unfortunately he cannot receive food. It's the whole "nail file in the birthday cake" mentality. Although now it is probably more like a "miniature explosive in the Oreo ball" mentality. My dad can only eat non-cafeteria food when he has a pass to leave the facility. However, it has been rumored that a certain someone smuggled a hamburger in her pocket and gave it to my dad in bites while visiting with him but I am not going to mention any names.
Are the other campers nice to you?
So far, they have been very nice to me. Some of them might glance my way, and a few say hello, but for the most part, they just walk on by. My dad does introduce me to some of his new friends and all of them have been so friendly and polite. And most of them really respect my dad and that makes me like them even more.
Are you ever afraid to visit him?
Afraid? No. Nervous and somewhat awkward? Yes. Like I have mentioned before, the unknown is often scary but every time I visit him I learn more about the system and the facility and that makes me less nervous. The awkwardness part is a different story. I think that is just part of my charm.
How are you doing?
I get this question a lot. And honestly, it changes everyday. Most of the time I am doing okay. My future seems a bit blurry, like I don't know how to plan. There is also a small, nagging fear that the judicial system will do something else to my dad, punishing him more for something he didn't do. But I find that the Lord is quick to reassure me that He has this entire situation under control. I find that I cry daily, which is new for me, and I wish I could sleep a lot more. I am learning to say "no" to things and take delight in quiet time (which is a strange twist for this extrovert!) But I also realize that I have a life to live and that this life can experience joy. So even though this trial has been going on for five years, and could go on for much more, I am learning to find joy in the midst of it all...one day at a time.