Earlier this evening, I happened to glance at the clock and I smiled, knowing that, at that moment, Gary and the kids would be on the phone for their scheduled call. His voice is different when he calls me after talking with them: excited, like a child himself, talking fast so he can get it all out, his words tripping out faster than he can say them. He can’t wait to tell me what they talked about, what the kids said, how good it was to hear their voices and to tell them he loves them. There are tears sometimes, of course. The kids miss him, and there’s no way they can understand what is happening, why they can’t just go see him, why he can’t just come get them, why they weren’t allowed to talk with him for so long. As Sunflower put it so innocently, “Why won’t the police just let you go because I miss you?”
Last week was a rough week for me, hectic, a lot going on, not feeling good, and it seeped out during a phone call with Gary. I started to cry, something I try so hard not to do on our short phone calls, but he stepped right up and soothed me, told me we would be okay, that he loves me…then he chuckled a little. Confused, I asked him through tears what he was laughing at. He told me he had gotten so into comforting me that he was literally rocking back and forth with the phone, gently swaying as if I was in his arms. I laughed and warned him that a reputation as a cuddler probably wasn’t a good one in jail.
By the time we hung up, we were laughing and joking. Nothing about this situation is ideal, or fun, or the slightest bit pleasant. But I like to picture Gary lovingly rocking with the phone, putting his whole heart into trying to help me feel better. Like the day he packed eight Nilla Wafers for my lunch, it is a moment I love to keep in my heart, a moment that I feel so lucky to have found him, a moment I am proud we have stuck together.