I need to write about Joshua, my son, today. Every time I go to visit him in prison...every time...I am shocked, I am stunned, panicked that he is there. That he actually did something to put him in this horrible, horrible place. Bars and iron doors that clang loudly as you pass through shake me down to my core. ID's and plastic bags for quarters are all you can take in, no denim and not too much jewelry to pass through the metal detector. This world is so foreign to me that I just react. I know I do not go in alone, usually Dave is with me, but even when he wasn't, Jesus was. I don't think it's the conditions and sounds and smells, it's the fact that my son, my beloved boy, is in here and it's his life. He won't work because incidents invariably take place in those locations and he doesn't want anything to mess with his "good time."
I am trying to come to terms with knowing that this is his reality, every day, for at least 3 years. I realize most have longer than that to go, and am friends online with some mothers who will never see their sons on the outside again. My heart absolutely breaks for them.
Even as a child, when I would see on television or in a movie, someone in prison, I just knew i'd never do anything for that to happen. My freedom is worth everything. And now I am forced to know more than I ever wanted to about how it works. I told Josh early on not to tell me scary things. He can tell me once released. My thoughts and nightmares about him are bad enough without knowing more.
I am becoming obsessed with his release. I would do anything to drive over there and get him and bring him home right now! But that can't happen, so what do I do in the meantime, besides pray? When I need to talk to him. For all the drama and weirdness, Josh is comforting to me, and he makes me laugh. We share a love of music and movies, though different genres. There are times when they intersect and we have a wonderful conversation about it.
He is worried about how he'll survive when released, and I don't blame him. Because he refuses to accept the salvation offered him, he doesn't walk with the Lord. It is prayers that have kept him all these years, and the love and mercy of the Lord. He wants to become a tattoo artist, which would be great because of his artistic talent. I totally support him in this, but hoping he can get on with a reputable business person. He's got tattoos, lots and plans on more. That makes me sad. I don't mind tattoos at all, unless there is a plethora of them, hard to find the person when you're distracted by all the ink.
I'm going off on tangents. My point is that right now, 11:26 a.m., in Pendleton, OR, at Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution, my boy is there and it's his life and I can't cut the time short, and that breaks my heart. I struggle between God's sovereign will, love & mercy, and my desire as his mom to rescue him. Still knowing in my heart I can't, only One can truly do that.
So Lord, i'm placing all my hope and longing...and my boy, again, at the foot of the cross, trusting You to do what is ultimately best for him. Me & Molly have had a saying about Josh for years, since 2000 when he went off the chart wild, we'd say to each other, "what are we gonna do with him? Love him, just love him." And as Molly said in her last visit, "he's a pain, but he's our pain." Love that girl....and my boy.