Monday, October 02, 2006

Grangeville and Cottonwood Visit

I got back late last night from visiting Travis. First off I want to describe the town that we stayed in, Grangeville. Granny and I thought that since we were alone and had time to kill we would maybe catch a movie. The Guardian with Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutcher came out Friday and we thought "hey, cool beans...lets go see a show!" WRONG! I call the local 'theater' and the conversation went something like this"
Movie Guy: Hello?
Me: Hi, is this the theater?
MG: Yep
Me: Well, what are your movies and movie times?
MG: 6:30 and 8:40pm
Me: What time is that movie for?
MG: Gridiron Gang
Me: Ok....what else do you have
MG: nothing...
Me: You only have 1 movie playing?
MG: Yep
Me: Ok, uh...thank you...

WELL, granny and I didn't go see a movie since she really wasn't interested in seeing Gridiron gang and we were a little concerned that it might just be some guy with a big screen TV in his house instead of a real theater. ;-P

We hung out at the hotel and relaxed. It was nice to spend time just granny and I visiting, munching and watching CSI. We fell asleep about 9:30pm.....well, she did. I read, tossed and turned until midnight. Granny woke me up at 6:15 am by opening up the curtains and telling me good morning. I reminded her it was Saturday and Saturday mornings don't start at 6:30am...she didn't listen.

We went for a visit with Travis. We got lost on the way and arrived at a beautiful place called St. Gertrude's Monastery. I will write more about it in a later post.

The Visit:

We finally found the prison and were allowed in. It is very well watched in there. You are only allowed your driver's license for ID and change for the vending machines. You leave your ID with the gate guard and go in after they clear the grounds of all inmates.
You meet your loved one in the cafeteria area. You are allowed to hug at the beginning and end of the meeting, but not during your visit. You can hold hands, but must be seated on opposite sides of the tables. Inmates are not allowed to leave their seat unless asked to by a guard or if they raise their hand and ask to use the restroom. I would get the snacks from the vending machine so we could munch and visit. Snacks are not something Travis gets much of so he was thankful for the goodies.
I believe he was most excited by our visit. We are the only ones who have written him and who have asked for approval to go and see him. He has felt cut off from friends and family, he is totally alone. It is hard to feel like you are not a complete outcast when you are 200 some odd miles away from home and no one familiar reaches out. His tears in his eyes and the smile on his face made the long drive well worth it.
We got to spend 3 hours with him on Saturday and decided to come back on Sunday to see him again. We laughed, joked, talked and enjoyed each others company. We were able to confirm with Travis the change that is making. The change from the criminal to the MAN who can become something out in the real world. He has mastered his GED and will graduate from his anger management program. He is currently in AA and will continue with counseling and AA meetings on the outside when he is released.

To talk to him you can see the child inside who is so afraid and who is lost. He had a really bad childhood and it all contributed to the person he is today. So many contributed, HE is the only one trying to fix it and we are trying to help him and encourage him along the way.
I have family members that have turned their backs on him, his own mother and father all feel that he reaps what he sows and he is on his own....I hope nothing bad ever happens to them, the road will be hard to hoe for them as well all alone.

I will continue to write Travis and visit with him by phone and letters until it is time for him to come home. I will be here for him during court dates and will stand by him for whatever sentence agreement he must work out next. I will pray for him and watch him to remind him not to fall, it will be hard, you cannot change over night...but God is good and with him anyone can do anything.


Julie Boorman said...

What a blessing you were to him! I am sure glad God doesn't write us off when we fall:)


Praying for him LeAnne! Thank you for sharing your journey with Travis. I admire you