Mission Statement

Seeking the good, the light and a smidgeon of sanity out of tragedy.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Dad in Tow

I have to shift gears towards my father's upcoming release.

I’ve had a couple of quiet weeks here, in most part, because once again, my brother has asked me to take this blog down – yes, despite all previous assurances and openness on my part. He’s under the assumptions that it’s “under his name” (it’s not), that I discuss his case (I don’t), and that I talk about such subjects as suicide and murder (absolutely not).

Don’t get me wrong here. He did write me a short note and called me prior Mother’s Day to thank me effusively for visiting him. He is grateful.

And I was very honest with him about what I would discuss about on my trip to see him. I took notes right in front of him!

But I surmise he has so much time on his hands that his mind concocts further stories.

I have sent him another letter to set the record straight. I’ll respect his wishes on one part and that is not to write about him (except in passing) – which is a shame. He’s a significant part of this effort, and network. I really wanted people to see how he was progressing.

But I will not take the blog down. I will simply have to shift focus – to my father’s upcoming release. My Dad’s last letter, received two days ago, sheds some interesting notes on his relationship with us kids. A snippet:

I brought the boys up telling them that I am NOT their father, but merely their “pop” or “dad.” Just charged with upbringing them the best I can, or could. God… is their Father-Mother.

I also believe in a higher spiritual power, but somehow his explanation seems to me to dismiss his mortal, or earthly, responsibilities.

I, in fact, sent Dad the full excerpts from this blog about my trip to the USDB, some of which “triggered deeply-emotional real tears”, as he thinks of his son “boxed-in with such a sense of eternity.”

He makes a couple of interesting comparisons between his experience in prison and my brother’s.

(The) poignant questions re “Why? What is our purpose?” and why he/and we should go on are the very questions I have asked (others), more than once. I am still wrestling with “purpose” and will probably continue until I can SEE the “unfoldment of good”.

My father also agrees with my brother’s statement, “You’re new here until you’ve been here a year and a half.” Which is the amount of time my father has now been incarcerated, so I guess he is now moving beyond his initiation period.

But unlike my brother, my father is due to be released soon, and that is the focus of two pages of his letter, along with one of his infamous checklist of “to-dos” to me. Yeah.

I do not yet have a confirmed release date from here but the tentative date is the first week of October, 2010, a little under five months.
The next bit is a bit fuzzy whether he has to report to a halfway house first, and then can go into home confinement – where it appears he makes the assumption that I have given him a thumbs-up for our place (I have not) – but he proceeds with the “what-if.”

Every “halfway-assigned” inmate is still under the supervision of the BOP, federal Bureau of Prisons. Each must secure an approved job, such as, for me, as a Wal-Mart “Greeter,” or whatever. 25% of the gross income is then to be peeled off and paid to the halfway house as their compensation. Each is assigned a bunk, but the halfway houses are private contractors and are compensated by the amount of gross revenue they can generate. So they often have more than one assigned to each bunk, …

Can they really do that?

…funneling the inmates into “home” confinement while continuing to charge for the space and accounting of person(s): phone calls in and out to confirm every inmate is where he is supposed to be.

Again, this is legal? Sounds like double-dipping to me.

Then, he continues with his checklist to me, and what I need to do. Fun stuff. Not.

He reiterates his plan to return to Philadelphia, with Lost Brother in tow and frankly, financing his operation (see my whole excerpt in March, All About Dad – my opinions about that still stand).

And last, he starts up with the promises again. My pet peeve with my father is his broken promises.

So, the letter is a mixed bag from my perspective. His tone was very cheerful and upbeat, but he presumes a lot, and that sense of entitlement is still there, along with the metaphorical thumping of his chest about how successful he eventually will be.

I’m staring at the Dangerous Curves Ahead road sign. I passed the Caution signs long ago.

So, that’s my “Pops.” I’m stuck with him – he’s my one and only. For better and for worse. My, my, my, my, my…

What do I do?