I reported to Sea-Tac Federal Detention Center on Thursday, April 3rd. My husband and I flew to Seattle the day before. We were able to have a restful night and a beautiful, warm, sunny morning visiting a park and small lake. I just sat there and enjoyed being outside. That indeed was a gift.
The most difficult part of jail is getting in. Processing took a long time and getting to my unit late was tiring and somewhat frightening. I've been in a week already and my time is finally settling into a routine. It is a confusing system to get used to. My unit consists of 60 cells with about 110 women.
The cells surround a large dayroom. TV's, a walking track and exercise equipment are available. But it is a jail. We have counts and shut-downs. Our lives are controlled. We are told when to eat and sleep. There are few options. We can't go outside. My slit of a window faces another building so I can't see but a tiny patch of the sky. Some women stay here three years. I don't know how they tolerate not going outside.
In spite of this restrictive environment, the women here have forged a community of people who help each other, work, have fun and welcome new inmates. I marvel at their ability to focus on the now. Few of them dwell on the past or the future. They don't know for sure where they will end up or how long they will stay.
I have only three weeks left. It's been an interesting journey. Will I be changed when I get out? You bet. Pax Tecum
This post was received with a letter from my mom today. I promised to update her blog and help spread the word. My dad spoke with her since the letter was written and said that the other inmates are calling her "Grandma". There is a certain irony that she had to go to prison to be called that.