Sunday, July 10, 2011
I made a new friend.
I guess I'll start by talking about my fiancee and me. I met my fiancee three years ago. I met him through a prison outreach/penpal website. I still have no idea what drew me to look at the website, but I did. KC calls it fate. Perhaps. But I wrote to him. He wrote back right away. The letter captivated me. Here was a truly broken man. A man who had once done terrible things. For the first time in my life, I promised not to judge this man for his past. That's all he asked of me. He said "Judge me for what I say and do to you now, not my past. I'll show you that I am no longer that man that I was. I'll earn your friendship." I agreed to those terms. Our letters continued, and they consisted of two friends getting to know each other on a deeper level. Slowly, he began confiding in me about all of his crimes. Including crimes he committed that he was never charged with. He told me that he wanted just one person in his life that he could confide in, be totally honest with about his past, and not fear being judged. I was that one person for him. I soon realized that being that person to him meant I had to see a side of humanity that I didn't even realize existed. I typically go through life believing "all people are basically good". But that isn't always the case. As KC, for about 10 years of his life had a blackness in his heart. His worst crimes were not committed out here in the "free world" but rather once he went into prison. I'm just a normal kind of girl, grew up in a middle class family, with parent who had "respectable" jobs. I never needed for anything, and my youth was full of love. I put myself through college, got a great job, and my career was off and running. I am a political enthusiast, and enjoy conversations of the "cerebral" sort. Due to the line of work I am in, a vast majority of my circle of friends are professionals in business, healthcare and a few lawyers. So, this entire friendship was unchartered territory for me, to say the least. In addition to getting to know my new friend KC, I started learning about the DOC he was in. Getting to know what really goes on in prison is almost as horrific as hearing the stories of what inmates do to get locked up in them. With each letter, I got to know KC more, and I really began developing true feelings of friendship for him. So, I suggested that I should come down and see him! He really didn't want me to at first, because he was in solitary confinement (a discussion I will blog about another time) and therefore our visit would be "non contact". This meant there would be glass between us, and we would speak to each other through a phone. Our visits would only be two hours long. He changed his mind almost immediately and said he wanted me to visit him. So, I applied for special visits with the Visitation Office at his prison. And we were granted 3 two hours visits. So, after 9 months of corresponding with KC I bought a first class plane ticket, rented a car, got a fabulous hotel room (I figured why not go in style!) and I was on my way to see my new friend!