A Visit to the Cafeteria

Today, at long last, we were permitted to visit Eli at the rehab facility. There are four stages they go through in rehab and stage 1 is complete the day they are formally sentenced to the in-patient facility. Even though he has been there for a few weeks, it wasn’t until Wednesday of this week that he was moved into stage 2, and this is the stage where visits can begin.

I thought the waiting room would be packed with people coming to visit their loved ones. There was only one other couple visiting their son besides us, plus one young man visiting perhaps his brother. One woman came by to drop some things off for her son, but didn’t stay to visit. She had three small children with her (his?) and only three people can go in to visit.

Eli stressed that we should arrive no later than 1:30 for the 2:00 visit so we could get signed in. Signing in requires showing an ID, signing the book, etc., and getting a receipt if dropping off money. “Tone” signed us in today and he was a helpful, friendly, obviously caring man. He waited until about 1:45 to catch any stragglers and then headed back up to the floor. Two woman arrived at about 1:55 and were not admitted to the visitation. They left in a huff, clearly upset at being turned away.

Greg and I and Kepler got an entire hour with our lovely son. The hour flew by, and even Kepler was well-behaved and patient with the help of the contents of Dad’s wallet to keep him busy. Although no touching at all is allowed, I asked the attendant if Kepler could hug Eli before we left. He said he wasn’t supposed to, but then said go ahead. It was beautiful to see the two boys embrace.

I was walking on clouds when we left. To see this young man unencumbered by drugs is pretty beautiful. He has written a blog post which I will post tomorrow. It’s been a great day.

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