I found the prison location on my spiral-bound map book of Oahu--I don't have GPS yet, and have been misled by Google too many times. Then I called the prison to affirm what I had found. "Digame," the voice said. "Habla ingles, por favor," I replied, and she did.
So this morning, with some trepidation and much prayer, I set out to visit my granddaughter. I'm always uneasy about driving to new locations. The idea of finding the Women's CCC and then braving the security gauntlet was daunting.
A sign pointed me to the correct side road. Visitor parking was labeled. "Visitors Check in with Security" told me my next step. I 'fessed up to the guard that it was my first time to come, and, this being Hawaii, he cheerfully told me to lock my purse in my car and give him my keys and I.D. Another guard pointed me in the right general direction but I went on the wrong road. Other visitors called me back. Everyone was polite, helpful, and non-threatening, but it WAS a prison. High fences separated inmates from the outside world. Not a resort.
The smile on my granddaughter's face rewarded me. "Granny!" she said. "I thought it must be you when they said I had a visitor. I knew I didn't have anyone else it could be." I was her first visitor. She's been on this island for a month. Sad.
How was she doing? "I feel like I'm wasting my life," she said.
Well, yes. "It's not meant as a reward," I grinned.
"Yes, I know. But you know, one woman has been here 20 years. She says she wouldn't want to be outside. She's totally taken care of here. I hope I'm not here so long that I get that attitude."
She's in here because, while driving drunk, she wrecked her car and killed a back-seat passenger who wasn't wearing a seat belt. DUI. What is wrong with us? We've had two high-profile UH athletes arrested for DUI this past month. We've had a couple of politicians, same problem. Come on, guys, use MADD's designated driver solution. Stop killing people.
Well, long story not so short, I was really glad I conquered my fear and went in the prison. I once read a book, FEEL THE FEAR AND DO IT ANYWAY. That's been one of my mottos. And I will for sure drive sober.
What fear have you faced? What was the result?