I didn't sleep a wink last night, so my eyes were already red. I did the best I could with make-up, but still my eyes burned with fury from my night's abuse. It wasn't that I hadn't planned on sleeping. I did. I went to bed earlier than usual, about 11 o'clock. Early for me, because I knew my morning would start especially early. I needed to be up by five, definitely not a minute past 5:30.
I turned the light out. Turned over. Pulled the cover up just right. And snuggled in. And then...
My oldest daughter walked into my room. She peeked at me, then turned to tiptoe back out. I rose up to tell her "Hi."
She answered, "I thought you were asleep."
"No," I said. "I just laid down."
She crawled up in the bed with me and her talking began. She'd been out-of-town. She was asleep herself when I got home. But now she was awake. And she wanted to share. So share she did. And we had the best time. She didn't leave my room until two o'clock this morning.
Woe. By that hour I knew I didn't have long. But I was wired. No sleepy at all anywhere in my body. I got Online to do a few things, hoping the screen's reading would make me sleepy. It didn't. By the time I probably could have gone to sleep, it was too close to time to get up. I vetoed the whole idea and just got on up anyway.
That was part of it, but that isn't the total reason I looked so bad.
Today was one of our oldest girl's parole hearing. I couldn't wait. I was excited. Giddy. Wanting release for her so badly, but scared for what might happen. It's my first parole hearing to attend, I'd never been to one before. I was so proud of her family and friends. She obviously has lots of support from those that love her. I met her sister, and her aunt, and her daughter. Their similarities were striking. I imagine with a bit of make-up (and a wig like theirs **smile**), they would even be more so. Ah, I could picture it already... our girl all fixed up on the outside of the fence and smiling her million dollar smile of thanksgiving!
We sat there for 2 1/2 hours before her name was called. We lined up and marched in. Quiet. Hopeful. Full of wonder and silent prayers. We packed the house on our side of the room. The lone woman on the other side was an assistant to the District Attorney General.
Three of us from our side were given the floor to speak of the reasons we deemed her worthy of being released from her sentence early. The other lady spoke of the reasons why she shouldn't. Her mercy (or lack thereof) now sat in the hands of the parole board that we sat before. They told us that they had heard both arguments and now they would deliberate and give us their answer. Surprisingly to me, they stayed sitting right there while they discussed. Everyone's eyes in the room were riveted toward theirs. No one said a word. No one moved. Everyone speaking with silent prayers.
The verdict was in. The decision had been made. And we were told that her parole would be granted!
I could hold back my tears no longer. My mascara was making a mess of my face! After hugs with the girl that I teach with and her family members, I was too full, I had to spill out. I cried myself all the way home. If that was me, just imagine what the news will do for our girl once she hears it! We'll get to see her tonight. She should already have been told by then. I can only imagine that I'll be a mess herself when I see her! Today, I'm fine with looking a mess! Today's "mess" was totally worth it!