I got called down to the bench. Being called to the bench usually means you’re getting written up for something. They call you to inform you of the rule you’ve broken and the status of your investigation. So as I walked to the bench, I mentally scoured the previous days, trying to figure out what I was in trouble for. I couldn’t think of anything.
The watch commander told me I had a Red Cross message. Much like during a deployment, that’s how you’re notified of family emergencies in the DB. The message said my mother was in critical condition, the doctors found cancer in multiple parts of her body. The watch commander tried to console me, “It doesn’t say she’s dying, though, right?”
I don’t know much about cancer, but I knew there was little room for consolation.
I called my dad. He said the doctors had given my mom 10-14 days to live. I asked to speak to the warden about emergency parole to visit her before she died.
You know how in movies the prisoner gets out for a day to attend his mom’s funeral? Well apparently that doesn’t happen in real life. At least not here. Not even under guard.
The warden told me I could have a free call to the hospital through the Chaplain’s office. It took two days to fill out the necessary paperwork and schedule the call, but I was finally able to call the hospital where my mom was admitted. The hospital directory connected me to her room. The phone rang and rang. Eventually, a nurse picked up. She said my mom had passed already.