A few years ago, I married Trishelle at Michael Unit. A few months ago, Trishelle sent me a text that her husband was finally coming home. Their life after lock up as a family would finally begin. I love happy endings.
Trishelle’s mother and best friends had joined her in the drive to Tennessee Colony and because guests weren’t allowed inside the Unit, they waited with Cindy while Trishelle drove me in her car to Michael Unit. My very first maximum security prison wedding. The razor wire looked like it had been encrusted with diamonds in the sun. The guard towers and the size of the Unit were intimidating. Michael Unit has a reputation of being Texas Tough Prison.
Looking at it through the passenger window, I was thankful that Trishelle was driving. Why? Because I was nervous. I felt intimidated. I had been at Sanders Estes Unit a minimum security Unit and assumed that other Units would be equal to it. I was wrong. Michael is massive and back then it was also intimidating to me. I mustered up the courage to tell Trishelle “I’m a bit terrified.” Trishelle laughed and said “Miss Wendy, I’m here every weekend and I know the drill. You’re with me and you will be fine.” My anxiety and claustrophobic tendencies were running high but I trusted Trishelle and her experience so… in we went.
Taking off our shoes, belts and jewelry, we carefully put them into the containers to screen in. After a pat down, we handed our ID’s to the correctional officer at the desk and awaited our escort to the visitation area. Walking through the yard, I couldn’t help but look back at that razor wire.
Entering the visitation area, our groom was escorted out. Vending machine trash was around the area so I moved my couple away from it to the center of the room. Trishelle was wearing a tee shirt that read Mrs Fontenot. She would change into her wedding dress later at her photo shoot with me.
She was excited and happy and I was far more comfortable once I knew what to expect. Hearing door after door “clank” behind us, I didn’t know it then but it would take several units for me to stop jumping when I heard the clanking. We bought the photos of my newly married couple taken by a correctional officer at the Unit.The couple couple shared a brief kiss and we were escorted out of the Unit. There are no special visits at weddings. We are escorted in and escorted out within 25 minutes.
Walking back to the parking area, I was relieved and thankful to have had Trishelle by my side throughout my first visit to a maximum security Unit.
Driving back to meet Trishelle’s mom and friends as well as Cindy, we headed to do her bridal photos and change into her wedding dress. Cindy and I had packed bouquets and an suv of fun items for photos.Seeing Trishelle and her mom as well as Trishelle’s husband again yesterday was truly a delight and happy ending to an amazing journey.
Lisa had contacted me to marry her to her ex husband 33 years after divorcing him. Love ALWAYS finds a way. I was honored and thrilled to share this Life Event and see Trishelle again too. I had packed a long veil that Lisa wore and brought several bouquets for her to choose from. My twin sister, Cindy handled the photos and we had a wonderful time celebrating the endurance of love and the joy of a happy family reunited…