He cranked up half a smile and said, "You know me. Tears come with the territory."
He pleaded guilty in the courtroom this morning. Tomorrow the federal marshals will be here to take him to Montana. He's looking at very serious time, maybe more than twenty years.
He was my first stop this morning. I had a handful of requests, people wanting to see a chaplain. Some I'd seen before. Robert and I had talked a couple of times. He's the requisite tough guy, doesn't need anything, can handle whatever gets thrown at him, but spend five minutes with him and he becomes a vulnerable man who can't quite believe that someone wants to get to know him.
He hadn't asked to see me again. His name had caught my eye when I was catching up on paperwork, printing out the names of people I'd seen in December. There was a gentle nudge. So he was first on my list today. I'm glad I went. One more day and he would be gone. And he'd already been to court this morning, so there wasn't the Great Unknown waiting for him.
We sat in silence for a while, his eyes filling and emptying with tears.
"If you need someone to write to," I said, "here's my name and address." I wrote it out for him. He nodded and folded the card into his pocket.
Keep Robert in your prayers. He faces such a long road ahead.