Death Row Reflections...
I have now been on Death Row for 17 years. The following stories are the experiences of my life on Death Row. It is the realities of prison life. It's no joking matter. I wish I knew how to stress that there is nothing in prison for no one. I wish I could plant this in the minds of people walking in the wrong path of life and those already in prison. I have been in a cell since the age of 12. I am not really sure how or when it became normal for me and people to be in and out of prison. How did we become so blind? How was it that we didn't see the realities of prison life? And how do many of us still not see the realities of prison life?
The realities of prison life are very hard emotionally. It is a lesson that some people learn within minutes in a cell. For others, it could take days to years to learn. And sadly, many of us learn this lesson when these doors shut forever, or in the last chapter of our lives. A lesson learned too late. Prison life is very hard and sad.
Then you add Death Row on top of that, death is always knocking on your door. It's everywhere. You hear it when other's talk. Sometimes I hear it in my voice. You see it in people's eyes; you see it in the mirror, staring at you. Even in your dreams you can't escape it. It's always there.
My reason for the following stories: I hope someone who is walking in the wrong path of life will see the light within our stories. Or if you know someone who is walking on the wrong path of life, tell them of our darkness with hopes of seeing the light. There is nothing in prison, for no one. Even those seeking my death.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to write me.
Love and Blessings,
The Hardest Visit With My Son...
Years ago I got a letter saying that my youngest son was beginning to walk down the wrong path of life. He was hitting his siblings. That was his biggest issue. His mother couldn't quite get through to him. And she asked me to speak to him.
I was blessed to have been able to visit with my kids since at a very young age. Their mother and I agreed not to tell the children about me being on Death Row. They only knew I was gonna be in prison for a while.
I requested that my son be brought to me so that I may speak to him. I thought a lot about what I was going to tell him. I knew I had to reach out to him and get through him. I needed to warn him of where his actions could lead him. I knew in my heart what I had to do.
The day came when I was able to visit my son. He came with my eldest son. Both were still under age. At first we talked a little. Then I brought up the biggest issue. My youngest son thought it was funny and laughed. (In the back of my mind it scared me. It was like looking in the mirror. I saw myself at his age). While he was laughing, I told him I started the wrong path of life at his age. I thought everything was cute and funny. And for that, I was now on Death Row. My son looked confused. Then he asked me: "What does Death Row mean?" My eldest answered that I would never get out. I said: "No." I looked at both of my sons. Then I looked at my youngest son in the eyes. I then told him that it means I will be executed. For the first time I didn't see him laugh. What I saw in his eyes I will never forget. I was watching my words work it's way through his mind. Then it hit him emotionally. In his eyes I saw the pain. The pain I caused him. It was hard knowing I put my child through that pain. As his first tear came down, I watched the remainder of his innocence leave his soul. As his second tear fell so did mine and my eldest son's. I went on to explain how his actions could spiral out of control, as it had spiraled out of control in my life. He listened to my words. This time there was a seriousness on his face, instead of a laughing face. In my heart, I could only hope he was truly listening in his heart. By the end of the visit you could tell a lot was on his mind, and his heart was very heavy. I could only pray he would follow the right path.
That was the hardest visit with my son. That day life became very real for my son. He got closer to God. Both my kids graduated from school. They have their own families now. I am very proud of them.
One of the things I could tell my kids over and over, and I would drill this in their heads, was that I didn't ever want to see them land in prison, and much less, follow my footsteps. I didn't care what they did with life. Just to make something out of it, and stay out of prison. I've told my kids this since they were very young. I thank God for answering my prayers.
Love and Blessings,