Monday, April 30, 2007

The Little Things Mean So Much Sometimes

This was sent to Aunt B via email....

Dear Aunt B,
Hey, I'm a dude ,I was needing your advise, should I write to my ex g-friend who is serving 13 years in federal prison? I can't get her outta my head , seriuos.

Dear Dude,
I have stated, that I will answer any and all questions and I will honor that. I hope that you will read this and possibly get back to me, maybe give me more info.

I'm not sure if you are aware that I did 3 1/2 years in Prison, myself? I did and I sure can give you an educated opinion on the whole lo down, ins and outs of what it is to be in Prison. After stating this, I'll make my point.

There are a few things that you must weigh or look at, right? I know that if it were me, I'd sure appreciate a letter or a visit. Just knowing that you've not been forgotten, with even a simple postcard can make all the difference. I got less than my share of letters, as my children mourned me and it was so painful, for them to even think about me being behind bars. I suffered for this but I had to understand. I had no visits in all those years, although my youngest son, did make an attempt. The way the system is designed now, you must have certain documents and I.D. and strict and rigid laws are in place concerning the visitation of children. My grandchild could not come in because of not having I.D. It was winter and they, of course, could not wait in the car. It was a sad day, when I knew my son had made the effort and drove so far and could not visit me. So, I know the disappointment of watching others go to visitation, day after day and you have none.
I also know what it is, to stand there, at mail call and they read off all the names but yours.

But I must make you aware of the realistic part of this scenario. It would be kind of you, to state that you care for this girl. I mean, I would love to know that, even after all that, someone cares. In that approach, I would say, yes, write her and tell her how you feel. Go visit her, if you are able and allowed. I don't know your history but if you have convictions, yourself, you may not be able to visit.
If you do go visit, pay attention. Not everybody is able to have that peek into the institutional side of incarceration. For those of us, who are basically good people but made some serious mistakes, the toll is huge. If it was because of an addiction, you pay double, as you must reinvent yourself and adapt. Most addicts were running from emotions, feelings, bad memories. You throw that kind of a person, into a prison setting and it can triple the pain. It is survival of the fittest and you'll come out of there one of two ways; bitter or blessed.

The Warning

You must realize that 13 years is a God awful long time. She will never be that same woman you knew. If she is meek and mild, she will no longer be that sweet young woman, you knew. She may be an improved version but you'll have to realize that there will be baggage, feelings and an institutional mentality. It makes it hard to cope and live life on life's terms. But the real question is this; Do you want to invest in her hardship by giving her the promise of your heart, only to move on because you are still in the real world? I mean, that's the facts jack. Most men do not stick by their women, the statistics speak volumes. Men usually can not wait and move on. Women have a better percent total for sticking by their men incarcerated, that's a textbook given.

Will you do more harm than good?

I think if you really care, you must follow your heart but have your eyes wide open and be aware of the draw backs and do not mislead her. If you plan on being there for her, in any capacity, honesty is the best policy. I'm sure she will be grateful for the fact that you even care and you do think about her. I don't know how much time she has left or if she was just sent but I can only imagine, even a simple card saying that you were thinking about her and you care would be so appreciated. Even sending $10 in a money order would be a nice gesture. Ten dollars in there can stand between you having shampoo or not. I've had to wash my hair with soap, prison soap, until I could get assigned to a job. Then, I waited a month to get my commissary and you can't imagine how much I appreciated my job at .18 an hour and that shampoo. The Ramen noodles saved me from having to gag down a meal of liver that was overcooked and stunk to high heaven. It's the simple things that mattered. Remember that.

Write her but do not mislead her, ever, ok?

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