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Letter from an incarcerated father to his son

January 7, 2019 1:54 am

Dear Son,
Today we begin the second year of my prison term. I say ‘we’ because my incarceration impacts your life, your sister and your mother too. I think of you every day and wish things were different. What I want you to know is that your life can be different from the one I chose. Everything is possible with a focus on your dreams and hard, honest work.
I just got back from the chow hall this morning and have a few minutes to send you a note before I have to be back to work in the dish room. Believe me, cleaning pots and pans is no walk in the park. Yesterday around 2:00 PM, there was a disturbance on the recreation yard and the institution went to lock down status until this morning. With the excitement of you graduating from high school, I couldn’t tell anyone or share the happiness I’m experiencing because a group of Gang Members decided to settle their differences violently.
That means there will be no visitors for a while so I will repeat my days just like today:
* There is no privacy; I share my cell, the unit bathroom and even the TV with other men
* Wake up time is 6 am no matter what
* I eat what is served and when I am scheduled
* One hour a day is recreation
* Five times a day I must stand at attention to be counted by the correctional officer
But the hardest part of all this for me is not being able to be with you all the time, everyday.
You once asked me what I wanted the most when I’m released back to society and I have spent some time thinking about your question. As you know I have five more years before I complete this sentence. The only thing I want is for my son to have a college degree. I have spoken to my Unit Manager and Counselor and they have agreed to help me look for grants or financial aid to assist in you going to college. The decisions I have made in the past have led me to this facility, no one is to blame but myself. I can’t imagine my son going thru the same daily routine that I am forced to do.
I love you and have to get to work, hope to see you next month when visiting is opened back up.
P.S. Remember the phrase our pastor used to say? ” Don’t be afraid of greatness”. You have greatness in you son and everyday I believe in you and what you accomplish.