My kids are out there somewhere...... on Spring Break with friends.... while their mom is left here, home without them. I'm busy. Very much so. But I'm missing them greatly. I texted one just now (the youngest) that I've not heard from since last night. Just to touch base. Just to know that she's still breathing. Just to make sure that she's still able to text. Just to make sure that she's still sounding her normal.
After she replied, I wanted to text back:
- No drinking
- No snorting anything
- No popping pills
- No smoking weed
- Don't show too much skin
- Remember the lady you were raised to be
- Don't hang around people you shouldn't
- Be so very careful
- And don't kill anybody!
The last one may not be the norm for most parent's lists. But after my today.... I resisted from it, but I seriously wanted to say it.
I was at a parole hearing for one of our inmates this morning. M has been in our class for almost four years. She completed the two-year program, and then stayed on for extra classes that we added on for those that wanted to continue. She's already served 20 years of a 25 year sentence. She went in at the age of 21. Tomorrow's her birthday, she'll be 41. She's in for murder. Her mama and her daddy miss her!
I've got a 21 year old daughter. I cannot imagine her going into prison at this age... and 20 years slowly passing by with her still in there. I cannot imagine what all wouldn't have happened in my life had I been incarcerated at 21. I wouldn't have married. I wouldn't have had children. They'd be no Prissy. No Tabor. No Sabrina. I wouldn't have been there when my grandmother died, or my granddaddy, or my mamaw, or my papaw, or my uncles, or my aunts, or my daddy! My siblings lives would have continued on without me.... while I couldn't help but think of all that I was missing because of something in a crazed moment that I had done. Every single second of everyday, I'm sure, I'd regret that I did it. I'd hate that I couldn't take back what I couldn't! I'd mourn the life I'd taken. I'd mourn the lives of those I'd hurt. I'd mourn the wrong committed. I'd mourn the wasted time. I'd mourn... I'd mourn.... I'd mourn........ a lot!
Today I watched sorrow on two families' faces! I watched hurt emerge and lash out. I watched meanness snarl because of a still piercing pain. I watched heads shake. I watched heads bow. I watched eyes squint closed. I watched jaws clinch teeth. As I wrote in an earlier post: Nobody wins in a murder. The blood still cries out seeking its justice... and in some, still seeking its revenge. All the while, the murderer begs for forgiveness, for compassion, for a second chance, for mercy. Because of the pleas made by the victim's family, the parole board denied M parole. She'll EOS in five years, in 2017.
I wonder what all will happen in my life in the next 5 years? I wonder what'll all happen in M's as she still sadly sits behind bars while the clock slowly ticks one tick-and-tock at a time as she begins to count down the 2,628,000 minutes she now has left til time to go home?
Her dad told me, "We had no idea at 11:30 that night, that at 12:01 our lives would be radically unhinged and changed forever." They hadn't a clue that murder was in the forecast. They hadn't been forewarned that they would one day face such horror.
I love M's mom and dad. They remind me so much of mine. I cannot fathom the pain that penetrates to the very depths inside them tonight. I cannot fathom the torrid of tears that they'll weep on their pillows. Because of something horrible, their little girl (even at 21) was locked up.... and 20 years later they're still hurting and sitting by their window, looking, waiting, praying, anticipating, wanting, wishing, wailing, longing for her to come home.