Today is a look into the past. When I send a letter through Jpay, an inmate service where you can send email and money. There is an archive of every email I’ve sent. I have my letters to him and his handwritten letters to me. At least 600 letters between us. The only ones I don’t have are the earliest letters I sent before I found out about jpay, so I’m missing close to three years. He was incarcerated in early 2006 and I didn’t start writing for about 1 1/2 years.
Many people who find this blog start in a place that doesn’t give any reason for why it’s in existence. What is the story?. If you have followed since the beginning you probably know. I want new reader’s to want to come back time and again and help me to share his story with their own social media. Thank you to you who do.
Why are we writing? This letter is long before I started a blog and definitely before I started writing the book “Inside The Forbidden Outside. This tells you where both he and I were during this time in our lives. It takes a long time to really get to know someone.
My husband and I had recently moved from Key West – not by choice. I loved it there. I owned a great little store that I had been at for ten years called Touched by the Sun, at Westin hotel. Almost everyday there was a cruiseship parked right outside my door. I saw the famous Key West Sunset Celebration every day. But the economy crashed and my liver failed. I needed a liver transplant and I was too far from a good hospital. I reluctantly closed my store and I moved north near family. We were still staying at my mother’s place when I wrote this letter. Leaving my life behind was like cutting off a leg. I grieved.
I stayed on my feet about another six months after this letter. I slowly lost the ability to walk without a walker or hold a fork. I had smaller surgeries and many infections, and put on 50 lbs of fluid -ascites. I developed liver cancer. A nonfunctioning liver effects the brain and it’s hard to think – too much protein – confusion – the meds were horrible but the biggest worry was slipping into a coma. I was lucky. A liver became available. I would not have made it much longer. My husband took care of me in bed like a baby for two years. I received no help came from my large family in Pa. (Not even a get well card) But Jamie encouraged me with letters. I had reasons for living. I wasn’t done yet.
I hope the book I sent was good. On Amazon you can read the first few pages to decide, but that’s all. It looked interesting. I’d send you books every week if I could. It would at least help to pass the time.
I hated to hear about your seizure and the way they treated you. Since they haven’t been consistent about giving you your medication I’m sure that has a lot to do with it. What is your cellie like? I’m sure when they find out about your illness they wonder if you will have one in front of them. People get scared of things they don’t understand. I know that it can harm you and do damage. I understand people are in prison for a reason and some of those reasons can be very bad, but that doesn’t mean it’s okay to treat people as though they are less than human. I’m sure there are decent guards and also those that get off on hurting people. They like having that kind of control. But people get back what they dish out. The law of cause and effect. There is an effect for everything we do – good and bad – so just sit tight and do the best you can and ride this out because it will, someday, be over. When you start your life again you will want to feel good about yourself.
Yes, family is very important. But sometimes they think they have the right to pass judgement on other family just because they are related. Family can get pretty mean. My sister felt she had the right to ask questions and get answers to things that were none of her business. She didn’t like the man I’m married to even though she doesn’t know him. She made rash judgement calls without really knowing him, to keep from dealing with her own problems. The hardest thing some people have to learn is to respect other people’s privacy. I felt I couldn’t say anything to anyone without everyone calling each other with their latest news about so-and-so. The gossip in this family is awful.
It was hard ripping up my entire life and moving up here. I don’t like people talking about my life on the phone with each other. They don’t know me. Mike and I spend a lot of time in our room because it is our only space.
It’s hard to picture the rec area and the cages and the guards trying to get people to fight each other. I think I would rather stay in a cell by myself to lessen the chances of trouble. Although being able to play basket ball would be good if your knees were ok. What have the nurses said about your knees? There is something very wrong. Is it possible that it is water on the knee? Are they still saying they won’t do anything about it? They shouldn’t be so swollen.
It was good to hear that you were helping other people, and it’s bad to hear they punish you for it. Some people have had such horrible lives and have people that don’t know the difference between right and wrong. They don’t have a chance. You, too, weren’t raised in a way to feel that you were capable of so much more. No one to help with your schooling. Where were the adults you could look up to and respect? You will have a chance to change all that when you get out. You will be able to do something your enjoy, to feel good about yourself and have the confidence to get past the negativity.
I would like to see a copy of the things the commissary has. Also – are you still getting the mag subscription you wanted?
Time to eat. I made a big pot of split pea soup. I like to cook, and not being able to work right now gives me all the time I want to cook. When Mike and I get our own place my mom is sure going to miss me because I do all the cooking! She finds it hard to cook for one person and doesn’t eat as well as she should and since she has diabetes, what you eat is very important. (note from Sonni in 2016: Today we are bringing my mother home from a 5 month stay in a nursing home from a serious stroke of the small blood vessels – caused by her diabetes. If you are one of millions who has it, learn from this. She is in a wheel chair now.) I’m sure you would just like to eat something that tasted good with fresh veggies and fruit and maybe some nice BBQ ribs. Oh! I’m being mean aren’t I? Just trying to get your imagination going!
Lots of love son, Mom
New issue of the newletter going out on Sunday Morning 8/4
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