The Only Good Things in Prison Are Your Memories

Jamie Cummings jr

memories

Hello mom,

July 7, 2015

How are you? Fine I hope. As for me I’m okay. I’m waiting for this lady to come on. So I can send Jamie his birthday present. Wow, 9 years old. Time is flying by fast. I have been away too long and it really hurts bad. I have missed so much of his life. I remember just like it was yesterday. I was in Austin and Megan came to visit. Jamie had just started to walk. We were walking all over the visitation room. I was behind him. He had hold of both my index fingers. We walked everywhere in there. Lol. I loved it. Now he’s fixing to be 9 years old on the 12th, running and jumping everywhere. I just hope he never tells me I’m not his dad. I would lose it.

Yes, you and I are just alike. Crazy as hell. Both of us! We’re not to be messed with!  Also, I completed Melvin’s challenge to chant  nam myoho renge kyo every morning and evening.

August 10

Hello beautiful, I received your letter. So how are you feeling? That was a crazy question. You’re still hurting from the surgery. Give it time, you’ll be fine.

Butternut squash, red bell peppers, onions and raisins. Chicken vegetable soup. Cucumber, tomato and onion salad, with a side of peaches, apples, butter and brown sugar. Hmm, getting sticky are we? lol. I love it, it all sounds good. However you got me with the squash. I don’t eat that. (Sonni’s note: He hasn’t had my squash!) I’ll take a Reese’s peanut Butter Cup instead! speaking of Reese’s, Melvin bought one at our last visit. They was good. They don’t have that at the commissary, only in the vending machines in the visitors room.

Man, wait, you mean to tell me you went out for a massage? What is wrong with Mike’s hands? What is going on with that, that he won’t give you a massage? lol. If there is one thing I know about a woman it is that she likes to get massages. I don’t mean that sexually. I think it’s important to any relationship to have that to look forward to. A lack of these things cause lots of women to feel like their mate has lost interest in them.

Yes, I got everything you sent. I have paper and stamps and I’ve been writing. I’m still on restriction so I’m only able to go to commissary once a month. It is hot 98 degrees, but it feels like 104 or 105. I’ll lay on the floor at night and sometimes during the day. Depends on the roaches.

I tell these people about my foot every day and they still ain’t tryin’ to do shit. these stitches have been in my foot 18 days and they haven’t helped nothing because the wound is still open.

All those weird letters you typed you didn’t take out when you fell asleep when you were typing ym ymymymyyyy …ymmumuuum. I think we both need sleep!

What are the dudes in here for who are around me? They are in for everything. Murder even. I, myself, have run into dudes with the same time and charge as me. They only separate us if they say we are a threat to the officers and other inmates or if they were put on death row.

A long time ago we started sharing our personal lives with each other. If I didn’t have you to care about me I wouldn’t have anyone. Making me think about taking walks or riding bikes to the top of the hill, making me imagine being out of here and somewhere else, has been the one thing that has helped me keep it together. I don’t know if I would have. I know you care about me. And I care about you. I’m not trying to disrespect you and Mike. It’s not like that. I just wanted you to know how much it means to me having your letters to look forward to and having someone who helps me when I need it. It makes me think that someday everything is going to be okay.

jamie cummings

I got the picture you made of me and little Jamie at the same age. We both had a lazy eye at that age. I laughed when I saw it. I laughed hard. The short set I had on was taken the day we were supposed to go to the baseball park and watch the fireworks and we ended up not going. Ain’t that something.

It’s late so I better go. Til next time. Love to you. Get well soon.

(Sonni’s note: It was good to get a letter of just chit chat and not another bad thing that happened. He seems in good spirits)

http://facebook.com/jamielifeinprison . . .Blog posts and news about injustice in the world

Sonni Quick piano music complete list

Juvenile Probation in Mesquite, Texas

Dear Mom,
You wanted to know more about my life before I ended up in juvy. It was the last part of my teenage life I could still make my own choices. I had to leave Nacogdoches for awhile. I had gotten into some trouble in the tenth grade. I guess you could say this next year was going to be the last formal schooling I really had. I have an uncle who lives in Mesquite, Tx. I went to go stay with him for a year while I was on juvy probation. juvenile probation center

My uncle was a good man I must say. He’s a parole officer for adults and over the years he worked his way up the system. He has a son that got 20 years. I’ll explain that to you one day. I lived with him and went to school, but he wouldn’t trust me to go anywhere. I remember I went outside across the street to the neighbors house. They had two boys about my age. I went over and we talked and played basketball then I went back home to my uncle’s house. My uncle questioned me about where I was and told me not to go over there anymore. We didn’t do anything wrong. I was bored and it was fun to have someone to spend some time with. I guess he didn’t trust that I wouldn’t get in any trouble since he was responsible for me. He was never home when I got home from school because he had home visits to do for his job. I was supposed to come home and just stay in the house or the yard. When it came time for me to report to my probation officer I had to walk or ride my cousin’s bike. Man, it was far away. It was the only time I got away from having to be home all the time except when i went to school, so I began to really like the ride. I was getting to see more of the city, too..

I also started to do community service at the Boys and Girl’s Club. One night my little cousin was with me, and we were riding our bikes home. It was a good distance between the house and the club. One evening when we were leaving to start riding home it was beginning to get dark. We were riding on the sidewalk going down a hill when this dude in a truck pulled out of the driveway of an apartment complex. He didn’t have his headlights on so he couldn’t see me. when he pulled out in front of me I hit the front side of his truck, flew over it, breaking my left leg. I remember hearing my cousin screaming and myself yelling I didn’t want to get into trouble. After that I woke up in the hospital. I had a cast on my leg from my ankle up to my thigh. After I left the hospital and went back to my uncle’s house I called my cousin to check up on him. He came over when I called, but he stopped a good distance away from me and just looked at me. That was strange. He wouldn’t say anything or come anywhere close to me after that.

I completed my probation. My uncle asked me if I wanted to stay or go home. I told him I wanted to go home, but to this day I ask myself why I didn’t stay. I feel my life might have come out a lot better than what it is now. I tell myself I would have finished school, too. Look at my age now, thirty-two, and I still haven’t been able to finish school. We never know at the time that each time we make a decision it is going to take us in a different direction.

Many Black Families Don’t Have Dads

encouragement, grief, oevercoming obastaclesGrowing up all I had was my family on my mother’s side.  I know no one on my father’s side of the family.  Who am I kidding, hell, I don’t even know my father.  I grew up without him only having my mother.  It’s nothing different from most black families.  Single mothers raising kids alone.  Well, in my case it was a little different because my brothers and sister knew their dad and their dad’s family, leaving me with only a mom.  Each of us has a different dad.  That was cool, but sometimes I wondered what it would be like with a dad.  To this I still wonder, even though dad is home with mom now.  She said they got married.  I tried to reach out to and write a letter.  I even sent him a birthday card.  I’m still waiting for a reply.  So, I guess I still don’t have a dad.  She said he is a retired cop, no less.  He was married and didn’t tell her and then when she got pregnant, he told her and she ended the relationship.  She almost ended the pregnancy, too.  She told me that when she came to see me on my birthday this year.  That hurt. But back then? That was just the way it was. He left both of us.  She never told me who my father was when I was growing up.  That’s pretty bad, isn’t it?

I really hate this because some things I don’t want to remember.  Growing up, my favorite cousin was my Aunt Ann’s son.  His name was Keithy.  He passed away in 1996 from sickle cell anemia. Since I had epilepsy, we were the sick ones in the family.  He broke my heart so bad.  We used to follow each other. I didn’t matter he was older than me by six or seven years. We enjoyed each others company.  We had each others back.  We played together all the time. He loved to go fishing. I would go with him.  There were times we caught nothing, but we still loved to go.  We sometimes had our days when we were mad at each other.  But it didn’t take long for us to make up.  We had lots of fun. There were also times I couldn’t visit him because he was too sick, and that made me mad.  Mad that he was sick.  There were times he went to visit his dad’s family.  One time when he came home from his dads he was sick.  I went to visit with him one day and when we were playing he just started crying.  My aunt came in to help him and called my mom to come and take me home.  While I was waiting  his pain got worse.  I could hear his cries for help.  It hurt so much to see him like that.  His sickness got real bad so I ended up having to stay home a lot.  I then started leaving home.  I felt empty as far as friends.  So I would leave sometimes just to get away.  It got to the point where I would leave in the middle of the night to try to fill in that blank space.  Well, I left home one too many times at night.  My mom got worried about me and placed me in a children’s hospital.  I didn’t like it there.

I don’t remember how long I was there.  I do remember them letting me call home one day.  I remember explaining to my mom that I didn’t like this place and I began to cry.  I also remember the day that really broke my heart.  But I started out happy that day because my mom came and got me out of the hospital and took me to my aunt’s house.  There was a lot of people there.  My mom took me to the back room where everybody was and she told me that my cousin died.  I broke down.  My old brother grabbed me and told me not to cry, but we both cried.  We went to view him and he looked so different.  I remember touching him and asking my mom why he was so cold.  Then we buried him.

( Sonni’s note:  Jamie was in prison long before he actually was in one.  It’s easier to have hindsight than it is to have foresight. He arrived in this world broken and never had a fair shake.  His cousin died 19 years ago, but it could have been yesterday.  He had a lot of obstacles to overcome that he is still working on today.  There have been many lessons learned.  But I believe it was after his cousin died that the road in his life took a sharp left turn.)