I was cleaning my room and a couple of old letters fell out of the book bag that is overstuffed with mail and random writings from That Time. Letters and writings I have yet to open and read because I am sort of scared to journey back to That Time. Everyone in my family, immediate family except my dad has given back my mail or all the letters I wrote to them. I don’t know why, if they want me to read how desperately lonely I was or what.
But these two letters weren’t letters I wrote. They were letters written to me. One was from my son, while I was in county awaiting my fate. He sent me ten dollars and said he don’t need money as much as he needs his mom and he wanted me to buy stamps and phone time to keep in touch with him. This still makes me cry. His letter was maybe five sentences and so deep it touches my soul. Here he was, practically living in a third world country and I know he wasn’t eating as good as I was, but he sent me ten dollars to keep in contact with him. That showed me that no matter what the feds did to me, I had all the love in the world right there. They couldn’t break the bond we had formed way back to when I was pregnant and would soothe him by talking to him. I realize now, the love of my children helped me through all those hard times.
The other letter was from my Grandma Ernabelle. She tried to joke with me that she was going to be on Dancing With The Stars. Then she proceeded to tell me that getting old sucked. She was having a hard time walking but she was taking care of my Uncle Pete, whose Parkinsons Disease had progressed to full time care. He was no longer the black belt karate champion he used to be and I would look up to him in awe because he wore a leather jacket like the Fonz. He was helpless and in her old age, when she should’ve been enjoying her retirement gardening and watching her precious Redskins football, she had become a full time nurse. Spending her years of government pension on the healthcare for him that medicare wouldn’t cover.
My grandma Erna died last year after my release, but she was still in West Virginia. I never saw her again. I talked to her once. She was very happy I was home and she was scared of going into surgery. She told me she loved me and just as she thought, she didn’t survive surgery.
These two letters, I believe fell to show me how strong family bonds are. The funny thing is they are both mother and first born son bonds, but the bonds with a mother and child are unbreakable.
I met so many young mothers in That Time, that lost their children. Some with regret and some without. Some so busy looking for love they got in trouble looking for love, they must not know the love of that baby that gazed so lovingly in their eyes at one time is the strongest love you will find on Earth. I wished I could tell all young women that. And wished they would listen.
Do not forget the children. They are truly God’s gift to us. Wakanyeja.
Love can get you through anything.
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