I was born in Illinois, and have a rather large family, extended family, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, along with five brothers and sisters. For as long as I can remember some part of my family has been around. I miss that closeness.
I moved to Texas in 1982 and have lost some communication with family members. None of the relatives that I've grown up around are down here. I have two beautiful daughters down here who I love greatly and can't imagine life without them in it.
Because of being in prison I rarely get to see them. I think that it's more painful at times because of the memories I have of when I was growing up, the family closeness. I know what my daughters are missing out on. Family life is so essential to our feeling of belonging.
I'm thirty-nine now and have rarely gone back home in the past twenty years. It's been almost seven years since I've seen my mother. I write to a few family members now that do write back, but when I think about growing up with family always there I miss the unity.
When I am released I want to reconnect with my family. I can never relive the past years, but I can rebuild my relationships with each and every member if I make the effort. By writing more now and opening up, I feel I've started the process of repairing lost family ties.
I look forward to the future with my family around me and to be able to say that I am truly a part of a family again.