No matter what I've done in my lifetime, nor how many times I've turned my back on my family, I've always known that my family is there for me. Growing up surrounded by family brings many happy memories. I can remember the comfort and security of always being able to depend on family being around. After a while I started taking my family for granted. Up until the time I was seventeen, family was just something that was there.
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.
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