The craziest thing happened today, two fellow prisoners started out in a casual debate, I was only half listening while typing a letter. The debate went on for about 20 minutes, then out of nowhere these two cats were arguing and threatening each other (that’s why I rather express myself through my personal platform). But the debate ended in a dispute about does money matter in a relationship? My first thought without thinking is “Yes” that’s no brainer! I feel like the two guys were arguing their points from the wrong angle, because both had some good views with the points they were making, but in all actuality “Money does matter in a relationship”. When that question is asked, that doesn’t mean their saying or asking do a person has to have millions or be a six figure person in order to be in a relationship with someone. A relationship is 50% based on financial security, the whole purpose of being a couple is to build together and be fruitful. That’s the life goal and plan. We save our money to buy a house, we save out money and get us new cars, we save our money for kids collage tuitions. If only one person is carrying the load and they’re not successful business owner, that load will become stress being the only one with a job and bringing the income into the home. Financial stress and woes are the number one cause and reason people file for divorce and end their marriages. I don’t know the exact number or percentage but it’s high. When that question is asked they’re not does a person has to have the money for you to be with them! But yes, money does matter in a relationship. There is no one in their right mind who’ll meet someone after talking to them it’s revealed that person hasn’t had a job in three years and you still jump into a relationship with that person. If you does that relationship is headed for disaster. There won’t be a future with this person, because you can’t build with this person, you’re spinning you wheels. I understand the reality of building in a relationship. Once I was finished with my letter, I went to each guy and explained to them what relationship is all about, and in any relationship it takes money to live and survive so of course money matters in any relationship. Both guys respected how I broke things down for them and both agreed that yes, in that light money does matter. But you’ll always have those who still say it doesn’t matter!
Today I had to hit the block and open up dialogue with my fellow brethrens here on the row. I received a letter last night from someone who I looked up to as an uncle, I’ve always called him Uncle Junior. I was super elated to receive a letter from him, he was just checking up on me like he normally do from time to time, to let me know he still love me and hasn’t forgot about me. He let me know him and Aunt Sharon is still going strong, and they’re still in love as if they’re teenagers. To me this is a remarkable story and I had to share it, so I went to the block and I pitch the question in open dialogue, “could you still love your spouse and be with her knowing she have H.I.V.?”, well the typical question came back to me…
“Do I have it too?
“How did she contract H.I.V.?”
“How long we been together and do we have kids?”….
I took in each question and just listened to each individual ask these questions which I think is baseless and senseless. But I go around and answer each….
“She contracted H.I.V. from shooting up”
“Been together 12 years and have 2 kids but they’re grown”
“No, you don’t have H.I.V.”.
Sad to say that all four guys asked their question when they already knew their answer. All four guys told me they could not stay in that relationship, they would have to leave because they will not take the risk in contracting H.I.V. trying to have safe sex. I have to truly respect their decision because you can’t ever ask someone to place their life in danger or at risk, it has to be their choice. I then went on to tell them that I have an uncle who contracted H.I.V. from shooting up heroin and once his wife found out she stay, and they still having sex and been together 25 years after she found out about his H.I.V.! I explained to those guys that live is way more powerful than anything else out there. You can overcome anything and conquer anything with love. It’s crazy and sad how people will abandon their spouse or significant other and turn their backs at such a severe time in that persons life. I remember the day like it was yesterday, back in 1993 I was 14 years old, Uncle Junior loved me like a real nephew. He came found me and sat me down and told me he just found out that he has H.I.V., he hadn’t even went home and told his wife yet. He was mentally distraught and told me he’s contemplating suicide, he was just too embarrassed to face Aunt Sharon and tell her something like this. I was a child actually a teenager, I didn’t know how to handle all Uncle Junior was dropping on my shoulders, but I knew I wasn’t going to let him kill himself. I challenged him right there on the spot, I told him that he was being selfish and not thinking about us who loves you. You’re not giving us a chance to show you we love you and care about you. I don’t care about you being infected with H.I.V. , that don’t change who you are to me, and it surely doesn’t change how I feel about you, I love you like a father. We cried together and talked a little more, then Uncle Junior told me to come ride with him. We went over to his mothers’ house where all his family was waiting on him. Junior dropped the news on his family and wife, but didn’t get the response he thought he was going to get. The whole family with Aunt Sharon at the forefront rallied behind Uncle Junior and supported him 100%. I’m happy to know that after 25 years Aunt Sharon still hasn’t given up on Junior they’re still happy going strong, because she continued loving a spouse with H.I.V.!
I try to always hold conversations that are meaningful but at the same time can be educational or eye openers as I like to call it. So I focus on talking about every day real and serious issues. I like touching on and discussing issues that’s effecting our everyday lives. Now by me blogging about these same topics that I’ve discussed here on the row with another person, I feel may give someone on the outside who may be going through or experiencing the same issue a better way to look at things and handle the situation. The discussion came up between me and a friend I’m writing because she told me her 12 year old son just can’t get along with her husband who isn’t his father. Me and her touched on a lot of different topics that we thought may be the reason her son and husband is quarrelling. But at the end of the day se really don’t know the truth because she can’t get neither one to be openly honest about their feelings. But his quarrelling is effecting my friend severely to the point she’s stressed, depressed and about to have a nervous breakdown, (this is a major problem all over the world with children rebelling against their stepparents). I told my friend after a few months of discussion on this issue, the reason why those two are quarrelling is right in there in your face, but the sad part about it there is no safe or correct solution for the problem. I told her you’re dealing with male egos and a strong dose of jealousy, both of these males are in love with you, your son because you are his mother, and your husband because you are his wife. Men are overly possessive when it comes to another man being in the number one spot in the life of the woman they love. I explained to her that her son and husband are in a secret chess match between each other fighting for the throne and number one spot in her life. They keep doing things to show each other who has the throne, you’re the Queen in their chess match so you’re taking all the hits while they’re taking score. When a parent is placed in that type of situation between their child and spouse it’s even harder to be referee because one is always going to feel like you have betrayed them for the other, so they will feel you have turned your back on them, now to you have a while other problem you have to face and deal with. Once you step out of the neutral zone and start refereeing you take the risk of losing your life partner or child. But at some point you’re going to have to step off the side-lines and choose a side in the refereeing department. But at the end of the day you have to stand on the side of right and be fair. My friend is scared and afraid to step in because she don’t want to lose neither one, but like I told her the longer she waits to step in, it’s going to be inevitable for her to lose one of those special men in her life. I gave my friend some very sound advice and pointers on how to handle her situation, I explained to her I’m not saying that this will work but you should try it (1) Find out if you have work time and if you do take at least 2 months off, and you go and live with a friend or family member and leave them two at the house by themselves. I promised her they will figure it out on their own or when you come back then your spouse is going to let you know they’re leaving. (2) You can find a male friend and start spending a lot of time with him and then those two will team up to get this dude out the picture. But in the process they will start to bond. My friend thought it was an amazing idea, she chose the 2 month challenge, and when she came back those two knuckleheads were the best of friends. Now she’s became a little jealous because they do everything together and leaves her at home now all the time. There is no more quarrelling between the two of them.
I woke up in the middle of the early morning for a bathroom break, in the course of relieving myself my radio is softly playing and catches my attention when I hear the words ‘Mass shooting in Santa Fe’ I finish relieving myself and washed my hands and quickly turned up the radio to catch this news. I knew instantly that nobody in my family was a victim of this shooting as I have no family in Santa Fe Texas, but I immediately felt the pain, hurt and sorrow that the rest of the world will be feeling as we all mourn the lives of those innocent children at Santa Fe High School. Ten people had their lives snatched and stolen from them due to gun violence. I couldn’t help but say and think that this can’t be life, when a country’s Government and State Officials can’t protect their children this can’t be life. But those same Governments can place strong and heavy military security into other countries to protect their personal interests from a financial standpoint. I’m tired of hearing or reading in the news how innocent people especially children are being slaughtered or being used as target practice when some sick deranged civilian gets their hands on an assault rifle. The tragedy those types of individuals leave behind when committing a mass shooting with an assault rifle is an inhuman casualty. As a citizen of any country if your Government gives you the right to bear arms to protect yourself, your family and your home, I have no problem with that nor am I again that. I’m even okay with hunting rifles that holds a small cartridge of ammo. But I have to question the morality of any Government who allows their citizens to have and own assault rifles. We can all agree that an assault rifle is a military gun, so it should only be used by people in their county’s military. The calibre bullet of all assault rifles carries enough impact to put down a 1700 pound horse, so that same impact hitting a 300 pound human does more than just wound and maim, those calibre of bullets destroy and shred human being to pieces. These are weapons of mass destructure which has no place in our every day society. What use does a civilian have for an assault rifle besides to destroy volumes of people once they open up fire? Those rifles holds up to 30-50 round drums, with a drum like that you only have one intent, and that’s to destroy and kill masses of people at one time. The National Rifle Association (NRA) is on the frontline advocating the rights to have these weapons of mass destructure in our everyday society. I heard that chairman of the NRA say some of the most idiocy hogwash I ever heard in my life, in his defence of assault rifles. He stated that they use assault rifles for hunting, but when you’re someone who hunts or been around or know about assault rifles then you know it’s hogwash. He can mislead the masses of people in public who’s not informed or educated about hunting and assault rifles that bull crap, but if you’re informed then you know better. An assault rifle would destroy and shred any hunting animal just like it does any human on impact. So you’re not going to be able to eat the meat, not will you be able to preserve the animal for a trophy prize display. But for the Chairman to defend or advocate for those types of rifles shows us his mentality and morality is inhuman and barbaric. Because this man places the value of an assault rifles over the value of a human life. It’s clear to see that those rifles are weapons of mass destructure. We as the people have to place extreme pressure on our Governments to outlaw, ban and remove those weapons of mass destructure from our everyday society, or we’re going to continue to have these mass shootings in our communities, schools and everyday society.
I was looking through my store folder for a quote I had written down, in the process I stumbled upon an old photo of me and my grandmother that brung tears to my eyes. I couldn’t help but reminisce on the days when I was an innocent child, a child who loved to be under my grandmother at all time. I began to think about how I would sit with her and she would let me brush and comb her long beautiful hair for hours. I would enjoy those where she allowed me into the kitchen with her when she was baking and let me help her bake those cookies, cakes, pies and tea cakes, (I know some of you may not know what tea cakes are, but they are delicious). I’m even getting laughter thinking about me and my cousins fighting and arguing over the cake mix bowl after my grandmother placed the batter into the cake pan, (those were the days). What I miss the most still flutters my heart when I think about it, are those when I was about 9 or 10 right before my innocence was stolen. I was living with her at this time, and we would wake up early every morning around 5am. So we could watch the sunrise it’s such a wonderful thing to see and experience with someone you love or your children. I wish I could write her and place a smile on her face by telling her about all those old memories, but I loss her back in March to cancer so I’m just reminiscing and enjoying the good days. So I began to think and ask myself how many people sit down and just reminisce about the good old days? We are quick to bring up those times in our past where it was challenging and when we were struggling. But we need to balance it out by thinking about the good old days so we can smile sometimes and enjoy the happiness it brings just reminiscing on the good old days.
It’s 12 noon and I’ve been waiting for an hour now to go to recreation (which I supposed to be out at recreation already) I’ve become a bit frustrated and agitated in my mind not because I’m waiting, but because the lack of and failure to communicate on the Officers part. As I’m sitting here all I hear running through my head is the old cliché of my grandmother when she would get on me or scold me for being impatient or not waiting. “Hold your horses, Boy!”, “Good things come to those who wait!”, “Patience is a virtue!”. There are plenty more I could recite and share with you, but hopefully you get my point. But I noticed how that in our world we live today it’s all about speed, we’re in a rush to get to where we’re going in our cars, we’re in a rush for our computer to boot up for our internet access, we’re in a rush to get through the checkout line in a store. Nobody never wants to wait for nothing anymore, this has become one of the most difficult challenges in our lives. But in actuality it’s a wonderful gift to be able to wait patiently. If we took that same time and energy that we’re using to become upset, angry and complaining about waiting, and took that energy and used it to think about positive things in our lives or what we need to do. We would solve a lot of our small problems while we’re sitting waiting. Because the crazy part and irony of the whole situation no matter if we’re complaining, fussing, angry or at peace waiting, you’re still going to wait and things aren’t going to move no faster. So that time and energy can be used waiting to think of positive thoughts instead of negative thought complaining. Today taught me something and I just wanted to share it or should I say express it. While I was waiting I began to write down some thought of the things that I need to do. Then it hit me I need to sew up two of my T-shirts, I grabbed my shirts and began sewing. Before I knew it I was so into what I was doing that I had forgot all about these folks were stalling on my recreation. I wasn’t even mad or agitated when they did show up. Today I learned the virtue of waiting.
What is loyalty? In todays society a lot of people have no clue what that is, but we tend to throw the word around loosely and freely. Loyalty is one of the most frail and sensitive qualities we have as human beings. It’s common for us to want loyalty and expect it from others, but really have no conscious of the fact that we hardly ever give loyalty back in return, or hold ourselves to the same standards that we’re expecting from others. In this society that I live in today I hear the word loyalty so much, until I almost become frustrated when I hear other guys here say that word. We mostly complain about the loyalty that others on the outside isn’t showing us or giving us. But every now and then I’ll engage someone in conversation on that topic just to see how they’re going to respond. So I’ll ask them, “so you feel those on the outside that you love and care about are showing disloyalty to you?” The person always answers with a yes and explains their reason for feeling such a way. Which is always the person pointing out how they have been left for dead on Death Row or how they have been abandoned by the same people they love. I turn around and ask that person do they know what loyalty is? Of course they always say yes again. So I ask them do they feel like they are loyal or have been loyal to those same people they’re accusing of disloyalty? They go into a big spill about how and what they’ve done for those people when they had their freedom. It amazes me how we as people can confuse ourselves into believing that since we do a few good deeds for a loved one that we are being loyal. I have to break down the whole thing of loyalty to that person. I let them know they’re confusing the acts of kindness with loyalty. But if they want to talk about disloyalty, let them face some facts of reality. When we chose to place our freedom in jeopardy and at risk, we abandoned our loved ones and children, Being in the streets we are showing disloyalty to our mothers, sisters, daughters, nieces and every other loved one who looks for the man to lead and provide. I try explain to those guys loyalty is a two way street, if you expect for someone to be there for you ten you can’t turn around and abandon them. I used to feel the same way about how my family wasn’t being loyal, but my daughter said something at a visit years ago when she was 10 years old that changed me and my whole perspective. She asked me, “Why doesn’t none of my friends or cousins stick by my side?” I looked at her and said, ” Because they’re not loyal and have forgotten the value of loyalty. After all I’ve done for them they still turn their backs on me and showed me disloyalty”. My daughter looked at me and at 10 years old she said to me, “Daddy if you’re mad and expecting your friends and cousins to repay you for all the things you done for them, then you don’t know the value of loyalty either, Daddy”. I asked her why she say that, she said, “Daddy, I’m loyal to my mother because I love her, I’m loyal to you because I love you, I’m loyal to my friend Jasmine because I love her too. If y’all never gave me nothing or never did anything for me I would still love y’all and give y’all my loyalty”. As a parent to be getting schooled by your own child is a real life eye opener. Then I had to go back to my cell and think about what I know and think loyalty is, and what’s the value I place on loyalty. But most importantly we really don’t know what loyalty is to us. Loyalty is a pact, an allegiance, and obligation of faithfulness you give to someone when you love or care about them. That’s the forgotten value of loyalty.