VISIONS OF HOPE

Issue 2: May 6, 2017

IN HIS OWN WORDS

Let’s take a journey together…

I want to walk you through a young man’s journey - in his own words…

I grew up in a two parent household, up until the age of five. I lived with my mother and biological father. Then my parents divorced, shortly afterward, my mother remarried. My grandmother played an important role in my life as well. My grandmother had a thing about guns; she hated them - even toy guns. I remember one of the boys on her street kept on shooting his cap gun near me. She was like “GET AWAY FROM THAT BOY WITH THAT CAPP’N! GUN” in her Southern drawl…lol. She knew it was a toy but like I said, she didn’t want us having anything to do with guns. Maybe she had an intuition about her grandson - but we will get back to that…


Anyway, I was a smart kid and was capable of A+ grades but it seems like I was always distracted. Did I mention my mother was a teacher? I would do just enough to appease her. I enjoyed sports; I played football, ran track and I was on the wrestling team…but trouble was always lurking. Some of the things I did, my family would testify on a stack of bibles – that I did not do it.

At home, I had the kind of step-dad that was old-school. I kept a job while I was under his roof. I liked money but I also didn’t have a choice. He had me paying rent at a considerably early age and if I didn’t have it all - I couldn’t return until I did. He was old school “Fa Sho!” I remember walking to school one day with my brackets off of my braces. I don’t even remember what I said to my step-father, all I knew was nobody and I mean nobody was ever going to hurt my pride like that again., not without a fight.

I wasn’t a bully but I did enjoy bullying the bully…lol. I had a low tolerance for bull$#!# - that may have had to do with having such an aggressive step-father. I began to get introduced to drugs, guns and robbery by the time I was fifteen (15). Even though I was into those things, I still made time for the ladies. I was always a ladies man, what else can you be when your whole life the women in your family love you like mine did. That’s why I feel the most regret for hurting my mother and grandmother on October 27, 2007.

My money was funny and I had to get it, plus my rent was due. I held up a restaurant that I was a former employee of. I fired the gun to let them know they needed to hurry up and open the safe. I also moved them from one area to another, which is what I would later find out to be considered kidnapping. You don’t think about these things when you are in the moment and not to mention a teenager. I left with a duffle bag full of money and my heart pumping in my chest a thousand beats a minute. I didn’t make it to my destination before I was apprehended. I would spend the next eight (8) years of my life behind bars. My time could have been shortened - but the dime never dropped…

Family members passed away (including my step-father) while I was in prison. Needless to say, I missed funerals as well as my mother developing a chronic illness and I couldn’t do anything about it. I also developed a condition concerning my legs in the later part of my sentence. I can never get that time back. The younger version of me is different from the man that I am today. I am adjusting to life nine (9) years later. I have been out almost one (1) year now and I have become the proud father of a beautiful baby girl. Not only do I have to live a better life for myself but now for my daughter. I now see the world through her eyes and I have so much to look forward to. I haven’t felt this good in a long time…


Psalm 39:4-5 “LORD, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered–how fleeting my life is. You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand. My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath.”