Though you are only five years old now, I’m writing to you years ahead of time. My son, nothing is as it seems. I grew up poor, but only time will tell how you will grow up. My time, however, has told a different story. I’ve been in prison now for almost four years. I have five and a half years left. This time I’ve served showed me the truth about who I was.
I was a product of my environment. What does that mean? It means that my surroundings determined who I was. My mom dated drug dealers, my older sister dated drug dealers. So in my mind I believed I had to be one. I never realized how deeply my environment influenced my identity. But now I do. I never had a dad to show me who I was, who I am. But now … you do.
You are king, Zamar. Regardless of the barbed wire fences between us, I will always be a part of your life. Nothing will ever overcome my efforts to reach you. I love you, young king.
Disclaimer: The views in this article are those of the author. Prison Journalism Project has verified the writer’s identity and basic facts such as the names of institutions mentioned.