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Illustration by Anna Grayson

This letter was originally written for Mother’s Day 2018.

Dear Mom,

You are the one who gave me life. Month after month, you quietly lay contemplating this mound in front of you; thinking about this hidden person slowly being assembled in the shadow of your own self. What peculiar and unknown soul were you about to introduce into the world? What would be his name? By what name did God call him before the one this world would come to know him as?

I’m sure you wondered what my face would look like. What my personality would be like. What my laugh would sound like. 

Night after night, there you were. Hand on belly, about to enter your dreamland as I slept in the womb dreaming dreams of my own. I wonder if on any of those nights we dreamt the same dream. Do we ever still dream the same dreams? 

What I do know is this: Life is a succession of wombs and births.

Soon, I will be birthed as a new man into a new world. Because of your love, investment and dreams, I will come forth a better man. What will I look like? What will my personality be like? What will my laugh sound like?

You too are on the verge of a new birth. As you prepare for your wedding, subcutaneous developments are occurring. Cells are forming, and a new body is approaching its début. The heartbeat of this greater body is strengthening as it materializes. Every beat testifies of a divine love shared on earth between cherished souls. Your birth will be celebrated.

I believe many things. I believe in laughter and love. I believe in forgiveness and new beginnings. Births. I believe in God. I also believe on some nights we still dream the same dreams.

I love you. Happy Mother’s Day!

Love, your favorite son,

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.

Caed Brawner is a writer and poet from Brooklyn, NY. He is an artist, leader, teacher, philosopher, avid reader and athlete. Brawner is certified as a competent communicator with Toastmasters International and was invited to develop the curriculum for a reentry program at the correctional institution in Florida where he is incarcerated.