An incarcerated woman with brown hair writes a letter
Illustration by Olivia Harmon on iStock

Welcome to PJP’s newest special project, “Love, Mom.” For this collection, we have invited mothers to share their perspectives and experiences surrounding incarceration. We hope that this project will give you, our reader, a better understanding of the impacts of incarceration on families across the country. To view more pieces from the “Love, Mom” collection, please click here.

J.,

Son, this letter should have been written a long time ago. Like people say, it’s better late than never. I never dreamed in a million years that you would be incarcerated right along with me. 

I know I did my best for you and your brothers when you all were younger. As you got older, things changed. I became selfish, put myself first, got totally stupid and relapsed. You started using too. 

I see now that you were just trying to have that mother-son relationship we had when you were younger. Now that both of us are in prison, we’re getting there. Even though we have done wrong to each other throughout the years, I hope you know how much I love you. 

It was tough as nails trying to be both mom and dad. Just know I wouldn’t trade an ounce of it. 

I know that time does heal all wounds. Every letter we write to each other shows that we are getting stronger. We are going to be okay. This little separation is nothing we can’t handle. Always know how proud of you I am. You will overcome this setback.

Well son, I’m going to close this for now. You are always in my prayers, and I love you. 

Love,
Mom

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.

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Sylvia Hunsuckle

Sylvia Hunsuckle is a writer, a mother of three boys and a grandmother of three children. She is incarcerated in Texas.