I got out of prison about a month ago and was wholly unconcerned about being invite-less for a holiday dinner. Instead, I was thinking about the people still in prison, trudging to the chow hall for their much-anticipated meal while wondering what their families were doing.
Everything Thanksgiving was for me growing up, it was the complete opposite experience once I became incarcerated.
My little army man that I had carelessly forgotten to retrieve from the oven, the one with the rifle and it’s bayonet, landed into the meatloaf and melted into the meat.
Thanksgiving in prison is a thankful moment and a grateful event, but it is also a humbling and sad time filled with sorrow because we can’t be with our families.
“I’m grateful I still have my mom, dad, and daughter, and people in here that I care about to spend Thanksgiving with. I’m also grateful for Governor Newsom and prison reform.”
Last year Missouri served smaller amounts of turkey, ham, sweet potatoes, cranberries, and pumpkin pie with ice cream. But I know I am blessed to get even that.
Mingle, laugh, talk and greet family, loved ones, good friends and family associates.
Then, at the right moment, everything gets serious.
Dislodged from our brethren in society, deficient of togetherness, devoid of love, our hearts call us to dream bold. Our collective soul cries out for more. We yearn to feel fully human again, if only for a day. We choose to commemorate these sentiments on Thanksgiving.
People say it is important to have hope and faith. I think that the same might and should apply to being thankful.
Me and my children have been surrounded by love and great caretakers during my entire incarceration. No matter what though, there isn’t a substitution for ME with MY children during the holiday season.