Every March I try to write a little something to commemorate the time my sister has been incarcerated. This March 11th marks the 9th year that she has been on her very long adult time out. I keep track because I feel like no one really does anymore except her and maybe my Mom.
Unless you have had a loved one that is close to you imprisoned for whatever reason, you don't know very much about it. Oh yes, I realize she committed a crime and is paying her debt to society, she is serving the time that corresponds to the crime she committed. But here is what I usually hear, "prison systems, tax dollars, freeloaders, loafers, Orange is the New Black, hang em high, put them to work, useless, lazy, criminals" but I guess that is the beauty of opinions everyone has one and most people love to share them. I wish sometimes that highly opinionated people came with a built in fact checker.
Most of the time I block out the comments - I have this wonderful ability of fuzzing voices and I literally hear static when I don't want to listen to yet another opinion by someone who knows little or nothing or something their uncle or cousins boyfriends mother told them about the prison system. What I do know is that I am a highly compassionate woman and parent and I believe in second chances.
In Spanish there is a saying, "si Dios quiere" which means "if God is willing" or "if God wants it" - and it is used many times in the place of just putting the word "if" in a sentence. It indicates that we are not in charge of our destiny - if a train derails and runs into me, if the river floods and I drown, if the car crashes and goes up in flames, if I choke on a chicken bone, if I get attacked by a jaguar, it makes things kind of up in the air as far as what you are doing tomorrow, the next day and the day after that. It also absolves oneself of all responsibility should things go wrong.
So here goes, si Dios quiere, in 7.5 years I'm gonna be picking up my sister and we are gonna hug for a super long time and then we are going to spend a really long time just laughing and talking and loving and smiling and when we are done with that we will start laughing again. And she will get that 2nd or 3rd or 4th chance to start over.