Compassion Ambassador at Kern Valley State Prison, Facility A
After 25 years of workin’ yo ass off, nobody had this in mind for you as a retirement plan.
I remember wakin’ up before the sun and walking you to the bus stop in the cold. After sitting down that big black purse, heavy with two weeks worth of change to get you back and forth to work, I’d wipe the ice away from the bench so you could sit down. While waiting on the No. 6 or the No. 7, we’d sit and small-talk or I’d listen as you gave me instructions for the day (it was mostly stuff I’d never get around to doing before you got home, and then I’d pay for it).
I remember every single whoopin’ that you don’t remember giving me. LOL! Things I called you to answer for, once I became an adult. The whoopins you denied giving me ‘till this very day. It was just like me, denying all the lies I told and all the quarters I stole from your purse. We do stick to our stories, don’t we?
I remember getting kicked out of school after school. I ran away from home for good at least three or four times. Countless times I had the law at your door or on your phone at work. You sat in court and listened in denial at the charges against me and even endured the stares and whispers of strangers accusing you of being a horrible mother.
But at the end of the day, you were there to raise your hand and testify that I was a good kid that never gave you problems (maybe mothers only remember the good). You even tried to make the blame as your own! Now that’s love and loyalty. Something only a GOOD MOTHER would do.
You worked long hours for a check that went to everybody else’s house and pocket except yours. Whether out of love or out of duty, you gave what you had to others in need. And there’s not a soul that could say any different.
You lived your life being underappreciated, full of hurt, shame, embarrassment, rejection, anger, and a lot of resentment. Three of those feelings I can admit to contributing to. But at the end of your life, I witnessed an emotion that I’d never seen in you. And that was FEAR. It was fear that you’d die alone.
I can now say that I’m grateful for everyone who showed up at your bedside so that you could spend your last waking moments in as much comfort as they could offer.
Thank you for birthing me, providing for me, and loving me. You did the best you could with what you had to give. You’ve been through a lot of shit in your life and I have never once heard you cry or complain about it. Life wasn’t easy, but you did good! True story. It’s LOVE.
Your Baby Boy, Rue