Another Birthday in Prison

By · Thursday, January 15th, 2009

I’m very happy to have celebrated my 45th birthday today, January 15, 2009. I shouldn’t say “celebrate.” I am still confined in the Taft Federal Prison Camp, and one day in prison is hardly distinguishable from another. Tomorrow, on the other hand, will be wonderful. I am scheduled for a visit with my wife, Carole. Whenever I’m with her, I feel as if I have cause for celebration. I love my wife very much.

For some prisoners, holidays and birthdays feel difficult. In my case, I no longer attach significance to specific days of the year. Since my arrest in 1987, I’ve spent every day in prison. I live with the rules administrators impose and I try to make the most of life.

Many policies restrict my ability to interact with family. My mother lives in Florida, as does my younger sister and her family. My older sister and her family live in Seattle. The distances mean that I rarely see them, and the telephone limitations I have mean that I must choose between communicating with my wife and connecting with extended family. Twenty one-plus years of imprisonment have torn my family relationships apart.

Despite my feelings of isolation from the world, I am happy to have marked my 45th birthday. I have a lot for which I am grateful. For one thing, my time in prison is coming closer to its conclusion. I don’t expect that I will have to pass more than three more birthdays in federal prison. Forgetting about the complications, I feel blessed in knowing that my family is safe and healthy.

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