Saturday, February 27, 2010

One More to Go

We're coming into March, which is Brandon's birthday month. He'll be 24 years old on the 29th. It's hard to believe. We're in the final year he needs to serve before his parole eligibility. I'm so grateful for what I've learned these past five years. I know I'm not the same person. I've met so many people, inmates, families of inmates and people in recovery and been in situations I would never have otherwise, and if nothing else, I have a much greater appreciation for the complexity of the world and the justice system. Not all is as it appears. If I could say anything has been a pleasure, it is seeing lives change as a result of what I have learned and how I have been led to get involved.

I got one such reminder this week. I have been assisting a friend of a friend, and they are two wonderful men, Shannon Clark and Shaun Attwood-see links (jonsjailjournal and perseveringprisonpages). I marvel at the changes in their lives. Shaun in now out of prison and Shannon has only a year or two left. I came home to this incredibly decorated, covered in abstract designs and trompe l-oeil envelope (partially pictured above). We have a mutual love of art and I've tried to encourage his efforts by sending materials and photo reference. But this envelope blew me away. It's just one small indication of the person Shannon is and is becoming. He's highly creative, smart, caring and tough. If anything gives me hope for the future, it is the lives that have found a way to survive and thrive in prison.
It'll be fine.


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