Paula often dreamed of being a mom. Now, it can’t ever happen. One stupid mistake. That’s all it took. Now she’s spending the rest of her life in prison.
Someday she would settle down. Someday she would find the right partner and have a family. But for the moment, life in the fast lane was fun. Fun, that is, until a tragic day when the wrong crowd with whom she had chosen to associate got involved in some shady activity. And then something went horribly wrong.
“The jury finds the defendant guilty, Your Honor.” Life without parole.
Mother’s Day is a busy day at Women’s Huron Valley, Michigan’s only prison for women. Of the more than 2,000 women housed in the facility, many are mothers. And, many occupants have moms who are still alive. It’s a bittersweet time. The visits are usually pleasant, but then come the “goodbyes.” Inmates must return to their cells. Alone.
How Paula would love to chat with her mother one more time! Yes, her mom would be so pleased that she is finally using that beautiful voice to sing in the prison praise team for Sunday morning worship. And she’s even writing songs now! Who would have guessed it? She’s also furthering her education.
But Paula’s mother died, and that was another story. Paula was unable to attend the memorial service. Prisoners are sometimes permitted to attend the funerals of family members, but it’s complicated and costly. Permission isn’t quickly granted. And then, it all hinges on the hiring of off-duty corrections officers to accompany the inmate. That leads to two important requirements: a lot of money; and, availability of officers. Her family helped raise the necessary funds, but on the day of the service, alas, due to overtime issues, no corrections officers were free. Paula remained behind bars.
Yes, it took a while, but Paula’s life is getting straightened out, and she praises God for that.
But on this Mother’s Day, 2019, she’s alone.