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All writing is a form of prayer - John Keats

Monday, December 20, 2021

It ain’t a very Merry Christmas for David!

My friend David was one of the orneriest prisoners I’ve ever met. 

Maybe it was because his ex-wife ruined his life by accusing him of molesting their babies, in a “get-even” divorce dispute. 

Maybe it was because he was convicted of these uncommitted sex crimes in a kangaroo court setting. 

Maybe it was because he served every day of his 18-year sentence because he refused to admit guilt, and refused to get treatment for a non-existent problem. 

Nevertheless, all this unfairness resonated with me over the years and I stuck with him. I visited him in prison. I was at his side for a contentious meeting with the Parole Board. We still stay in touch. Friends are friends through thick and thin. 

David and I chatted this week, and he’s still ornery. 

Maybe it’s because undercover cops who, seeing his name on the sex offender registry, keep treating him as a predator and won’t leave him alone. 

Maybe it’s because he got evicted from his little camper trailer in the woods, because it had no water and no sewer. 

Maybe it’s because former prisoners who insist on keeping a pet as their only companion, cannot find places to live. 

Maybe it’s because the little apartment where he finally landed is riddled with black mold, and no amount of fumigating has made a dent in the bed-bug problem. The bugs are driving him crazy! 

HUMANITY FOR PRISONERS does an exceptional job of helping incarcerated people in Michigan. We filled a gaping hole in the system, and it’s working. But there’s one more hole. We are not taking good care of our returning citizens. Preparation is inadequate, and follow-up is almost non-existent. We continue to hear stories of suicide, attempted suicide, recidivism, and yes...stories similar to David’s plight. 

It’s Christmas week. 

My friend David isn’t asking for money. His little disability check covers his expenses. His aging pit bull “Whiskey” is as mild as David is ornery, and the two are inseparable. 

All he wants for him and his dog is a clean room, free of black mold and bed bugs. 

That doesn’t sound like an excessive Christmas list to me. 

On these final days before we observe the birth of Jesus, agencies will seek last-minute contributions to feed the hungry, care for the homeless, and rescue abused pets. 

I wonder who will help David.

 


 

 

 

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