May 28, 2015
A recent letter I received from Charlie caught my attention, particularly, so I thought I’d share an excerpt with you. In Charlie’s words:
My Darling Wife,
[Thursday] I mailed a little card to you on the way back from lunch today. Lunch was a small serving of semi-fried rice (not bad), unseasoned pinto beans, wet cornbread, and a small piece of cake with icing (not bad, either).
Then I called my mother. She said Sandy came home from the hospital yesterday, but she’s in bad shape. Can’t walk, can’t do anything for herself. She knows the prognosis is not good. She told Dan she wants to stay at home — no more hospital stays.
I couldn’t deny her that, either.
[Friday} The phones are on the blink now. Beep—Beep—Beep, no dial tones. The stormtrooper said they’ll be working after 1 p.m. Hope you don’t worry.
I just came back from “KOP,” Keep On Person, or “Kills One Prematurely,” whichever you like better. I pushed a semi-paralyzed guy called “Jersey,” (guess where he’s from!) [in a wheelchair], who wanted to go for the drive. He reads my paper. Has nothing. I bought him a bag of sunflower seeds. He ate them faster than the sparrows do.
Yesterday, waiting for my turn on the phone, I couldn’t help but hear this old guy’s side of the conversation. I felt very bad for him, wish I had the means to give these unfortunates a little help, but can’t. Today was the final day to order the $100 packages [a few times during the year, family members can order “packages” of assorted items from an approved order form to be sent to the prisoner].
“I guess you didn’t order that package I sent you. No, I sent it Mother’s Day, with the card. You didn’t get it? I know I sent it. What I really needed was the shorts and the headphones. You found it? I was hoping you’d sent it in. I’d like to have had those apple pies and the coffee. I could just stick it in my locker and parcel it out for awhile like I did last year. No, I don’t have any money on my card, I tried it this morning. Zero, zero. I was hoping you’d have sent me a couple dollars like you did at Christmas. No, my locker’s empty. No, that’s okay. Tomorrow’s the last day. Well if you can, and think about it, I’d appreciate it. We’re about to get cut off. Love you, too. Bye.”
That was virtually verbatim. So many “have–nots,” so little hope. I thank God every day for my many blessings.
Back to work. Supposed to go to the library this p.m. We’ll see how that goes. I love my wife! Charlie.
A glimpse of another day in the barrens of incarceration.