Wednesday, January 19, 2011


In response to my friend refusing to write her little brother who is incarcerated.

My cousin is locked up right now. He has spent more than half of his 23 years in some cage or another. He's 7 years younger than me and his entire life I was the only one telling him he was a beautiful boy, brilliant, creative, capable, generous - because he was. But I was the only one. And I was 2,000 mi away in school as he was growing. So my summer trips home to CA to take him to the movies or to the park or to bookstores wasn't enough. And the first time he went to a juvenile detention center I bawled. His mother was an alcoholic decades before he was born. Her addiction robbed him of a mother before he was conceived. And I felt guilty. I did. And it wasn't enough for it to be only me, and only once every six months. And the streets were focused, determined, loyal. He has a 6 month old that he has never held. I got to see him in jail in November. He smiled big. I wiped tears away. An hour. I got an hour to watch him look at his son through thick glass and talk to him through a germ-y phone.

He's made choices I never would have. But my father (though minimal) has been in my life. My mother is a loving, educated, and resourceful woman. I went to private schools and had mentors, sports, and lessons in arts. I cannot begin to judge him.

I love him. I miss him. And in most letters I write to him I apologize for something. But what I know is most important - I write him.

In the same way we want to know someone is thinking of us, waiting up for us, sent us a happy birthday card or e-mail or FB msg, they want/need the same.

Forgiveness and compassion are expressions of the Love we say we have and express. The Love we say we are. Wherever there is pain, love doesn't get expressed.

Let Go. Let Love.