The Faces Of The Felons – “Mothers”

“Next to God, we are indebted to women – first for life itself, and then for making it worth living.”    Mary McLeod Bethune

 “Motherhood: All love begins and ends there.”    Robert Browning

 “Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”  1 Corinthians 13:7 NLT

   It will soon be 3 years since my mother passed away.

   I miss her smile: that glorious, beautiful smile which seemed to radiate from the very center of her being.

    There are many adjectives I can think of to describe how she would have responded upon hearing of my arrest – and the reason for it. The one that comes to mind that would have been the most devastating to me would be – disappointed. My mother would have been disappointed in me and that would have made her cry.

    Being the reason for my mother’s tears always got to me; it always fractured me a little; it always cracked the veneer of hardness I had allowed, over time, to grow over places inside that used to be warm and soft – friendly places.

    Yes, my mother would have been disappointed, but in spite of that disappointment she would have ultimately set aside the pain it caused, wrapped her arms around me and told me the one thing a mother knows how to say better than anyone – “I Love You.”

    Other than our incarceration and our gender there is only one thing all of those around me share in common; we all have a mother – whether in the flesh, or in our memories – to remember, reflect upon, and honor on the upcoming Mother’s Day.

    Throughout prison compounds all across America, incarcerated artists have busily worked to create a supply of Mother’s Day cards to be “purchased” – with stamps, of course – and mailed to mothers everywhere to convey thoughts and emotions that don’t come easily to a great number of men.

    Men who – perhaps lacking in education or the gift of prose – still wish to convey to their mothers that they do have the capacity for love and gentleness even if it is only allowed to be seen by the one who gave them life.

    We must also honor those women who are the mothers of our children, especially those who are raising small children alone, enduring the hardships and the pain while waiting for the day daddy will come home and rejoin his family and reclaim his responsibilities.

    Yes, our hats need to be lifted for the mothers and wives who fight our battles on the outside while we wait out our sentences on the inside.

    These determined women make formidable warriors and are not to be trifled with. They form support groups to confront – and do battle with – legislators and legislative bodies on our behalf.

    They are often overlooked and usually underestimated, but it is not a wise thing to do either.

    Mothers are a powerful force because they represent love and no more powerful force exists than that.

    My own mother is looking upon me from her place in the Lord’s Kingdom and while I know she is not happy with what I did, I know she is happy with who I am, and I can feel her smile shining on me.

   Funny thing, though: she still has tears in her eyes, but these don’t upset me as I know they are now tears of joy.

   I’ve never understood why she does that, but then, she’s a mother and that’s what mothers do.

   On this Mother’s Day I say, “Thank You Mom,” and I also say thank you to the mothers of my son and daughter. I also thank God for each one of them.

    And to all mothers everywhere – every day should be yours! Thank you, each one, and God Bless You!

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