Mission Statement

Seeking the good, the light and a smidgeon of sanity out of tragedy.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Entering Year Two

My brother enters his second year in residence at the USDB.

It’s been seven months since I wrote here. Time has passed; a lot has happened. I will give you the snapshot version.

The three men in my life that I primarily blog about have alternately given me a lot of grief over my postings here. The funny thing is not one of them has really read it. Maybe part and parcel, and they hear through word-of-mouth, but they really haven’t read it.

One moment, my brother in the USDB is sitting with me and verbally guiding me as to what I can write and should not exploit, and the next, I get a phone call that he wants it pulled down.

My Lost Brother hates his moniker, and in all fairness, it no longer suits him. He is finally finding his way, albeit slowly, but he is no longer “Lost.” After this posting, I will have to come up with another nickname for him.

My father was released to home confinement back at the top of December and is now living with my Lost Brother in Philly. My father and I have spoken only once since last August, and that phone call lasted two minutes. And you know what? I have peace in my life, and I can live with it that way.

So, here I am back, and I’m actually motivated to begin again. I will only refer to my Lost Brother and father in passing at this point and will continue logging my impressions and feelings about my brother as he heads into his second year in the USDB.

To sum up how my brother is adjusting: he is accepting and at peace. Yes, there is an irony here. How one finds peace and acceptance in prison is not the first thing that comes to mind, but that is where he is. He is starting to accept that it’s going to be a long, long time before he comes out again, so he’s taking pleasure in the small things in his day-to-day life. He is grateful.

Hey Sis, thanks for writing me letters. I know you care; I feel cared about. It’s touching… after almost three years, you’re backing me up now as much as ever. Sometimes I get to live vicariously through (your) letters… Society calls me a murderer; why do you still write me letters?
My answer is simple: I love him. To this day, I still do not fully understand what happened that fateful and horrible May eve; but no matter what, I still love him.

His latest letter to me overall was very upbeat.

He is no longer a strict vegetarian.

I’ve changed my dietary profile from vegetarian to no red meat. I feel like I’m getting the essential nutrition better. I’ve got more energy. The vegetarian thing would work better on the outside where I could eat eggplant and other nutritious foods, but here it’s mostly cabbage and quiche (like an egg pie), so I finally made the switch. I think they do fine with the budget they’ve got; you can’t please everybody.
He says he’s put on 15 pounds with this dietary shift, and not all muscle, but he was fairly lean to begin with –

…though no one fucked with me before, it’s nicer to have a little more weight around here.
Last fun bit was about him and his mates watching the Super Bowl and enjoying the game and commercials.

Some people got prison-rich around here; others might’ve lost a few Hershey bars.

Life’s good.


  1. This is great. I'm glad he's at peace. Brandon gets and then loses his peace with our place.

    I'm glad your brother is doing well, overall.

  2. I enjoy your writing. I can understand how it can cause angst for your family, but I think it helps you and they should appreciate that. I'm glad your brother is doing well. I have a friend in USDB.

  3. I just found this blog and I enjoy it very much. I am glad it has been therapeutic for you as well. A book I would suggest for your brother is Houses of Healing. Many of the men I work with have found it to be personally empowering.
    I wish you and yours continued peace and healing.