Tuesday, November 15, 2016

THANKSGIVING

Hello November!
Could be just another month, but not for me.  November is the month I was born.  And, ironically, it is the month I'll be free...in just two more years.  It's a chance to be reborn a free man.  The second time I will make my way into the world.

Eight years ago I was doing a hundred in a fifty-five zone.  I woke up, crushed two oxycodone on my dresser and snorted them with a twenty dollar bill.  I  then slid two more into my pocket and kissed the stripper, naked in my bed, goodbye.  I walked out the door for court not realizing it would be the last time I saw freedom for 10 years.

I stood in court on a probation violation and when the judge sentenced me to 12 years in the Department of Corrections, I said "OH SHIT!"

I quickly reached into my pocket and retrieved the last two pills I had stashed.  Having just enough time to swallow them before the officers cuffed me and led me out of the courtroom.

Looking back now, I see how fast I was going.  Speeding down the highway-to-hell.  When you come to prison you're angry.  You reflect!  Looking back and wishing I would have taken their offer.  Had I not come to prison, I would probable be dead!    So sitting here today I realize this place saved my life.

Shamefully, I probably wouldn't be the Dad to my little girl I have had the chance now to become.  I was a self-centered drug addict.

Safe to say,  I'm no longer angry.  Nor am I a drug addict or a dead-beat Dad.  I called my little girl the other day and was going through an emotional time.  I really needed her and when she answered, I asked her, "Taylor...who's your daddy?"  She comes off with some slick shit about how it's up in the air.  Could it be the milkman or the mailman...

I stopped her there and said, "Tell me it's me Taylor!"  So, she slowed down and said, "You're my father."  She's such a boob.  And she's totally my kid all day.  I would have said the same answer she did and it made me laugh.

What she didn't know is my friend Kimmy overdosed shortly after I came to prison.  Kimmy left behind a young daughter.  A young daughter who, at 20 years old, overdosed last month...just like her momma did.  And I had just received that news.

So I look back today, in this month of November:  Eight years ago all I could think about was taking those last two pills before I went to a prison cell.  Today, all I care about is that my little girl knows I am her dad and that I love her.

This is also the month of Thanksgiving.  I'm thankful to be free.  I am still behind this fence but you can't kill my spirit.  My spirit is free and my little girl carries it with her.

Taylor, you are my inspiration.  I quit smoking cigarettes so I could tell you never to smoke  and I  wouldn't be a hypocrite.  Every forward step I take is so you can watch me and see what you can do.
You can do anything you set your mind to.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!!!!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

**USE BENEDRYL**

Screw the bees that sting.  Try some Benadryl.  I'm not leaving some sad song up any longer, it's time for some fresh ear-wax!

I've done some patchwork on the "Trump" wall in my life, and it's standing tall once again.  Seems the cart gets in front of the horse at times and I don't know why.  I sweat what comes next.   The point is--I'll be free!  What comes after that?

Who knows, who cares.  It's the adventure called life.  Sometimes us people worry too much about planning the thing, then forget to enjoy the experience.

I remember the weeks leading up to my wedding to my ex.  We wanted to cancel the wedding and kill each other.  Instead we got married, then tried to kill each other.  It's the details and all the planning that stresses you out so bad.  Your half through your vacation before you finally relax.

So, no more weddings and no more stressing.  Two years down the road, I'm just showing up, then finding out what happens.

That's difficult being in prison.  You want desperately to reach out and find something beautiful too grasp onto.  Some sort of hope.  A light.  A beacon that can guide you through this tough time.  So I'm reading my Bible a lot more these days.  I'm actually doing a devotional every morning.

Perhaps you find yourself up against some obstacle that is nearly crushing you.  We've all been there. Maybe the person you have always leaned on is the very thing that leaves you troubled.

Sometimes two people get so much on their own plate, there is nothing left to give the other!  Did I just describe 80% of relationships?

You could try a morning devotion.  Try something!  Happiness is priceless!!

Don't just stand there and get stung by the bees.  That's a dumb thing to do.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

THE STING

I remember being a boy in northern Michigan.  We had these massive bee-hives that hung from tree branches and abandoned buildings.  The bees  that made these paper nests were called bald-faced hornets.

I'd say they pack the same punch as a rattle-snake, you just catch a lower dose.  Their sting will literally paralyze you and they will chase  you for miles.  Our stupid asses would throw rocks at them and then run like hell.  They always got you, and it felt like someone jabbed a dart into your skin. Then came the burning site sensation that would swell, fester and last for hours.

That boy grew into a man.  I chuckle to think back at that silly boy, then realize us adults still do the same dumb shit.  I still throw some rocks then run like hell.  The sting we feel hurts more and lasts longer than the bees ever did.

That boy never stopped to consider that was the bee's home.  They were just in there, chillin', doin' what bees do.  We came along and knocked their happy  homestead on the ground.  No wonder they got so upset.  The boys grew into men and still forgot to consider what happens when you fire shots at unsuspecting targets.

I'm not talking about bees anymore.  I refer to lives and feelings and someone's heart.  I married a woman when I was 19.  When we divorced eight years later, she told me that one day she hoped someone would come along and crush me the way I did her!  I've managed to avoid that because I've installed a "Trump" size wall around my heart.  I've always been the one throwing rocks, and never had anyone get inside enough to knock down my happy place.

I've been doing this prison thing for eight years.  This place starts to get under your skin.

If you use the same washer at the laundromat every week on Tuesday and one day you come in and someone else is using that washer, what happens?   What about that parking space you like so much in front of your job?  You park there every day but today someone else parked there.  One person just moves to the next washer, or just uses another parking spot.  But that likely affects yet another person.

What if you parked in that spot for eight years?  What if you used that washer on the same day for 8 years?  It's not your washer anymore than it's your parking spot.  We somehow get all in our emotions over this shit.  I use this reference because I'm trying to ask you to understand my mind.

Lately I have been asking a woman to understand.  I don't think she does.  It frustrates me and even more so, when I had to realize I let someone scale the "Trump" wall.  Instead of simply walking away like I usually do, or run, for that matter,  I;m just standing here and the bees are coming and the sting hurts like hell.

I feel a loss of direction.  What's up?  What's down?  It's a lot to sort out.  Someone has been here for a long time and now they're leaving.  I've been sleeping in the same house for eight years, ten when I am done and then I'm moving back to someones else's house.  It's unfair for me to ask people to sit around and wait for me to see the end picture.  My end zone comes into play in two years.  I can't call that two years from now any more than I can call it today.

To any woman who ever wished some dude would one day feel their pain, don't worry---he will!!
Somewhere, someplace, sometime.

Once  upon a time there was a boy without a care in the world.  Throwing rocks at a beehive.......

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

FREEDOM

The rotation of earth with the moon creates the tides. The tides change as water rushes out to sea. There, the process is reversed and you experience the high-tide as once again the water rushes back in. Thus creating the circle of life.

The laws I've  broken over a decade ago set things into motion that would change the man I am today.  If time indeed heals the broken heart, I pray it can bring peace to the people I have hurt in my life.

They sentence people to prison in an attempt to remove them from society and punish them.  Hoping that in the end if the punishment fits the crime, the offense will not be repeated.   There are other things that consequently can happen to that person as well. Things that make silly boys into hard men.

If you ask a prisoner what their biggest dream is, nine times out of ten, they will tell you freedom. Freedom for me is:  sitting with my family together at a Thanksgiving meal, taking my daughter to a concert, watching my nieces and nephews play in the yard while the adults grill out, or blasting down the road on my Harley.

Being free once again consumes me.  I feel like the benched player that raises his hand to the coach, begging to be put in the game.

I have trained my mind that I am no longer an addict.  I have worked out five days a week for nearly a decade to stay in shape.

Some people think 40 is cresting some hill as though your life has neared the end, For me, "40" is my starting line.

I don't want to have my car drive itself, I want control of the wheel. I want to take back the wheel of my life as well.  I want the opportunity to wake up and choose what I want to eat for breakfast.

Prison has caused me to learn to cut the strings.  I don't live by my heart, I live by my gut and cat senses.  I have to remind myself to show heart to people because prison has made me a cold man in many cases. That's the side effect of living in a very cold world for 10 years.

I thought I could completely beat this place.  Unfortunately while doing this amount of time, it's now inside me.  I remind myself that if time can heal a broken heart, then time may also reverse the effects of this place on me.

Prison knows heartbreak.  It doesn't know emotion.  It will chew you up and spit you out over and over.  In prison you live by a code.  Respect!  You prove your respect and loyalty to the men here. When your friend gets his shit stolen and his ass kicked, will you stand in the paint beside him?  If you do, then he owes you the same.  Thus a bond is created.

I have family back here that isn't my blood, and I have blood out there that isn't my family.

I call home every week to ask my mom to tell me the newest news on each of my brothers and sisters because I care.  I live a life where I'm out of sight, and out of mind.  Nobody owes me anything, but I've been watching.......

Those people who have stayed at arms length from me while I was gone can expect the same, once I'm released.  "You" didn't stand in the paint beside me.  When my life was taken and I was left standing beside a cold concrete wall on the wrong side of the fence, I felt alone.

If your just reading these words, you have somehow cared more than most and I feel you standing beside me.

Thank you,

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Tunnel Vision


Watching my daughter turn 19, wishing I could turn 40 already and seeing the light at the end of this tunnel finally.  The finish line begins to come into focus and I'm realizing it's time for me to begin to shift gears

I've lived here with the attitude of "when in Rome, do as the Romans"...  It's saved my life and carried me through a dime in D.O.C. - Prison lingo- for ten years is a "dime" since it's worth 10 cents...

A soldier goes off to battle for 5 or 6 years and comes home diagnosed with PTSD and a multitude of other ticks and misfires..I've seen dudes cut, stabbed, beat near to death and hung.  You learn to simply walk past these scenarios if they don't involve you, so that they don't BEGIN to involve you.  I've seen racial hatred grow 10 fold over the past few years.  Then you have the gang wars and retaliation.  You learn to pick your battles since you may die in the process.  So was it REALLY worth it?  You ask yourself that everyday.

I find myself reading a chapter in my Bible every morning just to make certain my guardian angel has had her coffee and is read to tackle another day beside me.  I'm also pretty certain I'm going to obtain my medical-marijuana card once I'm home, so I can enjoy prescribed mental satisfaction.

I have enjoyed writing for this blog as it's a means to vent and stay connected.  Many of my friends and even family seldom write me, so this has become my message board to keep you informed that I'm still alive and half-sane.

I've learned a lot about myself in here.  I found how far I can bend without breaking.  People grow when they get pushed down.  A divorce, the loss of a loved one, a miscarriage.  Whatever the ordeal, it's these situations that create well rounded people who can stand tall when any kind of push comes to shove.  If you haven't been through much, good for you.  But you should probably seek out someone who has had their shit-hit-the-fan, as your go-too.

My little girl is 19.  She's finding her groove and walking out her own path.  I'm proud, she has one hell of a Daddy who has been there and done that.  I'm blessed she's OK with that, embraces it, and loves and respects me.

A special thanks to you readers who have followed my life on the jail-bird.  I intend to write more in an attempt to begin the transition back into society.

Until next time...

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Taylor Made

I sit here in prison and look back over my life.  The wild and crazy ride my life has been.  I have stated before that my daughter is by far the greatest accomplishment I have ever taken part in.  When I see her take her journey through life it's like watching a smaller, younger version of me.  I take pride knowing my blood pumps through her veins.  No one can take that away from me.

My little girl graduated this month.  I didn't do that.  My mother wasn't able to see me walk because I was expelled my senior year.  I'm now in prison and wasn't able to see my daughter graduate, but my mom did.  Mom say and saw her granddaughter walk in her cap and gown. This is one of those times that is indeed priceless.  Whether she knows it or not, my little girl just gave my mom and special memory.  I asked my mom to be my eyes and ears and to take pictures and bring me as close to the action as she could.

I have a great relationship with my daughter.  She knows I love her and that I'm proud of her.  The thing that scares me most is that I have two and half years here.  I told her the other day on the phone that I worry some boy will come along and steal her time away from me.  She laughed.

I have this dream she will still want to spend time with me when I get home.  That I can somehow take back all the lost years.  Perhaps I can give her back all those years I wasn't there in her life.  One thing is certain.... I'll spend the rest of my life cheering her on and being her biggest fan.

Being your daddy is the greatest gift God ever gave to me, Taylor.  You move me to be the best man I can be.  To never do wrong and to never have to leave again.  I love you from the bottom of my heart and always will.  Congratulations little lady!  You make me proud.

Your biggest fan,
Your dad

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

Eighteen years ago I gave my daughter up for adoption.  At the time I was eighteen.  About six years ago, while here in prison, her mother contacted me.  She reached out and asked if I would come back into my daughter's life.  But, she under one circumstance.....if I stepped back into my little girls life, I had to never leave her again.  She said if I could come back and stay in her life, then I had her blessing. I don't know about other adoptions, but to me this was the gift of my life.  A second chance to be in my child's life.

I can't tell you how many times I look back over my life and see such a waste.  That is until I got my daughter back.  She is the best think I have every accomplished in 37 years of life.  Thank you Tami.

From this prison I have watched my sisters become mothers and my brothers become fathers.  They place pictures of me around their homes and point out to their kids who Uncle Mike (me) is.  They keep me alive because of their love for me. No matter my faults I am still big brother.  Thank you Abigail, Ester and Grace.

And my brothers, Aaron and Phillip, never forget what a privilege it is to be a dad.  I love you both.  And remember to appreciate and respect the woman who made your children with you.

To the woman who made me 37 years ago...I thank you for overlooking my faults and loving me unconditionally.  You have seen me become a moan.  You have watched me become a father to my daughter.  You are about to see me be set free.  I love you mom.

Since coming to prison, my most frequent visitor is my dad.  Driving nearly six hours one way to see me, then driving back at the end of visitation.  He comes here and I spend all his money on junk food while we laugh and enjoy our time.  We came a long way since I was a kid.  Thank you dad for loving me.

Last, but not least, to my lady.  She helps me do my time, she works full-time and is a mom.  But she has to do it all alone.  She will argue and say that I am in her heart and closer to her than most relationships.  My lady has been with me for several years and my head has never hit her pillow.  When this is said and done we will have been together nearly eight years.  About that time many people are getting divorced.  I will be putting a ring on her finger.  Thank you for choosing me.  I will make sure you never regret what you have sacrificed to wait for my return.  I love you more.

Please take some time to look at your own life.  Find the things your thankful for.  Let the people in your life know how much they mean.  Then send them a nice text to let them know how you're feeling.  :)

Happy Thanksgiving.  Enjoy life, your children, your better half or maybe your lesser half.  Thank you for sharing a few minutes of your time with me and my thoughts.  May you and your family have a blessed holiday season.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Old School



There’s an old dude that sings a song about “keeping on rocking in the free world.” His name is Neil Young and he was some sort of a freedom-fighter in his day. I keep on tilling my own garden and blazing my own trail…… that doesn’t make a hero but rather, an individual. I prefer the term “independent”. 

While the other boys were playing football in the yard or piled on the couch with Nintendo, I enjoyed digging up bullets in the police shooting range. I rode my bicycle with a fishing pole strapped across my handle-bars. 

We were told to go outside and play and when it was dinner time Dad would step outside and whistle for us. He did that two fingers in the mouth “loud-whistle” that they use at concerts and when your favorite team scores a touchdown. When you heard Dad whistle, you knew it was time to get on home. I guess parents just text the kids now or send them a message on Facebook. Since the chances are their kids are somewhere in the house, holding some electronic device. 

Yard darts and pogo-sticks have been replaced by toys less likely to poke your eye out. 

I learned most of the stuff I know by watching my Dad or the neighbor man. Parents had to set some sort of example since their kids were watching them. Now their kids are too busy learning the rules from Google and YouTube. Times have changed since I was young. 

I hear about cars that will drive themselves and robots that will clean your home. It’s these kids who are google babies that love those ideas. More time for them to “surf the web” or whatever they do. No thanks! 

I want my own hand on the wheel, top-down, cruising the road with the radio on. Oh Yeah…I can plug up on Mp3 to the car and listen to my own playlist. No more commercials. OK, so technology does have some perks. 

It scares me to hand over more and more of my “hand on the wheel” for something else handling my business. I’m just not a fan of that. 

My lady tells me the other day she walked 7 miles before noon. I asked her how she knew? She replied that her IPhone tracks her movement and lets her know how far she’s traveled. If your phone tracks you, then so can anyone else who can get into your phone’s data….You can call ME on my old school Nokia. 

Don’t track me nowhere with a GPS. You can find me at the end of a dirt road. Track me to the lake…sitting at the end of the dock with my baby watching a sunset. Follow my fishing line from the bobber to the boat….where I’ll be chilling. 

And when you text me -- expect a real live call back. If you don’t have time for me, then I won’t have time for you. 

Three years and I’ll be home Momma. Keep the light on. 



Tuesday, May 26, 2015

This Little Light of Mine

I carry a belief that there is a God.  I also believe that when I live according to a certain standard he will walk with me.  Before I chase you off, just chill....

There's on small problem and it's that I fly much faster than my guardian angel most days and I manage to lost that freedom.  The reality of life behind bars is the life here is savage.  I'm calling home and telling my lady we're on lock down because some dude had half his face cut off.  That's my reality.  Another part of that reality is there is no feeling other than...."better him than me."

This is where I struggle to walk that fine line of good and evil and heaven and hell.  My daily prayer consists of "Dear God, continue to bring your peace to my life."  And he does.  And I don't attend a Sunday service and tithe 10% or any of that.  God meets me much more than half way.  There was a time I really thought I was a badass.  I didn't have a clue.  I'll do my entire 30's in here.  Many of my friends have much longer sentences than I and I feel bad even mentioning that I am three and a half years to freedom.  However, in my last nearly seven years incarcerated I have experienced situations that have molded the man I am today.  Prison didn't rehabilitate me as much as I did myself.

In the same way, my attitude is "better him than me".  That completely changes when it comes to my family.  I know my lady, my sisters and my mom can hear a no bullshit (and at sometimes very harsh edge) to me that may seem scary, but they also see my heart.

I once tattooed a phrase on a man that stated, "If I know you, I fuck with you.  If I don't know you, then fuck ya!"  This was put on a nearly 300 pound black man.  That's just how he felt about shit.

Funny though....this life will give you that attitude. I don't necessarily feel like if I don't "know you"  than fuck you.  I feel more like you stay in your yard and I'll stay in mine.  We say back here to "stay in your own lane".  I like that.  Perhaps that's more my motto.

But then I think about my 17 year old daughter deciding she wants to come visit me here.  It's merely a dream that I play over and over and over again....  I make it through the door and into the visiting area.  She stands.  I see her.  That little girl all grown up.  She looks a little like me.  A lot like her momma.  I find that my breath is gone.  I exhale.  Standing before me is the best thing I've ever done with my life.

This will happen.  I've dreamed it over and over and I cry each time.  Was I saying I've become a badass?  What I became is a dad.  Only three and a half left huh?.....BRING IT!!  I can do this thing.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas From the Other Side of the Fence

I believe the holiday is perhaps the hardest time of the year for people doing time.  Our families all have someone missing at their table.  My mother is missing her oldest son.  Others are missing a brother and a child is missing a dad.

My loved ones do my time right alongside me.  They feel the weight of my sentence each day just as I do.  A very special wish to each of the people who love me enough to help pull me through this time in my life.

My brother and sisters, you are the best.  Brooke, you amaze me, thank you for your love.  Mom, I'm getting better all the time.  And to my daughter Taylor, remember the apple and quit being late to first period!!
Love, Michael



Well, it's that time of year again where...thanks to a very special group of people who care (friends) I get to send my lady a shout out and let her know how much I appreciate her and all she does for me.

Jennifer, I love you and thank you for the gift of love, respect, support and strength that you continue to give me.  Words cannot describe what you have come to mean to me...a toast!!!  To our future, Merry Christmas Love.

Mom...what love and patience you have with me.  you will always be my #1 gal!!  My gift for you is yet to come...I ask that you have just a little more patience with me.  Lots of love, hugs and kisses until then will have to do...remember I love you and am always thinking of you.  Merry Christmas mom.

P.S. Boruch Hashem Larry!!!  Have a blessed CHANUKAH!!  Always your brother.
Love, Michael



Another year over with.  That much closer to home.  Finally, my last Christmas in prison.  I want to wish you all a very special holiday season and know that you are all in my prayers.  This time next year we can all sit down, eat, drink and be merry!!  To my awesome family -- Merry Christmas!
Love, Benny













I want to first thank the Lord for the gentleman and his loved one for making this all possible -- thank you so much.  Everyone on this site is very grateful.  There are angels in prison.  My heart goes out to all of my loved ones who have endured this trial.  We've all been through so much together.  This Christmas I am so thankful for all the letters, pictures and support I've received.  Thank you, dad, for being my roc in here.  Thank you, grandma, for being my prayer.  I love you so much.  Thank you, Camille, for being the best sister every.  I'm going to take you gator hunting when I get home.  Sorry I didn't do all the outdoor things with you like I should have.  Nina and Dom, wow how you've both grown!  I can't wait to see you both.  Kimberly, what a true friend.  I love you.  Awesome pictures -- Melina is so big.  Merry Christmas, Shannon!  Thank you for being there for my grandma.  To Graclyn and your family, I pray that you and your family receive an overflow of rewards and love from heaven. Merry Christmas, Graclyn, your a"Amen".  I'm so blessed this Christmas.  I have a beautiful family with so much kindness -- thank you all!
Love, Jason




Dad & Terry,
Merry Christmas!  I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year.  You all have done the greatest thing for me since I've been in prison -- you all never, never left my side through the bad and good times.  You help me get through my problems I never thought I could get through.  I can't express all the love you've given me and always will.  I will see you all soon.  Thank you for being there.
Your son, James P.





Dear Family & Friends,
Mom and Bill, you are my rock!  Don't know where or who I would be in this life without you guys.  Remember always always.  To those who are apart of my life from sending pictures of food and kicking my butt in Uno to those you pray for me.  Thank you for ALL of you support over these long years.  Those who have come and gone through my life, I hope I helped you as much as you helped me in going through this plan God has for me.  Those of you who struggle with addictions, depression or bad relationships, this is not the end.  Stand tall and take control of your life.  If you need a friend, I'm here.  Thank you Mike and Brooke for doing this awesome project.  God Bless.  Have a wonderful time with your loved ones celebrating the coming of Christ.
Merry Christmas, Phillip



This is the third year running now that I'm giving this shout-out.  To all of you....and hopefully the last.  Things are looking good and with any luck I will be home for the holidays next year to  celebrate as a free man.  I love you all and Merry Christmas!
Love, Chris
















Dear Naida,
I want to take the time to let you know how much I appreciate you in every way.  I want you to know that I love and miss ya'll so much.  And that you and my baby girl mean the world to me.  I hope you can understand that ya'll are who I think about day and night.  And that ya'll are the best thing that every happened to m.  I wish ya'll a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Love Forever & Always, Marquis





Dear Mom,
Thank you for all your hard work.  I could not do this time without your support.  I just wanna say you're the best and that I am sorry I am not there.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Love, Your Son, Derek









To my family, my friends and my love,
I hope that you are all having the times of your life.  Enjoy this Christmas and have a Happy New Year!  I love and miss all ya'll and I'm always thinking of you.  Sarah, I love you so much and hope that you can make the best of this.  Thank you for all of your support and helping me wake up every day.  I miss and love you with all my heart.
Love, Mike