Editor's Note: Happy New Folks. Wishing you and your families a blessed and prosperous 2018. This will be a reset for Leroy. Things will get back on track with weekly submissions. Pass the word along.
“Almighty Creator, although I am not worthy, grant me the peace of awakening within the warmth of all of your splendor.”
A condemned man’s prayer is sometimes a daily request for death… So much more life to be lived, yet the confines in which I exist are not conducive to living a long and fruitful life.
I can find no solace in the sleepless nights with the hourly encounters of authoritative silhouettes patrolling this enclosure. The rare chance for rest begins with a prayer. Even still, every day the COUNT TIME command emerges from the unnerving reality of a walking death.
What is it about death that pushes an absent father to instruct his children and inspire future generations to appreciate life’s all …through the extent of a 15 minute phone call?
At the same time, the common threat of annihilation becomes an angst that somehow grants a pass to the individual who can think no further than himself.
Can’t change them…
Don’t understand them…
Damn sure wouldn’t want to be them.
But, I have to ask myself: ‘how much different from them am I?’ When every time I cry, I pray for this torture of social dysfunction to cease. It would seem, that staring into the dead eye of execution is a degree of pressure that has the potential to breed the best results from some of us.
Although sometimes, it isn’t enough to do my best.
So the stress
Tends to weigh me down to where my knees nearly parallel this rugged path I am destined to travel. A death trip – so to speak – where emotional baggage is similar to carry-on luggage; close proximity.
One man’s final destination may be life in prison. His change of scenery goes no further than a rec yard, chow hall, or conference room converted into a church house.
Another destination could be, FREEDOM. A Mann’s yearning to walk out of the prison doors is not without the agonizing layover of meeting his grandchildren, for the first time, through a Plexiglas partition. The inability to hold my little ones as they experience our inaugural physical encounter is a mountainous load to bear.
To the man whose final destinations is death… Well, it is a long trip non-stop; the psychological turbulence is unending. However, a layover filled with positive memories can make the journey a bearable one.
An athlete remembers his/her first catch, shot or goal. A self-made millionaire remembers that first dollar made. Memories seem to carry us through the most dire of circumstances.
I guess wearing the weight of the world on your shoulders is not a good look for anyone. But this is a hard life that compels me to acknowledge: every waking breath could be my last, while in this particular state of consciousness.
It is heavy.
A term that is synonymous with my existence. The daily routine of carrying food trays, medicine balls, or personal property is nothing compared to the emotional trauma of witnessing my loved ones carrying this burden right along with me.
Copyright © 2018 by Leroy Elwood Mann