It’s a few days before Christmas and in a few days it will be another year gone.

It’s hard to swallow sometimes that it will be 28 years being locked behind bars for a first time offender. Those words, cruel and unusual, definitely come to mind. To be honest it’s exactly like dying and then one day you’re back alive.

In my mind, I’m thinking life and people are exactly the same people, I remembered them being. That’s not the case. Imagine these scenarios. It will be safe to start with my oldest sister. When I left she was simple, she would say something smart ass and that would be followed with an unsure laugh. Now she’s way more direct, the ‘F’ bombs, the  ‘B’ pleases and ‘M-F’ roles off her palate like they are supposed to be said.


There are other matters on a family level that bothers me with every call (decision made) yeah, as if I’m dead. I have to beat the words down in my psyche of things I want to say but don’t. It’s like the rolls have flipped and now I’m unsure and I follow up with an uncomfortable laugh.

Then I started communicating again with one of the 3 child mothers of one of my kids. She had been through a horrible storm – horrible. I do not want to go into the gory details of that journey but I will say it’s dark and gloomy. That person is incapable of loving anything or anyone truly. At the end of the day it’s all about how much, when and how often the pay is coming. Essentially a garden tool. What I remember about that person was wholly different. What a difference 28 years make – cruel. That’s just a glimpse.

My children

Now when I look at my grandkids they look like my children looked when I left them in 1995! Again it’s like I’ve been in a horrible coma and suddenly I woke up! My point is that those violent criminals that I see on the local news, more specifically Houston Texas news, committing these heinous crimes, be prepared to die too. Everything you had will be lost. Yeah, they or those people will seem to be there but in reality they are gone.

Now, and I can’t help but be reminded of the Malcolm X movie. When he got out of prison he went back to the number of guys who tried to kill him. One was in a nut house, the other died having sex and the main guy was slobbering, could not sit up straight and was a medical liability without any family member there to care for him. Another clear warning.

Wake up

People wake up – the value is not in money, diamonds, material shit. Real value is in a real family. I’m talking about REAL FAMILY! Being related to someone doesn’t make them family! My real family has suffered with me, a virtually dead person for 28 prison years. What would I look like walking out of prison and committing any type of crime?

Derrick L. Griffin, 20-12-2022