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WORD FROM THE STREET: A Salute to Mothers from Behind the Walls
Dear Mother, I know it has been a long time since I have put into words your value to my life. But believe me, it is not because I have forgotten! Every day the sun rises I thank God for you, and I recognize that you are the miracle. It is the mother's love that is unconditional. It was this love that formed families and brought about civilizations.
I smile with gratitude when I think of all the sacrifices you have made on my behalf. I watched you as I was a child, exhausted coming home from work. Yet, still doing the dishes, still setting the home in order, still doing everything possible to hold the family together.
When the world turned against us, and father found refuge in oblivion, you shouldered the weight-persevering abandonment, self-doubt, indigence, bigotry and all the evils that challenge human dignity. You were, you are my strength and foundation.
"The bitter cold of the streets is no place for my son," you would always say. Yes, "Be careful of your company," but were they not like me-written off? You said that time will tell a friend, but I didn't know until the prison gate slammed that it would be only you, still believing, still encouraging, still loving.
I apologize for every tear!
I didn't understand the meaning of your steps, and in ignorance I took everything for granted. You taught me values, yet I did not always live up to them. You shaped my character, and I pretended not to have any. You overlooked my shortcomings, while I held you accountable. You gave me unconditional love, the love that empowered and enabled me to overcome all of life's challenges, and for that I am forever grateful! To all the mothers of the world, we thank you and love you. A salute to mothers from behind the walls.
Note from Malik Spellman: This tribute was written by Barry Williams, P.O. Box D10477 3EB12, San Quentin, CA 94964.