Tag: beautiful day

The Holidays – Then and Now

While I was in prison, the holidays were sad days. I couldn’t help but feel alone and sad and think of my family and friends more than usual. I think it’s safe to say that was something almost all of us in prison dealt with, although some tried to act like they didn’t care. Maybe they didn’t, who knows. We did try to make the best of it. We were given a better meal than usual, with baked chicken and turkey. Baked chicken is one of the few things that prison cooking can’t screw up, since it’s relatively simple and doesn’t require much in the way of seasoning. We also would make our own spread, pooling all of our items from commissary on one of the tables in the common area. Might not sound like it, but a buffet of ramen noodles, tuna fish, peanut butter and crackers can be downright festive if that is all you’ve got. We tried to have some laughs and have a little holiday spirit but I will be honest, it was a stretch. At night, when it was time to go to sleep, my last thoughts of the day were spent imagining the smiling faces of my family and dreaming of a future I wasn’t sure could ever be mine. I never want to be that lonely again.

This year my Christmas was like the exact polar opposite of those darker days. I had my wife and my son, who is 1 month old now, beside me. We took a couple nice drives to look at Christmas lights around town, and we listened to Christmas music quite a bit. Money is tight but we got lucky. We got a Christmas tree from my grandfather which added a lot of Christmas spirit to our place. Then I got a little Christmas bonus at work so we went shopping for ourselves and got a few necessities like some new work clothes for me, and things for my wife and son, and we wrapped them up and put them under the tree. That might sound a little goofy but it was fun.

If you are spending the holidays away from your loved ones, if they are incarcerated or living the life of addiction somewhere, hold on to hope. Things change. People change. What I learned is life is good when you let it be.

Imagine me, a father and husband, celebrating the holidays with my family, surrounded with so much love and happiness. This is the dream I had and now it is true. I have a lot to be thankful for, and a lot to look forward to in 2014. Peace to y’all ~ Texas Magnum

Sitting in prison, daydreaming helps

It’s a beautiful day at the lake. My dog is with me today, he is happy, like always. Experiencing every smell like it could be the last thing he ever smells and the best smell ever. The grill is lit, and the smell of oak and mesquite is in the air. The day is more perfect than I could ever ask for. It’s a scorching hot day, one of those Texas July heats, but there is a slight breeze in the air. When that breeze hits my face I breath it in and feel the entire world inside of me. I feel the sway of the trees and know that I am a free man and nothing could ever keep me from knowing that freedom.

I hear my name called, and just as I turn my head to see who could be calling, all that beauty of the universe that was in me is suddenly gone, vanished just like that. Instead, I am looking into the pale face of my celly, his eyes with dark puffy bags under them from the lack of sun. A cold shiver runs down my spine due to the constantly blasting air conditioning as well as my stark reality. Everything here is white, not the glittering white that Jesus might have had around him, but a dull white that brings no excitement, or interest. I think they make it totally bland and boring on purpose to numb us.

This is the daily reality check that hits me while I sit here, waiting, letting the minutes and hours and days tick by and dreaming of that moment in time that my heart so longs for and my mind so easily recreates. Ever since I was a young kid, I have been a day dreamer. I know I was in trouble for it enough during my school days. Here, I find myself sometimes escaping my current reality with images of another place and time. Maybe picturing myself playing my guitar. Maybe on a stage in front of a crowd or maybe just around a campfire with a few good friends.

Sometimes the more down to earth dreams are the best ones, they feel so real. Me, with a wife and kids, and so happy to be with them and loving my life with them. Some people say that they try not to imagine the world or think of it’s possibilities while they are here because it is painful to them. They just stay in the reality of incarceration. It is true that I may miss home all the more when I have such imaginings, but my dreams drive me to be out again, and they help me push to reach my goals.

Sometimes I motivate myself to exercise by picturing myself being healthy, looking and feeling great, like a movie star! Hey, it’s possible, right? So why not get up and try to at least get as close to my dreams as possible.

So, today I say, I am going to keep on daydreaming. I am sitting by that lake with my good old dog, waiting to see my family. Maybe I will be sitting there for a year or a little more, maybe it will be four full years, but soon enough, I will be in that cool, clear water again with the sun shining down on me, and a whole lot of living to do.

Peace ~ Magnum