Have faith in yourself…
Have faith in yourself…

Have faith in yourself…

She was there; she watched the buyer handing over the money, the very same money she snatched from her husband’s hand, saying with disregard, “I’m going shopping.”  What she did not know was the buyer was a cop.  

Living in a middle-class neighborhood with four children, no one suspected Lisa’s husband sold drugs. They weren’t users. But at the time of her arrest, Lisa was one week away from a critical surgery. However, the law has little regard for health issues. Lisa begged to no avail. While in the can, the tumor grew to ten pounds until it ruptured a year later. Her husband wasn’t so lucky, or maybe he was… he was diagnosed with cancer in jail and died three weeks later, leaving Lisa holding the bag.

The US Marshals told her, “someone has to pay for the crime. You’re all that’s left.”

Lisa did eight years of a ten-year sentence at a prison 1,000 miles from home, too far for visits from family. When I told Lisa how sorry I was, she replied, “Oh but Toby, I met the most wonderful women.” Think of that, Lisa knows pain. She knows loss. A widow, a felon, a cancer survivor and mistake maker, but Lisa chooses to see me and you as the richest part of a wonderful experience!

Lisa knows the difficulties we face as felons. While she reached to accept a job application form, she asked, “Do you hire felons?” The sheet was snatched away so quickly that it left a paper cut, as if the insult of rejection wasn’t enough that our community would use a job application to inflict injury. Lisa sees the humor in our plight.

After prison, Lisa was a foster parent to teens whose parents were in prison. She even adopted one of them.

Lisa now has ten grandchildren and two great-grandchildren and struggles with health issues. Her worldly problems are relentless, but her attitude is gold! 

Love yourself. See the beauty and humor in our circumstances. Rise to challenges and refuse anger, depression and frustration. Do what you must and enjoy the journey.  

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