Step Into the Light
Journal Entry 21 – February 26, 2023
A full and busy month has passed since my last entry. At this moment my six-months point at the halfway house is just two days away. On February 28, 2023, I will be eligible to go to home confinement. While we are still waiting for the administration here to approve my apartment, I am confident it will be done as Janice has transformed an empty shell into a warm and welcoming home. Paperwork will then be passed along to Chicago for final approval, then I will pack my bags and walk out the door to complete my final 6 months with the Bureau of Prisons before my parole begins. And so the story comes to close just when you thought you were rid of me.
But not so fast my friends. I need to tell you a few things before I go. So come along with me this early morning before the sun rises, before I’ve said my prayers, and before I’ve thanked the Creator for each and every one of you, and said goodbye so that very soon I’ll be able to say hello again.
Many years ago, or so it seems at this moment, I started a journey to document my Long Road Home. Today, in this moment, it will come to a close. But I want to tell you something before I leave you for a moment. I want to express my gratitude that sacred winds have blown me across your path and you across mine, that the Creator has placed my words before your eyes.
You’ve read them. Some of you may have laughed, even scoffed at me, but some of you have laughed and cried with me. Some of you have felt my pain and confusion, my sorrow and yes, shared my joys. All the while, the winds of fortune have been at my back and before I go, I wish to speak of them:
Strong spiritual winds blew me across the path of Sings Many Songs and she has walked beside me on my path. Now the winds of providence and kinship have given me to this woman; she knows my heart and has adopted me as her son. What more can I say? I love you Mom.
Thankfully, gentle winds followed my beautiful Janice as she made her way home in the dead of winter. Janice has travelled through time to bring herself back to me and her heart that never left. My love for her has endured for thousands of years and will surely endure for thousands more.
My brother, Bob and his wife Babs, and all their family have given me hope, trust and a chance to show them what I couldn’t show them in the past. My nieces Andrea and Amber, my nephew, Josh and his wife Anna, welcomed me. Oaf and Jesse and Aaron as well. And my great niece, Vanessa with your kind and loving heart – what a magnificent spirit you carry.
My brother Mike and his beautiful wife Karen, the Irish spitfire. . .I didn’t know they had Maisenbacher’s that came out of Ireland but he found one and managed to marry her and she certainly enriched this clan.
My sister, Leontien, strong winds carried us seven thousand miles to join us as brother and sister. You have graciously given me your family and I give you my love and devotion forever.
Paints On The Rocks and your beautiful Karen, how do I tell you how much you’ve given to me with your sage words and your cutting humor? You’re always on point with your view of the world as it is.
My little brother, David Martinez, your beautiful Jessica and little Oscar and the kids. You taught me that to give a man his culture, his heritage and his tradition was the greatest gift I could give to myself. In bringing a man back to the red path and teaching you about the ways and heritage of our people, I placed myself in front of the sun with my arms open, my face up to the Creator. I begged for another red and blue day as a warrior and one who would not surrender. For this opportunity I thank you.
Butch Reno and your beautiful Angie, you have shown me that real friendship does not die even after 25 years. Friends are just there when you need them. No questions. Butch, since our reunion the music in the winds has been clearly heard in your creative genius. When we sat down again to make music together, the magic was still there.
Patty, I don’t even know what to say about you. You blew into my life like a cyclone and your generosity of spirit is amazing. I can’t imagine not knowing you. I tell you pretty much every day you’re the bomb, chick. Janice and I love you and we always will.
Stephanie, how amazing and beautiful you are. Janice and I adopted you; we didn’t even give you a choice. You just rolled with it like your spirit — a gentle breeze that can become a tempest when provoked. We’re so glad you didn’t buck. Without your help, you and I both know I wouldn’t be where I am now academically. Yes I am a BRAINIAC! hahaha.
Throughout my Long Road Home, the winds of time have carried so many kind souls across my path I can’t possibly name everyone. I will remember you all and I thank you for touching my life. So with these words I close the book on my past so I can begin anew. You all have given me hope and understanding that cannot be replaced. This morning, in the darkest hours, as I think about the past few years, I need to tell you I owe you my life, for you have given me mine. You have given me something I never felt I would have again – a family, people who love me for who I am, for the man I have become. For this I thank you from the bottom of my warrior’s soul!
Now, in these wee hours, I wish I could just go to bed, but midterms are coming up and I have bell curves to bust, so study I must. . .
Until we meet again. . .
Just remember, I am Walks On The Grass and I never surrendered.