Dec. 11, 2019

Thanksgiving Dinner

by Douglas Blaine Matthews (author's profile)


Dear Reader, 11-28-19

Hey! I hope you're doing well.
Today was Thanksgiving. Holidays aren't really something to celebrate on the Row but sometimes there are things to look forward to. Like today our lunch was pretty good considering it's prison. The stuffing tasted as if someone knew what they were doing when they made it, which leads me to think it may have been an already prepared serving. A "Just add water and heat" kind of deal. And I may be losing my mind but the turkey might have been...real. :P Well, mostly real. It tasted pretty good. And instead of cranberry sauce the prison gave us real cranberries they were good as well. All in all, the meal was worthy of being called a holiday meal-in prison. Let's face it, you probably wouldn't have touched it. Ha! Ha! :D
When thinking of things to be thankful for I have a few. But to be honest, if not for going through the hell I have this last decade of my life they wouldn't have the value I've come to appreciate now. Health. Prison food has taken a toll on me but I've learned what I can eat and what not to eat. And with the amount I can it nourishes me well enough. I watch programs on T.V. if places around the world and some are lucky to eat a measured cup of rice once in 3 days. Even sadder, some are thankful to drink water even though it could cause them to become fatally ill. I would be quite consciously flawed if I were not thankful for the food I do get, understanding how much suffering there is in the world today.
Friendship is something I'm thankful for and there are many important details to this that round out my life in such a wat that I can smile. The warmth of friendship give me hope. And in that my mind can find a stillness that allows me to be calm, rational, understanding, compassionate, kinder, I can focus on positivity, self-improvement, helping others.... ultimately these values lead me to peace. I don't have it but I'm so close that sometimes I can almost feel it. But what I do have is a form of peace. It's comfort. If I had no friend.. I would be hardpressed to notice the sunrise in the morning.
I'm thankful for a team of attorneys that care about my life. As a convicted prisoner, 99% of everyone I come across see's me as guilty. But them, they know I'm innocent and they treat me as such. They are fighting hard for my freedom. Not so I may spend more time in prison under a life sentence, but so I can be free to live a normal life. Pick up my child from school and hear how the day went. Eat a meal cooked by a loved one, fight the wind as I walk down the driveway to get the mail. Ha! Watch the sun rise...and set as each day stands off and then falls asleep with me laying on a pillow-top mattress, soft pillow, covered by a warm comforter and cuddled up with a wife whom I'm deeply in love with and whom feels the same about me... I swear if ones will power could shape the future... It is mine that has the strength to do so.

What are you thankful for?

Until next time.

Yours truly,


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