July 18, 2012

Welcome to another day

by Daniel L. Van deBogart (author's profile)


Welcome to another day :P

July 5, 2012

I hope everyone enjoyed their 4th of July. I was able to watch the fireworks out my window last night. The prison wall seemed an ironic back drop, but the show was great.

I just finished doing my job and thought I'd share some of my morning.

I scrub the showers, sweep and mop the 2nd floor and do general maintenance 7 days a week - though they only pay me for 5 (a dollar a day).

I never complain about the job, pay or hours since I am one of the lucky few who even has a job, there just aren't enough to go around, and any complaint would only land me in unemployment.

Besides I don't do it for "Them". I work for my family, that $5.00 a week goes directly into my prepay phone account. So I can make at least one call a week and visit with my brother or sister who both live on the other side of the country. Face to face visits are out because of the expense so the phone and letters - (and now blogging :P) are really my only communication with the outside world. So the job is a good thing and I'm happy to have it.

I made good money doing tattoos for a long time, but that's just not an option in this facility.

I had hoped to find a way to earn money with my artwork, I sell cards and portraits form time to time, it's a slow process but I get by. :P

I see so many guys in here demanding money from their girlfriends and families, and I do mean "demanding", it amazes me walking by the bank of phones hearing the abuse some of them dish out, cursing and screaming.

No, I'd say ALL of the people I know would simply disconnect a call like that. I'm saddened by how many men do not realize how fortunate they are to have people who care enough to keep the love alive through a prison wall that HE put there.

I count myself lucky to have had the time I had with my wife before her passing, every day was a gift. And now every call, every letter I get to share with my sister, my brother, my nephew or friends from my past is a cherished gift.

*I* am here, *I* put myself in prison, I am responsible for the wall being up between us, so from my perspective any moment they take from their lives to share with me is a gift from their hearts and I can never take that granted.

That's the thing about prison that a lot of people don't get (including many of the men in here.) Our family and loved ones suffer through it with us, and what have they done wrong?

I carry the burden of my regrets, and my responsibility to all those I've hurt, but not in any negative way, instead I feel I must EARN and deserve the love I've been given by being the best man I can be despite my address, I can only continue to recognize the gift that is each new day. Peace and love to you all.


Daniel L. Van de Bogart T-81483 MCI Norfolk
Box 43 Norfolk, MA 02056


Replies (1) Replies feed

Spryte Posted 11 years, 11 months ago. ✓ Mailed 11 years, 10 months ago   Favorite
I lost a friend this week.

This seems to be happening a lot more frequently these days.  I guess it's because I'm older and so are my friends.  I do not like the feeling of mortality's breath down the back of my neck.

So I'll be flying back east next week, unexpectedly.  I did think that perhaps I might work something out to visit you, but there's just not enough time this trip to make it happen.  Perhaps on some future visit.

It happened so quickly.  I still have her voicemail on my phone from June 22nd where she called to let me know that she had just been diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia and that she was being admitted immediately into the hospital for aggressive chemotherapy.  She passed away yesterday.  

Her name was Candy...but I knew her by her IRC nickname, Kali.  We met in 1996, online in a chat room and then later, face to face at an IRC meet in Toronto.  She lived in California...and I was in New Hampshire, so it wasn't always easy to see each other, but we made a point of criss-crossing the country at least once every couple of years to visit.  

I introduced her to Toni...and they hit it off as well, so when Kali died, it was only natural that Toni reached out to me immediately.  We started with tears...and ended with laughter which is our way.  The two of us are most definitely our mother's daughters...unable to maintain a respectable gravity for very long.

We've been very fortunate...all of our siblings are alive and healthy...and we dread the time when that changes.  In an effort to put in our request early, we've decided that the two of us will have to pass away relatively close in time.  I would be devastated by the loss of her...and because the two of us are so very much alike, if I died before her, then she'd miss me as I would her.  The only solution...we agreed...was for us to live together when we are very, very, VERY old and senile.  This way, one could die...and the other wouldn't realize it for a while.  Conversation might be rather one-sided and there'd be a small issue with body odor....but there would be none of the grief.

Oh...and it has to be in our sleep.  That was another thing.  We're both kinda wussies about pain.

Be well, Daniel.


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