the other family

January 28, 2016


What’s in a name?


I got a phone call today from someone I haven’t heard from in 43 years, we both got arrested on the same day, same time, same offense. We both went to court on the same date, same time, same court, same judge.

Neither one of us had an attorney, the judge knew us both for over 10 years, we were at the funeral of his son from a heroin over dose.

On my side of the courtroom were my grandparents, and six aunt and uncles and numerous acquaintances’, all Masons, deacons and one former governor.

And on my friend’s side, nobody, not a soul.

He went to prison, I was told to enlist for six years and leave while the Vietnam war was still on or get the same sentence.

He went on to do three more trips to prison, I served my six.

I’m married, have 6 degrees, and am licensed as a psychologist, ordained and reasonably sane.

My former best friend showed up at the greyhound bus station, called me and we met at a shelter.

I had a sealed juvie record, (expunged for 15k) he had the proverbial three strikes, I was wondering how this meeting would go. He is rawhide thin, barb wire tough, tatted up and pierced, still looks fierce, hard with an edge, we both have the same amount of knife wounds, gun shots and other scars, except he lost one eye in a prison fight.

We met, we hugged and we both got a little weepy, he thanked me for the cash I occasionally sent his mom and some of the crew that kept tabs on her.

He just found the Lord a couple of months back and now has pancreatic cancer, his mom is dead and he wanted to know if he stuck around long enough would I bury him.

Hell yeah, he got a job with a friend of mine working for a good friend of mine doing electrical work, and is staying in the apartment of a pastor friend.

Why am I writing this, one reason, family matters, family makes all the difference, if I hadn’t been “represented” we both would have had the same strikes. I got saved in the military, started a family in the military, got the G.I. Bill.

I often told my wife between her and Jesus, I’m still alive.

Show up, be a family to those that will let you.

God bless from


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