My confinement continues to grow more and more comfortable. Events which bothered me the first month no longer register a thought. I’ve accepted my fate and understand I will not be home until spring of next year. That certainly brings me peace. I’m on a self-imposed deadline to accomplish everything I said I would. The clock is ticking and with only 6 months left, I have a lot to do.

I’ve written previously that inmates pass their time in different ways. As an example, I prefer to exercise and read, my bunkie enjoys reading and my friend and fellow prisoner, Michael Santos, loves to write. These activities give our day a sense of purpose and well being. I’ve grown to like the structure and I am optimistic that I will remain as disciplined once I return home.

Accepting the situation which placed me in a prison camp played a role in helping me embrace this experience. I had no other choice but to own it and take it like a man. I’m saddened when I see fellow prisoners, some who are friends, hang on to false hope. They believe every rumor regarding parole, additional good time credit and the Second Chance Act. They insist their appeal will come through when over 90% fail. It is extremely difficult for many to accept that prison is their home. The result is a neglect that affects more than their own life. It crushes their ability to be a husband, father or brother.

Families usually suffer more than the inmate as they are constantly concerned about our well-being, our living conditions, and in some cases, our sanity. I’ve joked that the camp should have a “bring your family into prison day”. The surroundings, officers and inmates are all just fine and I know most families would be relieved to see how well we live. Of course, that will never happen so it’s important that we maintain a strong front for our family and friends. I’m not suggesting that one lie if they are truly miserable. A family, however, can become deeply encouraged by their relative in the camp expressing just a little hope.

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