The last few years in prison I’ve been on auto pilot during the holidays, each year I fight with more and more feelings of apathy, and the rollercoaster of past memories. Can anyone relate? I write daily gratitude notes to myself and others, listen and give helpful feed back, share my pain and successes in class, we even have a decorated fake Christmas tree in our unit day room which is unheard of in other prisons.

My family and friends love and support me tremendously by spending their time with me in the visiting room, phone calls are accepted, and tons of thoughtful Christmas cards come pouring in as well. I am truly blessed even in prison, my deepest regards to you all.

In 30 months I’ll be ready to come home and be done with this prison term. I miss my son and daughter, family and freedom more than words can express. The pain of time loss feels like a small car is parked on my chest. My son was only five years old, and my daughter was seven at the time I was sent to prison. Today they are seventeen and nineteen. I can’t even imagine how they feel or how deeply they have been affected over the years by my absence, but more importantly my poor choices back then.

After the many years of change and personal transformation, the whole world will be receiving the very best of me. See ya then.

Marshall Byers