I had no clue how it would feel to win the lotto until the day I walked into the visiting room at Monroe Corrections Center and received a hearty handshake followed by a huge bear hug from the arresting officer in my case. The expression ” It was very surreal ” holds no comparable value to what I felt in that very moment.

More than twelve years ago I set out with utter determination to repair, heal and reconcile my life, and every broken relationship. I put in the hard work to clean up my past, rebuilding my values, character and beliefs. My family and support network encouraging me every step of the way as I overcame many difficulties. I sent letters to the Monroe Police Department expressing my positive transformation requesting a face to face visit.

Ten years after sending those letters I was visiting with two family friends sharing this story, wondering if my letters were ever received. They asked who the arresting officer was. To my great surprise this officer happened to be their neighbor! They said if I wrote one more letter requesting a visit that they would hand deliver it. Hard work pays off.

That day my dream became reality. I welcomed every single one of those hot tears sitting there together having a worlds best conversation about life, responsibility family, redemption and welcoming me back into the community. My goodness, there are no words to compare to these feeling/thoughts to……

Well, maybe I could compare it to the day when man first learned how to make fire. Hard work and never giving up until the goal is accomplished feels pretty damn good. Thank you everyone for your continued belief in me.

Marshall Byers
for www.lgbtqprisonsupport. com