IMG_3532I find nicknames in prison to be very entertaining. Everyday I laugh out loud when “B” and I are talking and she refers to one of our fellow inmates by their nickname. Most of the time I have no idea what their real name is, sometimes I wonder where the nick name came from? My cell is by the phone so I hear inmate trying to make a call using their real name’s and I’m always surprised how it doesn’t seem to fit them. One woman in our unit goes by Mama Dukes, “B” called her Miss Dukes until she found out her real name had nothing to do with Dukes. I guess the woman has always been fond of the old TV series “The Dukes of Hazard”. We have a Too Tall here, a Shorty, a Hood, and a T Money. There’s a Boy Boy, a Grumpy, Big Cahoona and Tiny. Of course there’s a Smiley, there’s a woman that goes by Wish and another goes by G Baby, and my favorites Bubbles, and Red. One of Courtney’s good friends goes by Little’s and we have a Grandma, every jail I’ve been to has a woman who goes by Grandma(Not really the grandmotherly type:) An older black woman goes by Tutti and there’s a new girl named Shiesty, I wouldn’t want that nick name:) she also has a snake tattoo wrapped around her body? We have Puff, Boo, Chola and Mama T, not to be confused with T Rex. There’s Holy Bear, Half Moon and Cowboy. You probably guessed they are Native:) We have Baby and wedda(That means white girl in Spanish) and one of our legendary officers here is called Scar face by all the inmates. Some of the nick names I get called are Little Mama, Baby Girl, Pretty Lady and Louder(My favorite)

We had another Cancer awareness event last week, I was impressed with how well it went. The prison let the women paint large banners and walk a 5k going around the yard several times. Everyone wore a colorful paper ribbon to help connect them to the outside world, those of us with family members who have either survived cancer or lost a family member to cancer were able to paint a luminary bag. The luminary bags were very heartfelt, some carried pictures of loved ones lost and all of them were given to the American Cancer Society to use to light the path of their 5 k awareness walk in the free world.

The prison operates on 10 minute moves, meaning we are locked down other than every hour we get 10 minutes to go where we need to go. On Saturday and Sunday they gave us open yard for the 5 k and we had a big get together in the covered rec area. It’s kind of a cement amphitheater with a stage, they had some amazing posters up(There are some very talented artists here) and there were several activities going on. When I first arrived I saw inmates down on the stage area trying to hula hoop. I thought, “This is my moment to shine.” most of my friends don’t know this but I am pretty amazing with a hoola hoop. I can walk and dance while I hoola hoop I can hoola for hours without stopping and I can hoola with several hoola hoops at the same time. I decided to seize the moment and took the stage:)

When I got down to the stage area there were lots of activities so I figured I would blend in, not so! Everyone stopped and watched me in action, and several of the women on the outside started pointing. Some of my fellow inmates decided to try to join me, but it’s all in the rhythm and they couldn’t hang with me:) I am now considered the Dublin girls champion Hoola Hooper, A very coveted title:) My room mate Sue took the stage a little later and was able to make a go of it with the hoola hoop but I think her skills are more in the Karaoke department. It really was a good time, there are some things in life you are never to old to enjoy.

Sue wanted to stay up late and crochet, to be considerate she offered to go into the wash room so I could turn the lights off and go to sleep. About 30 minutes later I am awakened to my neighbors and a few others yelling what is that sound! I got up and walked out into the hall and saw several other sleepy inmates trying to figure out what was going on. The sound was coming from the wash room so I went down to check on the situation. Sue was singing at the top of her lungs with her headphones on:) I tapped her and let her know that the whole unit could hear her and she would probably sound better with some music to accompany her:) My, how strange my life has become….

“B” and I attended a 12 step meeting last night that was really great! A beautiful black woman got up and shared with us that she leaves Dublin in a few weeks, she has served over 18 years in prison. She told us how excited she is to get to know her son who is in college now. In her words,” I can’t wait to hug him and talk to him for hours and share this journey with him. I can’t wait to sit quietly in a room and look at his beautiful face and watch him while he sleeps.” I don’t know what this woman did to warrant a 20 year sentence, it could have been a drug case? The government hands out years like the state hands out months in prison, sometimes I just shake my head and wonder how we let the feds get so powerful? Where’s the checks and balances? What’s AMAZING to me is that a woman as kind and good as the woman who stood before us last night can walk out of prison (Not always the best environment) with love in her heart and have no bitterness. God is good! He loves his children, the woman who stood before us is a living testament to his power. Sometimes I wonder how there can be so much pain in the world, mostly I am in aw at the love our Father in Heaven has for us and grateful for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and his miraculous power to heal!