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Friday, April 15, 2011

DeathWatch Journal for Lee Taylor – 63 days to live

Entry #3

"Friends"

Greetings and Special Regards,

I was sitting here contemplating what to write about for this installment of my aimless babble, when I realized, as my days continue to dwindle, the most important thing is friends! Indeed friends who have drifted away over the years bear mention, too...

But first, thank you for your words of support! The first article I wrote generated a lot of well wishing. Again, thank you for your letters! Sadly, my blog was removed for a little while. I apologize for the delay; I didn’t think to consult with my attorney and he feared that I might compromise my existing appeal with my words. He contacted my wife who in turn requested that the blog be removed until we conferred. I've made the concession to not write about my case, or appeal for the time being. However: as I find writing this blog to be extremely therapeutic and refreshing, I want to continue writing! Normally I find music my escape from this place. But because I am on Level 2, with next to no property or radio, I guess I will find my joy in writing. And thank you the reader for reading.

Now, back to my article. Truly it does feel good to write. *smiles* My best friend, the person that knows me like no other human ever has; the woman that shares my dreams - indeed, who shares my very soul - is my beautiful wife! How we make each other laugh! She knows me, knows my very core. What started as a friendship became so much more. For people out there who don’t believe in "prison romance" I would say that, yes, these things usually end in disaster. However, love is a very strange force. A force that no matter how "we” humans .try to control it, it still remains the essence of our existence. We've been married four years now. Looking into the blue eyes of my best friend the day I asked her to be my life partner was the greatest single moment of this life. That spiritual, emotional and mental enlightenment all began with a "hello" and the introduction of a willingness to understand another person. So I would caution people to never let your half-formed ideologies prevent you from saying “hello" to someone you may find beneath you, as you never truly know who that person is or what experiences they have had. We never know who could impact our lives, for good or worse, but to shun the possibility of good is to fear life itself.

Over the years I look back to see many people who reached out to become my friend. Sadly I missed out on a lot of "what could have been" exchanges. Depression was one main reason. As I was afraid to care about someone. If you write someone in prison or in a difficult situation, don’t give up on them. When it seems that they are giving up on you, know that, really they are giving up on themselves. So many people over the years have written to me, but once I became aware I "felt" for that person, I would withdraw. Many friendships, budding as though they were beautiful flowers, died because I was scared to water them. If someone who has written me in the past reads this - I am sorry!

Last week I met a woman I've known for six years. She wrote to me all that time ago, just a simple Christmas card. I wrote her and thanked her. As her English is not great, her husband became my friend too, because over the years he would be the person reading my letters. Even so, his English was only slightly better. However, this man became my brother. He has helped me greatly in dealing with depression. Why? Well he is paralyzed from the waist down. Oh, but he LIVES life! He is always smiling, always laughing, and you can see light in his eyes! He is so active, he does not let his situation prevent him from enjoying life. He even has modified motorcycles; the man lives life to the fullest. He's my friend, and he gives me inspiration. I've never met this man, but even through broken language barriers, we’ve found friendship.

I have so many other friends, too. With each friendship we share ourselves. I've come to realize that friendship is about sharing. When we meet someone, we tap one another for "like" experiences. Because similar experiences help to create a link or bond. But ultimately I believe we have a natural mechanism wired into subconsciousness to explore new experiences. Indeed, is not the whole human life comprised of life’s experiences? Because of our social lot in life: our geographical restraints, it is impossible to experience everything in life. Does a child in New York City experience childhood on par with that of an African boy? Does a poor newlywed woman experience her wedding in the same way as a "well-to-do" lady? No. However, through friendship, we share ourselves - our experiences. Be it "good" or "bad", by sharing we learn. Indeed, not only do we learn, but we also teach, through wisdom: knowledge, etc.

And through all of these shared experiences among friends, we are enlightened and molded into the people we are. However, knowing this vast store of knowledge is out there, you still have to choose to seize it. If you choose to shun people because of ideologies that dictate you to disassociate, you could be selling yourself short. Yet by being open-minded, the worlds knowledge is infinite to you, So reach out and learn something new, and in turn share a little of yourselves. The things you have gone through in life are important to someone.

Thank you for reading! And to all my friends who've taught me so much: Thank you, I love you for helping me become the man I am! *smiles*

Respectfully,
Lee


© Copyright 2011 by Lee Taylor and Thomas Bartlett Whitaker. All rights reserved.

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