By Louis Castro Perez
Hello to all of you, and thank you for taking the time to read this. A couple of things before I start: I was asked to write a little something by my Amiga Dorothy Ruelas… thank you so much for just being the person you are.
I would also like to say to all of you who might be reading this, that I am in no way trying nor wanting to make anyone feel sorry for me or my situation…I just have some really good conversations with my friend Dorothy and she asked me for this. Thank you all for your understanding.
It’s CRAZY how powerful those 3 words are. I’m in my 50’s and have heard and listened to so many “I forgive you’s!” But there are two times in my life that when I heard these words…it just changed everything about what I thought they meant.
The first time I truly found out what “I forgive you” meant was the last day of my trial. At the end of Death Penalty trials, there is what is called a “family impact statement,” which allows the families of victims to speak directly to the convicted.
Well, I sat there with my whole family: parents… brothers… sisters… cousins… aunts… uncles… and friends behind me and I listened to this man I’ve never met in my life talk to me with such hurt and hate.
He told me how he would be praying that any and all things BAD that happen in prisons…that they would all happen to me and that I would rot in hell!!
I truly felt sorry for this man, but understood his hurt… Sure, it pissed me off, but I just sat there and listened.
Once he was done, he got up to walk back to his seat. He wouldn’t look at me, but I followed him until I saw my father get up out of his seat, and walked towards this man…OH NO!
But my father held his hand out to this man and said, “I forgive you…I forgive you for what you just said to my son.”
My father waited for the man to shake his hand, and when he finally did, my father just turned and walked out of the courtroom. WOW!!
I’ve never seen nor heard such an act! I just felt so damn proud…even when I had just received my sentence of death!
I am a firm believer in God…I have faith and still keep hope in my heart.
A lot of people have asked “why” do I think I was put here? For the longest time I would ask, “God…why? Why this?” But I stopped asking “why?” I now ask Him, “What now?” What do you want me to do now?
I have four beautiful children…three sons and a daughter.
I married very young…18. My sons’ mother and I really didn’t know what respect was…we fought a lot, but worse…we fought in front of our sons. Enough so, that I left my family. And being selfish and stupid, I also pretty much stayed away from my sons too.
Once I was put into this place, I started to hear a lot of stories of so many young men. But what hit me the hardest was when they would speak about their fathers: Good for nothing!! SOB’s. Sorry ass, MF’s…I heard it all and then it hit me like a rock...GOD is showing me what I had done to my own sons!! I truly believe it was what He wanted me to figure out! And it hurt!!
I tried to contact my sons, but it just wasn’t going to happen. I’m working on my 16th year of being here and my sons have since grown up into men. I got to visit them many years ago for the first time and I could see that hate when they looked at me. It’s taken since then 10 years for us to talk again.
I was informed that my time here was somewhat running out, so I wrote to my boys.
I received a letter telling me that they believed what was being said about me and wanted nothing to do with me. I felt a pain that I’ve only felt once in my life, and that’s when my mother passed away.
So, not a year ago I sort of wrote somewhat of a good/bye letter to my sons…just letting them know that no matter what…I have ALWAYS loved them with all my heart. I begged them to forgive me for not being the father they deserved all their lives.
I received a letter from them asking to come see me. Of course, I was in awe and put them on my list. (I cry every time I think about this).
But my sons came to visit me and it was as if we’ve been together all their lives… And when our conversation sort of stalled, my son looked at me and said:
“I forgive you, Dad”
It just about broke my heart!!
“I FORGIVE YOU”
Three words…so powerful!!
Dorothy asked me to try and write about the forgiveness of children of the men here on Death Row…but I just can’t speak about other children because I don’t know about them, but I know mine have forgiven me. And it’s all I could have asked for.
Please forgive me…I didn’t mean to leave my daughter out, but I had learned my lesson with my sons, and I tried to better with my daughter…she has always been my Baby Girl.
Thank all of you very much for your time.
Mrs. Ruelas! Ya sabes…Mil Gracias por Todo.
Con cariño y toda mi alma!
|Big Lou with his sister Delia|
Louis Castro Perez # 999328
Polunsky Unit Death Row
3872 FM 350 South
Livingston, Texas 77351