Latest Notes from DearSociety.ca

August 20, 2007

My Pass to My Father’s Memorial Mass

Filed under: News, Updates — dearsociety @ 3:45 am

Manny Cordeiro

Kingston Penitentiary (KP), Isolation

Saturday, August 11, 2007, Eleven PM 

Dear Society:
My Pass to My Father’s Memorial Mass Yesterday, August 10, 2007 (Prisoner’s Justice Day)
(Includes 11 Photos) 

 

Thank you for your time and interest in our situation, Ladies and Gentlemen.  These notes aim to give you a current view of where we’re at, and what’s going on with us?  This is the first such note, and in needing a current document that also sums up our main issues and objectives, it will also serve that purpose.  If you already know such, just read about the pass.

My father, Manuel, died on Sunday, July 29, 2007, at age 84.  Though I was named after him, we’ve been distant in every sense of the word, right from my birth.  A couple of years ago, he came to visit me for the first time.  Angie brought him, but with her, our relationship and our visits forever under attack, she was not allowed to attend such an important visit.  Angie was ordered to wait outside of KP.

The visit with my father in 2005, it was a real trip, but I’m really glad he came (my parents retired back to Portugal when I was around seventeen, without me).  Walking into the visiting room, I suddenly saw my father looking so old and fragile, crying as soon as he saw me.  Shit, the father I knew would never cry or show any emotions, no matter what the situation.  It caught me off guard.  I was as understanding and forgiving as I could be.

My Father, Manuel, my niece, and my Mom, Maria, now 83There was a sensitive moment during our visit that I wish to share with you, Ladies and Gentlemen.  Since this was the first (and last) time we really talked, my father felt the need to get something off his chest that he’s held against me his entire life:  “Why did you not work for your father like your brothers (two) and sisters (two)?”  He’s regarding our cultural and/or family tradition where the kids find work and hand their pays over to their father (until they get married).

Hoping it would also get me an answer that I’ve always wondered about, I responded to his question as gently as I could:

“Well, I don’t think it’s fair to blame me for that.  As you know, mom had me at age 44, and so I’m the youngest by far.  I was not united with both of you until I came to Canada at age 9.  I had to go to school, it’s the law, and the family wished me to get a good education in Canada.

“I always did well in school, and I had big plans and dreams.  And however young I was, I did always have a part-time job after school and during holidays.  I gave my pays to you and mom.

“Just as I was turning sixteen, you viciously attacked and tried to kill me.  If you remember, I was so hurt and terrified, but however tough I was, I did not even raise a hand to stop you, Father.  When Mom smashed herself into you, your grip on my throat lessened, I regained consciousness, and ran for my life.

“You were so furious and so determined to finish me off, that even barefoot, you chased me through the streets of Toronto, screaming that you were going to kill me!  Had we a normal father/son relationship, you’d not have bothered chasing me.  You’d know that I had just won the 100-M and 1,000-M Track & Field at my school!

“I was in Grade 10 (Central Commerce High, Toronto).  Children’s Aid placed me in a distant group home ‘for my own protection’ from you, Father.  I lost my mind for a while there, quit school, moved out on my own, got a job as a construction heavy equipment operator and tried to rebuild my life from scratch.

“I’ve been pretty much imprisoned since I was nineteen, so how could I have worked for you, Father?  The real question, and one I’ve wondered about my entire life, is why did you so viciously attack and try to kill me when I was a 15 year old kid, Father?  What the hell did I do to you to deserve all that?”

His answer that I’d been waiting forever for:  “Oh, your father just wasn’t thinking right at that time!”  I waited for him to elaborate.  When he didn’t, and instead started crying, I did the unimaginable between us:  I gave him a hug!  I assured him that it was okay, that I forgave him and to please just take good care of my precious mom in Portugal.  He just wasn’t thinking right at the time!

When I walked him to the door at the end of our visit, his last words were:  “Manuel, you know your father is getting old, and with you in prison, I won’t see you alive ever again, so goodbye, my son.”  At that moment, I cursed the mass-corruption crushing us, for keeping me imprisoned even the supposed Statutory Release portion of my sentence, since February 2004.

He didn’t tell me that he had just been diagnosed with terminal cancer and a tumor in his intestines.  I learned about it when we phoned my sister Carolina in Portugal about a year ago.  He was now bedridden, with a bag attached to his body for his nature calls.  I also learned that his father died the same way (a year later, my requests for KP’s medical dept. to check me out remain being ignored).

Denied any form of visits since KP last suspended them in May, 2006, Angie and I value our 30 minute phone calls.  About a week prior to my father’s death, I asked Angie to 3-way me to Portugal.  By the time we got through, and the phone got to my father, a guard came to return me to this isolation cell.  He said, “Hello?  Manuel?”  I explained that I had to go, and that I’d try to call soon.  He died before I could.

Angie and my nieces in Toronto arranged to have a memorial mass for my father at St. Helen’s Church, at 6:30 PM, yesterday.  Perhaps more than anyone else, I had to try attending and pay my respect to my father.

I applied for and fought to be allowed an Escorted Temporary Absence (ETA) pass to St. Helen’s Church.  I’ll add my detailed application to “Section #7, Official Letters and Responses (Or Lack Of)”.

It was approved with little time to spare, with the following conditions:  that three armed guards in uniform be right beside me at all times; that I be restrained in hand-cuffs and leg-shackles at all times; and, despite all that, in a church mass-memorial, that I not so much as give my precious wife a comforting hug or even a hand-shake (or the ETA would be instantly terminated).  I could have contact with and hug any other family members or even strangers there, but not Angie.

Angie, already violated and tortured by KP-CSC to outright disabling and suicidal extremes, was understandably outraged by the added attack upon her.  Lest she be targeted and ridiculed in front of my family even at a memorial mass for my father in a church, I wished to cancel the ETA, but she didn’t want me to.  Nor did she wish me to just tell my family that I was not allowed to touch or hug “anyone.”

Despite the endless attacks upon Angie, if our Charter of Rights and Freedoms Act means anything, here is the bottom line about my wife:  at age 36, Angie is a respectable Canadian citizen who has never done anyone any wrong and has no criminal record.  She has never tried to bring me drugs, files in cakes or any such things in the over 18 years that she’s been visiting me, nor ever been caught doing so.  That’s the bottom line about Angie.

Anyway, yesterday, which was also Prisoner’s Justice Day, I was dressed in the nicest suit that KP has in stock for such events (sitting next to me at St. Helen’s Church, one of my nieces whispered in my ear, “Uncle Manny, I’m pretty sure I saw a photo where your father got married in a suit just like this one!”), restrained, placed in the back of a paddy wagon with no working fan, and got to Toronto drenched three and a half hours later. Manny at Father’s Memorial Mass, Friday, August 2007

Please keep in mind that I’m limited to writing this entire newsletter the old-fashioned and extra difficult way:  by pen and paper.  Also, that I’ve not yet see the photos taken at St. Helen’s Church that I’m leaving blank squares for.  I’ve decided not to show the faces of my three armed guards (or “Men In Black,” as another niece put it in much needed comic relief!).

As if I didn’t feel like enough of a freak in a freak show, Angie, who has not even been allowed to see my face in 14 months (and never bold), expressed her concern that I looked pale, sick and “what the hell are all of those red marks all over your bald head, Manny?”  She was lucky that I was forbidden from giving her a nice, super-tight hug, but as I explained to my dear wife:

“I’m 39 years old, and going bald on top of everything else, so get used to it, Sweetie!  I shaved my head just prior to my father’s death to help cope with the heat and humidity in KP, and so I had to maintain it.  And if I look pale, it could be because the sun don’t shine in my windowless isolation cell where I’ve been warehoused for years!

“If I got red marks all over my head, it can only be from shaving it with the cheapest razor that society’s $120,000 per year [about what it costs to imprison me] could buy – without a mirror!  And not one damn prisoner or guard told me I had nicked and cut my skull all over the place – or memorial mass or not, I’d have worn a bandanna with my father’s wedding suit!

“But worry not, Angie, I’m actually in better health than I’ve been in many years.  I work out for an hour a day within my limitations, and even if you can’t see it in this fine suit, I’m at a solid 185 pounds (my regular weight prior to The Sharif Scandal in 1993 – I’m 5’ 11”).”

AngieThe picture that I have frozen in my mind’s eye, Ladies and Gentlemen, was snapped when Angie arrives at St. Helen’s with one of our nieces.  Before she could get near me, one of the Men In Black got between us, and was reminding her that she must not have any contact with me.  Again, KP has not even allowed us to see each other through the neat bullet-proof glass of a security visit for 14 months and counting.

Angie, holding her purse by the strap in one hand, listened to him while giving me such a disgusted look that I read her mind and could not help laughing and shouting to her, “Go ahead, Baby, just whack him with your purse, go ahead!”  Though only 4’ 11’ (and a half, she always tries to cheat), she’s as tough as they come, as she has to be.

In fairness and out of respect for my three armed guards, after the above trip, I made a bit of a speech to all present:  “These guards are only doing their jobs and following their strict orders by the authorities at KP.  These “Paul Bernardo conditions” of my pass are not their doing, but it’s their duty to enforce them.  Our problems are not with them.  They are treating me as kindly, and as respectfully as they can on this day, and I’m grateful, so please also treat them with the same kindness and respect.”

For the various reasons I stated in my ETA application, the facts of my case, KP-CSC had no reason to turn my pass to my father’s memorial mass, at a church, into such a freak-show.  Some of those facts include:

·        I am not an escape risk.  If I were during “The Two Weeks of “Freedom” Allowed Me in 2004” (title of Section #27), I could have easily gone anywhere in the world that I so wished, but did not.
·        Even when I was told at the end of those two weeks that my Statutory Release (SR, the final third of my 21 years sentence that I’m supposed to serve in Society was being suspended; and that I was being returned to maximum-security KP for the 6 years of my SR – I argued that such was total bullshit, but I still did not even think of taking off as I could have.  I went with my parole officer to the police to be cuffed and returned to custody, where I’ve been since.
·        I’ve had medical and legal ETAs in these recent years, with armed and non-armed guards, without any incidents.
·        I’m at the end of my ridiculously high sentence, and over 3.5 years into my supposed SR.  Even if I’m kept in what I regard as “wrongly imprisoned” after “My National Parole Board (NPB) Hearing in November 2007” (Section #34), my sentence will fully expire and I have to be returned to Society only two years later.  If I didn’t escape or simply take off in 2004, and ever since, I sure as hell am not going to do so now – at my father’s memorial mass, in a church, with my family.
·        Though my impossibly targeted and prejudiced position within KP-CSC (saying much, just look at how even my already “disabled” wife is being treated) has me still reported in the worst imaginable ways to justify its abuses (that I present “a high risk to society,” and so forth) – even KP-CSC can only assess and report that none of my senseless crimes caused “serious harm” to anyone (as per the “legal definition” of “serious harm”).
·        My last real crimes took place in 1994, 13 years ago, when after I saved the life of a respected citizen who justice failed, wrongly imprisoned, and almost allowed to be killed in 1993 (Mr. Sharif, 64), I escaped and ran lost for my own life, from CSC; and into a senseless suicidal crime-spree, in 1994.

As a prisoner who confessed, took accountability for, and pled guilty to my crimes, it would be wrong to “assume” that I’ve ever tried to present anything to “excuse” my own wrongs and faults, Ladies and Gentlemen.  That said, as a matter of fact, when I was sentenced for those 1994 crimes that added 12 years to my sentence, I added this to my guilty plea:  “given the facts, CSC is just as guilty as me of these crimes, Your Honour.”

  Manny & Angie

To close the pass detail:  we sat towards the back of the church, with the Men In Black wearing bullet-proof vests right behind me (the mass was not just for my father).  Regardless of the freak show, I was grateful for it, and my only serious complain is with the attack upon Angie, in front of our family.  I really needed to attend, and despite my serious “daddy issues,” he was a decent man in his own ways, and I’d not hesitate to outright die for him if required to – even if “life” didn’t really allow me to work for him, as he disowned me over.

 

Again, my escorting guards treated me as kindly and as humanely as they could on such a day.  Knowing that I was overheating in the back of the paddy-wagon (where the fan didn’t work) during such a long journal, on the way there and back, they stopped and bought me cold pops to try cooling off.  When returning me to this isolation cell, one thanked me for behaving and handling the conditions so well.

 

As “comic relief” to what I need to close this “Latest Note” with, Ladies and Gentlemen, I’m going to share one final detail about this ETA.  When I had my 30 minute call to Angie today, I cursed her and my family got not jumping me to the ground when I actually tired to go down the middle and to the front of the church to go receive Christ!  Again, this memorial mass was not just for my father.  There were about two hundred people in the front isles of the church.

 

Imprisoned for two decades in my prejudiced conditions, I forgot that one must confess their sins before receiving Christ.  When I stood up to join the line-up, all three Men In Black stood up with me!  Sitting back down, I said, “No, no, no, I’m not gonna go to the altar with you guys beside me!  Shit, it’s enough of a trip to go with this suit and restrained like this!”

 

A moment later, one said, “Okay Cordeiro, you can go alone, we’ll watch you from here.”  Nobody stopped me to bring me to my senses.  Halfway there, I ran into one of my nieces who was returning from receiving Christ.  Looking bewildered, “Where are you going, Uncle Manny?”  Coming to my senses, I tried cajoling her to join me.  Looking relieved, she said, “You’re too late! The priest is done!”  I suspect that he saw me coming and started feeding Christ to everyone in the line up with, “In God’s name, please just hurry up!!!”

 

 The group againThe whole group

 

My father (you may note that I never use “dad”) will always be remembered as an extremely hard-working, strong and tough man.  Very strict, authoritative and set in his ways.  He had little use for emotions, showing affection and only talked when he had to.  He had a very tough childhood and life, and I believe such made him cold and hard.  A very decent man in his own ways, but ours was a tragic relationship on every level.

 

My precious mom, Maria, 83, is now a widow in Portugal.  She’s pretty much the extreme opposite of my father.  She’s always been very kind, caring, loving, affectionate, compassionate, passionate, sensitive, emotional and down to earth with a healthy sense of humour.

 

Despite our distance and the fact that I really only had from age 9 to age 15 with her, we’ve always been extremely close.  Having me at age 44, she still regards me as “her baby,” and no doubt her deepest pain.  So much so that I really can’t talk with her directly.  She’s not in the best of health.  When she happened to come on the phone a few weeks ago, she heard my voice, called out my name and started crying so hysterically that she near fainted.

 

My sister, Carolina, lives nearby with her own family.  My mom keeps telling her that her greatest dream is to yet see Angie (who she totally adores) and me free and okay with our lives before she can die in peace.  Life has not yet allowed Angie and me to fulfill our greatest dream of having two kids we’ve long had names for:  Maria, after my mom, and Justin, for justice!

 

Angie and I met and fell in love in Toronto, about a year prior to my federal imprisonment, in 1988.  As I also leave to your judgment along with everything else, despite our “circumstances” our love has always been as true and as pure as love can be.  Angie makes me feel like the very luckiest man in the world, no matter what this newsletter details.  She’s a truly one of a kind lady who never fails to amaze me.  Her mind-boggling pain and suffering suffices to completely numb me of my own.

 

Now thirty six, Angie sometimes complains that she may be getting too old for us to be able to have children.

 

I’m more concerned with the “side effects” of the relentless tortures upon us.  I address her concern with, “My mama had me at age 44 and look at me, I turned out just fine!”

Most recent photo of Angie

If and when we manage to survive this “battle” and nightmare, I have no doubt that we will be the greatest of parents.  Maria and Justin will always be our best friends and enjoy living very happy and productive lives.

 

In the end, Ladies and Gentlemen, none of us have the power to select who we are born to, and we are all 50% of our father’s DNA and 50% of our mother’s DNA.  Anyone who really knows me, including Mr. Sharif, knows that it’s my mom who I most take after.  But, I also have no doubt that I’m my father’s son.

 

When I left his tearful and emotional visit, I reflected upon the fact that I had not shed a single tear and was reminded that his DNA is also within me.  I’ve faced truly terrifying life and death situations without even flinching or shedding a single tear.  When his DNA is kicked in, I simply don’t cry.  Yet, watching a wildlife show the other day, I saw a buffalo getting all chewed to pieces as it refused to abandon its baby to a pack of hyenas, and I cried like a baby!

 

Extreme” is the word that best describes me.  I’ve always been “extreme” in every way, and yes, even when screwing up.  For example, I either love someone in extreme, or not at all.  It was always difficult for me to find my middle ground.  It was always one extreme or the other.  It took me a long time to really understand my extreme nature and find “my balance”.

 

However complicated, it’s quite simple.  My extreme nature is contributed to the extreme opposites and differences between my father’s and mom’s DNA within me.  This is no “eureka” that suddenly came to me at age 39, of course.

 

With Angie’s help in 1993 (age 25), when I saved Mr. Sharif’s life from a sinister $50,000 contract to murder him in Collin’s Bay Prison, I had already come to terms with the issues and storms in my life which brought me to prison.  Mr. Sharif in effect proved his innocence and regained his freedom in Appeal Court only months later.  Yet, however much in terms with my issues, only months later, I escaped and ran lost for my own life.  Why?

 

The answer also explains “The Spark” that ignited our impossibly complicated legal “battle” with Correctional Services Canada (CSC) in 1993 (and pretty much our entire system of justice and politics since then).  It also explains why we’ve been tortured to near death by this monstrous bureaucracy since 1993.  And why we are so targeted and prejudiced within KP-CSC that even with three armed guards right next to me, restrained from head to toe, I was forbidden from giving my disabled wife a comforting hug at my father’s memorial mass.

 

The “simple” answer is that, after I managed to save Mr. Sharif’s life from that vicious contract in 1993, to prevent further attempts to murder him before he could prove his innocence – Mr. Sharif and I “had to” also implicate CSC in The Sharif Scandal.

 

In 1993, I was reported as a 25 year old, non-violent, hard-working, polite, respectful, accountable, intelligent and perfectly healthy model prisoner.  One who CSC assessed to present a “low risk” in every field, including a “low risk to society.”  I was on the verge of being released, I had a great 27/hour job waiting as a construction heavy equipment operator, Angie and I looked forward to rebuilding our lives, having a baby…

 

As we invite you to judge in our extremely complicated newsletter (because I am a prisoner, and so I don’t just detail our claims, but prove them with countless of supporting photos, official documents and so forth), only months after Mr. Sharif and I “had to” also implicate CSC:

Manny & Angie in 1993 

·        I went from being reported as a model prisoner of about 5 years to everything but;

·        Days prior to my parole hearing and anticipated release, CSC undeniably “set me up” with a joint of marijuana to justify raising my security, butcher my release and so forth (I had no drug-related record or problem);

·        CSC isolated me against my will, claiming that gossip had me as an RCMP cop or agent (a very good way to get a prisoner killed);

·        Shortly thereafter, three prisoners cornered me in my cell, and when one started to pull out a one-foot long ice-pick (“shank”) to stab me, my father’s DNA kicked-in, I knocked him out with a shot to his mouth/jaw, took his shank, and the other two took off;

·        The above left a bloody gash on my knuckle right by a vein (I still have the scar).  Weeks later, I was feeling and looking dead anyway, with my regular 185 pounds weight tortured down to a skeletal 126 pounds (next photo).  When I collapsed at a canteen line-up, I went to the hospital unit, and there I remained, fighting for my life for about two months;

·        Defending my life got me infected with the deadly Hepatitis B&C combo, Ladies and Gentlemen.  Having always been in perfect health, the consequences and implications were massive and far-reaching.  Feeling that I could never risk making love with Angie, or having children, I tried to “force” Angie to leave me, and at least try to save herself from the corruption destroying us.  She did not wish to even hear about it;

·        After I got out of the hospital as a “living dead,” I forced CSC to deal with the bullshit marijuana charge that it used to flip our lives upside-down.  On the court record, I not only proved that I was innocent (found “not guilty”), but set-up; 

·        In fact, CSC had to lower my security back down to “minimum” since everything it had done and caused to us was proven to be malicious and fabricated;

·        A month or so later, in August, 1994, with CSC and other justice agencies that we had gone to for help now engaged in a massive cover-up (with the attacks only continuing) – I ran lost for my own life, from CSC, and into the senseless suicidal crime-spree that I will also detail from every viewpoint for your own judgment.

 

Manny, 1994, captured

As detailed in Section #1, I was captured in Toronto only days later on October 9, 1994, Thanksgiving and also the day of my 27th birthday.  I was en-route to deliver a tragic letter to Angie that I had written a few hours earlier.  One pleading with her to be strong, and accept my certain death, without killing herself (as she was vowing to do in her own traumatized state of mind if I were “killed”).

The police found that lengthy note in my back pocket and called it my “suicide note” to Angie.  Since I wrote it as a fugitive who was expecting to be shot dead at any minute, it can most accurately enhance your understanding of how I was feeling, and so forth.  I’ve overviewed it in Section #1, and will present it in full for your judgment in Section #19.

 

A few months ago, a doctor who monitors my blood tests informed me that I’m one of the “lucky” 5% of those infected with Hepatitis whose systems completely heal themselves.  However positive news, please keep in mind that since 1994, and until a few months ago, I was infected with such a deadly disease.  This newsletter should be reviewed with that in mind.

In being extremely careful, and with there being a very low mileage on our sex lives since 1994, Angie has never been infected with anything.

Manny, 1994, Collin’s Bay Prison

With “luck” having never been my thing in this life, this sudden healing of my hepatitis forced me to wonder about other possibilities.  Without going into it here, it was my childhood ambition to serve God as a priest, believe it or not!  Another childhood scar by another family member, at age 12, and one that hit me even harder than my father’s trip at age 15, killed that ambition.

 

When I saved Mr. Sharif’s life in 1993, I was still a believer (Roman Catholic).  However, and here apologizing if my candidness offends anyone:  since 1993, after being infected with a deadly disease; being tortured to suicidal extreme; being unjustly isolated for about 9 years and counting; having my precious wife violated and tortured to outright disabling and suicidal extremes; and so on, and so on, for 14 years straight and counting – yeah, this massive injustice that was ignited when I risked all to save the life of a helpless citizen – it kinda also killed my religion.

 

However, my seemingly miraculous healing a few months ago, when “luck” really isn’t my thing, it left me wondering about His Mysterious Ways and such.  Prior to my father’s death, I had told Angie, and other family members, that if I survived this nightmare, one day I would walk into a church and my religion would be decided, one way or another.

 

That’s why, in addition to it being my father’s memorial mass, I was so set on receiving Christ yesterday (even if after doing so, I’d have to turn around in front of that very alter and face hundreds of people, in restraints and looking like such a freak).  It’s complicated, and again, imprisoned for two decades, I forgot that I’d first need to confess (and, not counting the travel time, my pass was only for one hour!).

 

When I started this first “Latest Note,” I told you that I would also try the impossible in it:  to try telling you what our newsletter is all about, in only a couple of paragraphs!  Now at written page #24, and having not even touched most of the main issues, that sounds ridiculous, but in principle, so anyone who has already reviewed Section #1 and/or Section #2 (all other sections are for “optional reading”), I can of course do so, even in one paragraph.

 

Mr. SharifIn fact, I can even do so by sharing an “inside joke” with you:  Angie, who claims that we are “masters at smiling through our tears,” jokes with her remake of that classic Eric Clapton song, “I shot the sheriff but I did not shoot the deputy” – “You saved The Sharif, Manny, and got us screwed by the Deputy (Warden)!”

 

Or I can quote a paragraph from Enclosure #1, a letter of support from Mr. Sharif:

 

“When I discovered a conspiracy by my alleged victim, Mr. Taha, to have me killed while I was incarcerated in Collin’s Bay Prison (in 1993), Mr. Cordeiro was there for me, to save my life, the life of a human being he never met before.”

 

Or I could tell you that after hearing sworn testimony from Mr. Sharif (as a respected citizen), Angie and myself, my best-informed sentencing judge, The Honourable Justice Webber, officially acknowledged our dire need for the public inquiry that we seek; to properly investigate these contents to that date in 1996 (when the endless tortures upon us since make all of that appear like nothing).  Why not order that inquiry?

 

At this time, our website has only been up for a couple of days, and only with part of Section #1 typed and on it.  We will complete all sections as our budget may allow us to.  In Angie’s condition, we must contract such out.

 Sunday, August 19, 2007, Five PM 

I just phoned Angie, and we called my sister, Carolina, in Portugal.  My first chance to find out how my mom’s doing since my pass.  Not very well, but what most disturbed me, and even brought me to tears, was my father.

 

Carol and I are very close despite our distance.  She told me of how she cared for our father in his last months, and of how sad it was to see him in such a tragic state, bedridden, and so saddened by the fact that she had to help him even with his most basic needs.

 

She told me that once hospitalized in his last days, he refused to eat anything, Ladies and Gentlemen, wishing to die and just end his suffering.  Carol told me that it killed her to see the pain and sadness in his eyes as she’d try to feed him in the hospital, to keep him alive and see him refusing to open his mouth, even when she knew he was starving.

 

That blows me away, and in having a very vivid imagination, is a scene that I’ll never be capable of shaking out of my mind.  My helplessness for him has never been so ferocious, or any hurts by him upon me so irrelevant.  I wish I could have been there to help and comfort him in some way.  There’s a great deal more to being in prison then a person just being behind bars.  Life goes on, or doesn’t, day after week, after month, after year, after decade…

 

Thank you for your time and interest,

 

Manny Cordeiro

 

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