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When Reality Hits Home

Updated: Mar 30, 2022

I met a good brother in the local jail named Anthony Jenkins, who today is my closest friend. He helped me cope with my new reality of being incarcerated. While fighting for my freedom, I questioned my motives about a lot of things I have done. I wondered to myself whether or not this was a sign of karma or was this God's way of simply getting my attention? To make matter worse, during that period of time, my father had become sick with cancer.

So much was going on in my life with cancer. So much was going on in my life, and I knew I couldn't endure it alone. I spent a year in jail before I learned the outcome of my future on October 29, 2010. I was sentenced, and am still serving out my 25 years. I was sent to U.S.P Big Sandy on February 23, 2011, and at the same time my father's healthy was rapidly deteriorating. I remind you for those who don't know me, when losing my mother in 2006, before my incarceration, alcohol was my outlet. I had no relationship with God at that time. On December 8, 2012, after a hard fight with cancer, my father passed away.

Because of my incarceration, I wasn't able to attend his funeral. Imagine having to view the man who raised me all my life, my "HERO" and here I am paying respect on a DVD. Reality started hitting home, I was at a loss for words, but comforted by the relationship that I now have with God. I was able to stay focused on the more important things in life. I understand today that I can no longer live with the same mindset I had in the past. The things I endured have actually prepared me to be the man I'm destined to be. this is my story to you, it has been a journey dealing with the loss of my father, aunt, uncles, cousins and close friends in my 12 year stay. However, prison has helped me put things into perspective on what real and what's not. Losing loved one behind the wall isn't cool nor is it keeping it real. When I had every opportunity to be out there with them. To those who are in my shoes continue to seek God for strength and for families of us incarcerated, don't give up on us. Sometimes knowing you have people in your corner means more to us than money. I pray for the day I am released from prison, because my first stop is to the cemetery to visit and pay my proper respect to the man who sacrificed so much for me. Thank you for reading this and hope this has reached someone.

Sheppard Thomas

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