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Not Quite An English Love Story
David M Wilson
It is often said “what’s for you, you will get” and I have long believed in that statement. Sitting at my computer in early April 2012, I looked at the beauty of spring manifest itself, with the delicious colours of primulas, primroses and daffodils dancing in the sun, and I started to reflect upon my life. What I had achieved, how many chosen adventures had proved to be a disaster and what had I truly influenced my life with? Yes, I had written a couple of books, I had nurtured my son until he had grown into a wonderful young man, but that was not just due to me, but impart to many other people who had influenced him on the way. I had a couple of true friends that I adored, and had remained loyal too. I had even managed to form the Irish Appaloosa Society with stud book status to breed our beautiful horses. But what else? With two divorces behind me and a third relationship well and truly on the rocks, my paths had been miss-trodden in many ways. Today I vowed to make a difference to another person’s life. So my next adventure in life began.
As a young girl growing up in the beautiful Lancashire landscape of arable field after flat arable field, I had always had a pen pal; an on paper friend that I could share all my tears and laughter with. It was a special friend that would never know me, or be able to judge my failures, just a friend, pure and simple. I loved letter writing, and had always thought myself to have a good heart, so it was only natural for me to extend this part of my soul.
I typed ‘Pen Pal’ into the search engine and was blown away by the many web site addresses before me. One in particular took my eye; it suggested writing to an incarcerated man or woman in the U.S.A correctional system. Never, ever would I have considered writing to a prisoner, would I? I was intrigued to take a peek and read some of the profiles listed. That is the beginning of my adventure, and what an adventure it has been so far.
I wrote a general “how do you do” letter to an inmate named David Wilson (the inmate on Hub Pages) and I have never stopped writing since. Letters passed between us and David’s honesty and regret of his earlier years touched my heart. “How do I know I can trust him,” well that is so easy to answer, “I believe in him” and the sight of his court documents and new information brought to light confirms what I already know. My beautiful man is innocent of the crime that he has been charged with. David is the first to admit that he has been a ‘bad boy’ in the past and should have been incarcerated many times growing up on the streets of Chicago; but instead he is serving twenty five years for a crime that he didn't commit. He has served fifteen years so far, and he admits that he is a far better person now than he was then. The truth of the matter is that David’s life has been taken for a crime that he should never have been committed of. His life has been left to wallow in the “belly of the beast” as he aptly describes his living conditions. At this point I must add that I am not totally naive, and I believe that punishment should be extended to those who have committed the crime, if undoubtedly proven. The only objection that I have is the conditions that many of these prisoners have to live in. Many of these men and women are living in conditions that we would not allow our animals to live in, never mind another human being. Many of them are treated like vermin, shown no compassion or even the civil rights that all human beings are entitled too. David told me of a “young brother” whose momma had just had a heart attack and been taken into hospital. This young man’s social worker had arranged for him to speak to the hospital on two occasions. On the second occasion, a correctional officer was extremely rude and unkind to the young man shouting “what do you want to talk to the old bitch for anyway, she will be dead soon?” Obviously, the young man got abusive back with the correctional officer and was immediately jumped upon by four more officers, beaten to a pulp and left to scream alone in his cell. David witnessed this event and wrote a complaint to the governor of the prison to support the young man’s statement. He now awaits the backlash of his support, because he knows that he has put his own position for re-trial in jeopardy. Circumstances such as these are not uncommon and are practised on a daily basis, surely this is not right?
Over the past nine months our relationship has gone from strength to strength and we still write to each other, but now it is on a daily basis, posted twice a week, and the joy for me is that I finally got to hear his voice three weeks ago. His voice is deep, gravelly, and his laughter is so sweet to listen too. This man that I talk to three times a week is strong, and full of wisdom. He speaks very openly about his crime and past issues in life, and the love that he has for his children. He has missed fifteen years of his children growing up and he is now a granddad and has never seen his grandchildren. His ex-partner, mother of his children, has moved on and got married and his family have totally forgotten him. David was diagnosed with MS in 2006 and is being treated for the condition, but due to the circumstances of his incarceration, he is unable to manage his condition to the full, and now is seeing his life run before him with little hope of being able to maintain his dignity.
He knows of other prisoners who have been committed of worse crimes than he to be free now, and he hesitates to believe that in this day and age, it is because of the colour of his skin. He is an African/American black man. He is a black man who was raised on the streets of Chicago when his mother gave him up in favour of a man she wanted to marry. Had David’s uncle not found him on the streets, and took him home to adopt him, his life could have been over long ago. David speaks fondly and with respect for his uncle who has since passed away, and it is hurtful to think of any mother deserting her child for a life with another man.
David is writing his re-trial at the moment, and I am trying to find a lawyer to represent him. We continue to grow in love for one another, and I never look back to the first letter that I received from him. My future is with this lovely, generous and adorable man who has shared so much more than love and his family with me. He is special, and the pain that I feel with him being so far away is only relieved momentarily when I hear his voice. One day we will be together, and I will walk tall and proud to have this reformed character holding my hand.
My family have endorsed my love for David and are looking forward to meeting him. What better encouragement than the love and support of my son, Craig? He is no fool where his mummy is concerned, and I thank him for allowing me to make my own decision.
Please open your eyes to the US judicial system. So many men and women are wrongly accused of a crime that they did not commit. Please ask yourselves why is this happening, and have we become a world in which nothing but solving a crime matters, in spite of corruption, false evidence and racism?