A Family in Prison This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

January 28, 2009
I was five when I watched my dad get led out of a courtroom in handcuffs and shackles. There were so many people moving around, I wasn’t sure what was really happening. One thing I did see very clearly and will never forget was the tear rolling down his cheek. That was the first time I had ever seen him cry. Almost 11 years have passed and I still remember that day perfectly. That was the last time I saw my dad outside prison.

Being young, only in kindergarten, I was frightened by this terrifying place. Surrounded by barbed wire and razor fences, I thought it was a horror house. That first visit was just the first of many times I’d go through the process of being frisked and walking through metal detectors.

That first time my family and I stepped into a large room filled with dozens of men wearing blue uniforms, I wondered if the other inmates’ loved ones felt the way we did. The convicts looked almost like clones – until I saw my dad. He looked much thinner and really frail. My mom started crying, and he came over and hugged her.

It felt so surreal, like I was dreaming. Now I can hardly remember my dad without his uniform. Some mornings I wake up and, for a split second, forget he’s not home anymore. Then it hurts even worse when I remember where he is and that my mom and I will never have him back.

It hurts to think of all the special memories my dad didn’t share with us. All the birthday parties and family vacations he missed. It’s one of the worst feelings in the world for a girl to know that her father won’t be there to walk her down the aisle.

While my sisters, mom, and I are out living life, Dad is in that horrific place every minute of his life, only getting to see his family one day a week. My mother and I feel so much pain not having him with us, but I can’t begin to imagine his pain and suffering every day in there.

We continue to hope for a miracle. My dad will be eligible for parole in 2023. We continue to pray that an innocent man will be freed from his life sentence for a murder he did not commit.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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cheetoz45680 said...
Apr. 7, 2011 at 11:24 am
wow thats sad. I can understand you a little. My dad has never been with me in any occasion like christmas and family vacations either. He didnt even call on my birthday. I havn't seen him for months now. It hurts me to think that it'll be like that the rest of my life. So thats why I kind of understand. But my dad isnt in prison. He just chose girl over family. Im sorry for your dad. I really am.
Dye_Die said...
Mar. 16, 2011 at 5:27 pm
I can totally understand how you feel. My father is also in prison for life. I find it brave that you can go see him. Because i ont he contrary can't face him. Because your dad i innocent, and my father never was. I hope that a miracle happens and your dad gets released, and i really like your story, it makes me feel so many things, and it makes me realize so many things that may dad might be feeling. Keep up your good writing!!
Aderes18 said...
Mar. 16, 2011 at 2:41 pm
This reminds me of this article that i heard on NPR about a innocent guy put in jail. The story was so weird. Anyway, I hope justice for your dad. That must be hard. I hope, anonymous, that justice comes to your dad. 
scamp24 said...
Mar. 16, 2011 at 2:02 pm
That must be terrible for a little girl to see her dad go to jail at such a young age! I am soo sorry for your loss. I could never imagine my dad not being here. Iwill pray for you and your dad's freedom. Good luck. Keep hope alive!  
dakotalynn said...
Mar. 16, 2011 at 9:46 am
i cant imagine what your going thorugh, im so sorry to hear about your dad and your situation. i hope things get better really soon, no one should have to go through what your going through. im really sorry :(
yoyoyoyoyiy said...
Mar. 3, 2011 at 1:42 pm
he totally did it
dippydoo replied...
Mar. 3, 2011 at 1:43 pm
no dip baby sherlock.
Incomprehensive replied...
Mar. 16, 2011 at 2:37 pm
Is that honestly all you got out of this? This story is not about whether or not her father commited the murder. It was simply to express the way she felt, which she did a great job of. She explained the life of not having one parent for a reason other than what most expect.
Julie S. said...
Feb. 25, 2011 at 9:26 am
My dad is very important to me too and I would not be able through a day without him either. So I understand the feelings you are expressing.
RandyA. said...
Feb. 22, 2011 at 4:48 pm
The good thing that makes your dad happy is.. you are safe with ur mom. i know the pain you are going through but be strong and positive. Your dad will be fine...
da writer said...
Jan. 31, 2011 at 9:56 pm
you and your family are really brave...stay strong, i hope you and your dad get united soon...your in my prayers :)
WriterFanatic This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 31, 2011 at 8:54 pm
Everyone! Here is to all those innocents who are in prison! May they one day be free and the true murderers and rapists be locked away for ever
xelawriter97 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 31, 2011 at 8:54 pm

I know exactly how you feel. But remember all the positives: you can still see him, you know where he is, and he's probably happy that you are safe with your mom.

I'll be hoping for you. Best of luck.

tenderheartx3 said...
Jan. 31, 2011 at 4:37 pm
I don't normally comment.. but this caught me off guard. Very well written.
xxbloodyroses66 said...
Jan. 31, 2011 at 2:22 pm
He WILL get out. truth will prevail. continue praying and hoping. you will be heard. stay strong.
aeadams73 said...
Jan. 31, 2011 at 8:38 am
I just read a piece on a man who was in prison for 11 years before he was let out and found not guilty for crime he also did not commit, never give up hope. I believe that you should work with what you can and try to catch the man who really did it. Best of luck to you and your family. God Bless
jovis said...
Jan. 31, 2011 at 7:19 am
OMG this is the saddest short story i have ever heard!!:(
LastChapter said...
Jan. 9, 2011 at 10:01 pm
this is the saddest piece i've ever read. i am so sorry.
RozaB said...
Jan. 9, 2011 at 9:37 pm
Oh, my. I'm so sorry. Gosh, for you to share this with the world...just good for you....Believe in miracles, though. They get people through the day sometimes, not to mention life. 
Aspiringauhor said...
Jan. 9, 2011 at 5:03 pm
Although sometimes I get mad at my dad for decisions he makes, I know he always means well and doesn't want his baby girl to be hurt in any way. I cannot imagine life without him. I am so sorry that you have to live this way. If I were you I would be leading a campaign against unfair trials. That is so horrible. I am so sorry. You and your family will be in my thoughts.
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