Hello fellow Bloggers! I hope y’all’re doing well and prospering wherever you may be.
Many of us are looking forward to the upcoming holidays with eagerness and joy in our hearts. I humbly request that, at some point this week, you take a moment to spare a thought (or a prayer, if you’re a believer) for incarcerated individuals everywhere.
This is a difficult time of year for inmates; even the most sanguine among them struggle to keep their spirits up. Suicide attempts and incidents of jailhouse violence increase, and the children and families of inmates, already deprived of their financial support, are further heartbroken by the absence of their loved ones during the holidays.
You may be accustomed to thinking of the incarcerated as contemptible, skulking lowlifes if you’re even inclined to think of them at all. Try to remember that even the cruelest, most hardened criminals are deserving of some measure of compassion.
Every year, a popular bondsman, hunter, farmer, jack-of-all-trades, and all-around local good ol’ boy, whom I’ll call Mr. Venison, parks his giant, portable BBQ pit 10 feet from the back door of my office and gets to smokin’ a variety of meats from Monday morning through Wednesday evening to serve the various members of the County criminal justice community, inmates included. It’s inspiring to watch the bondsmen, police officers, sheriff’s deputies, and prisoners work side-by-side to prepare and serve the 3-day feast.
The whole week, as those savory odors waft through the cracks in this drafty old building, I sit here in my office suffering, mouth a-watering, until I think I’ll go mad with the desire to devour. And it never fails, within just a few minutes of eating my lunch of leftovers each day, Mr. Venison comes barreling through that back door, clad in an ash-smeared apron and swathed in a shroud of woodsmoke, grinning and bellowing, “Denny, come get you some barbecued bologna,” or “Mr. Denny, I know you’re ready for a hamburger!”
I swear he tortures me on purpose. But I don’t mind. I enjoy listening to the good-natured hubbub in the street behind my suite as law enforcement officers come and go, filling their bellies, laughing, and chatting pleasantly with the inmates, themselves smiling and enjoying a few brief moments of camaraderie, the cool, crisp, fresh air, and delicious food.
I am grateful today for Mr. Venison’s kind heart and my little work community’s compassion toward those considered by many to be undeserving of it. I am grateful for my family, I am grateful for my job, and I am grateful for every one of you, beloved fellow Bloggers. I appreciate your words, and I welcome your comments.
What kind of holiday festivities are you looking forward to in the coming weeks? What are you grateful for today?
Take care, be well, and happy Thanksgiving!