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Now that our journey had taken on an entirely new path I feel like I can catch my breath. It isn’t so scary not hearing from Daniel now. It feels like his life is finally beginning.

He is wearing street clothes, he had a physical, he will begin working at a local poultry farm and he will get his own cell phone. He will also be allowed day passes to come home for extended periods of time.

Life in a Transitional Center is good, but it is just a step up from prison. Yes, prison is the fire, but a transitional center is the red-hot skillet.

They have my social security number, drivers license number, address and fingerprints. They let me in to visit inmate # 1000946150.

They don’t know who I am.  

I am invisible to them even though I show up week after week, year after year to visit my son in prison. Even though I call them and write them, they still don’t know who I am.

Oh, maybe they know the infamous Kate Boccia. Momma Kate. But do they know that I love children, dogs, food, art, music and that I especially love the beach?

November 1, 2017 started out as a normal day I suppose. I had ended the previous day at an event that had deep discussion around second chance hiring. It is part of the bigger picture of reforming our justice system and one that resonated with me personally as I pondered Daniel’s fate when he returns home next year.

It also was a day that I could say we have less than a year to go.

Eleven more Oprah subscriptions, or as Daniel puts it, 11 more chicken on the bone. (Ask someone who lives behind the wire what that means.)

Daniel and I have  been in a category 5 hurricane for 5 years now.

2. 5 million American families have been in this dangerous storm for decades. We are being whipped by high winds and beaten with flying debris coming out of nowhere. We constantly dodge the lies and accusations. Ducking the blows as best we can without real shelter.

I must be honest with myself. I keep doing the same things regarding how I mother my son. I defend, object, interfere, react, stomp my feet, take action and admit his failures while asking for solutions. What I don’t do is accept the ridiculous statements on how he “should” behave.

There are excuses and there are reasons. I choose to discuss the reasons why he behaves in a certain fashion.

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