Imagine standing in a courtroom and being sentenced to 40 years in prison. Hear your mother weeping. See the disappointment on your father’s face. Imagine your lack of future.
This week’s featured story comes from Facing Hope in Rome, Georgia, and it follows a young man from such a courtroom scene to a college classroom, a trip to Costa Rica, and to a place he never thought he would ever get to: One where he could help others.
From a writing perspective, I like how the story dives into the courtroom scene, and as a reader you are wondering what the narrator did and where he is now.
From a life story perspective, I like how it involves the transformative power of education, self-worth, and travel. The Long Road Home as told to writer Connie Watjen reminds us that no matter where you are in your life, if you don’t like the story you are living, you can change.
The story begins:
“The court orders that the defendant shall serve a sentence of 40 years in state prison.”
I stood frozen in place, unable to fully comprehend the meaning of those two words.Forty years. All my hopes and dreams, any chance for the kind of future I had planned—a decent salary, a nice house, a wife and kids—had just been obliterated by those two words. Forty years. I was only 26 years old. If my lawyer was correct, and I only served 20 of those 40 years, I would still be 46 years old by the time I returned home. (read the full story)
(Photo by James Wheeler courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons)