The best Christmas in 14 years!

Dec 30, 2018 at 11:36 AM

It was way too long. 

Over a decade since I had last seen my son. 

The fault was mainly mine. 

In his later, teenage wild out years, I couldn’t and didn’t want to risk my out spoken, take no shit, quick to throw a snap back to anyone that dares to make a disrespectful under the breath comment about his lifestyle. 

He proudly defends his crown of me labeling him the gayest man on earth. 

So for him to come to visit me at Canaan, one of the most violent penitentiaries in America, wasn’t a good idea for a number of different reasons at that time. 

Our weekly phone calls would have to do. 

Christmas 2018 happened to fall on a Tuesday this year, when I get my visits here at MDC Brooklyn where I’m still waiting to hear the outcome of my appeal. 

My son, along with his sister Nia and my mother were coming to visit. 

In our recent phone conversations, I asked him not to get too emotional with the tears. 

Drew of course, sticking to his true form, denied my request. 
“I’m just a very emotional person and I won’t be able to hold it back,” said with a flamboyancy I had no choice but to accept. 

Walking through the visiting room door, a surprised lump caught my throat as I laid eyes on my son, looking like he stepped off the cover of the GQ magazine. 

While he kept his cool, it was I that was struggling to hold back the flood of tears as we embraced and I gave my son a kiss. 

The time flew by and after another strong hug and kiss goodbye, I gave the same to my mother and daughter, then doubled back for a third hug and kiss, thanking Drew for this incredible gift to end the year with.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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Father/Daughter Talks… Priceless!

Dec 8, 2018 at 12:37 PM

The wailing moan of grief and distress from the phone receiver gouged at my heart. 
Weeping tears, sobs of sorrow while gasping from breath between the utterances of half spoken words, making no sense at all, caused my mind to kick into over-drive of worse case scenarios. 

“Is my mother all right?” I asked. 
No cognitive answer, more groaning and sniffles. 

“Sweetheart, calm down, take a deep breath and tell dad what’s wrong.” 
Between another fit of whimpering she managed to utter, ” I just don’t know what to do!!” 
Followed by a renewed lamentation of bawling tears. 

“Do about what, Honey?” I asked, struggling to keep a comforting tone, attempting to suppress the dramatic thoughts racing through my mind. “Please!” I begged to my 14 year old daughter Nia, “Just tell me what’s happen,” triggering another ten minute bout of groaning moans of sobs, giving way to an additional round of tears and sniffles. 

Finally she took the deep controlled breath and announced the cause of this dismal condition, “Blake moved out of state and I didn’t get to say good bye!” she cried and the water works continued. 

Blake the Snake. 
That’s what I called my daughters first little boyfriend. 

He reminded me too much of myself and that isn’t always a good thing. 
Now just like me when I kept getting in trouble in school, he got sent to another state until he got his act together.  
I can’t lie…there was that side of me that was ecstatic!! 

Blake’s little ass was finally outta here!! 
But I kept that to myself, knowing what we adults call puppy love is as real as it gets to my daughter and her broken heart. 

So in comforting daddy mode, I assured her it will be all right, allowed her to cry all she wanted, related to her hurt and pain and attempted to sooth her sadness. 
I’m glad she knows that she can always cry to me and that no matter what she will forever be daddies little girl.

#gangsterturnedgurupresents

#eddiekwright

Gangster Turned Guru Presents: Chapter Excerpt: Love Sick

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“Unable to disguise the impact of Maria’s news when I walked in the unit, my friend Twin, wasn’t far behind me after I went into my cell to sulk.  Twin’s called my bigger little brother, who’s been my work out partner since he arrived at Canaan from Lewisburg about a week after I did.  At 5’9, he was tipping the scale at 260 pounds back then, but after a few months of working out hard together six days a week, he dropped down to 215 pounds.  Although he still struggled with a sweet tooth, that he’s had since childhood, like the blue cookie monster from Sesame Street, he’s one of the few people that survive my militant boot camp style encouragement to make it through some very tough workouts.

Twin grew up in Pittsburg P.A., and in 2002, got sentenced to 20 years for possession of a few dime bags of crack cocaine.  Before going to the gym each morning, we spend about 10-15 minutes having positive spiritual talks to start the day off with the right attitude.

When I began writing, Twin was the first one I would read my chapters out loud to and I trusted him with my first rounds of edits, which helped him gain a clearer insight by carefully reading what I wrote.  We always look out for each other’s best interest in all situations.

“YO!” he said, walking in without knocking, finding me already under my covers with the blanket pulled over my head.

“Yooooooooo!” I moaned.

“What’s wrong?  How was the visit?” he asked.

Peeking out from under the covers, teary-eyed, letting out a deep sigh, I said, “Maria has left the building! She’s had enough.”

“Enough of what?”

“Of this, doing the bid,” I explained.

“She’s leaving you?”

“She’s left. It’s done. Over. I could see it in her eyes.”

Shaking his head, pulling up the chair and sitting down, both of us quiet for a couple of seconds, he then asked, “What about your daughters?”

“My mother will bring them,” I answered slowly climbing out from under the covers still fully dressed.

“Eddie, you already know what it is.  It’s not ‘if’ they’re going to leave, it’s ‘when’ they’re going to leave.”  Twin repeated his mantra, stemming from his own broken heart.

“Nah, I know. I’ve been here before. It’s part of doing time.”

I was hurt, mad, angry, not eating, hardly sleeping and foreboding locking in at night when all I could do was lie in bed with excruciating images of Maria in the arms of another man, agonizing my aching heart.  It was the first time I felt vulnerable to slipping back into my gangster ways.  There were moments I felt like exploding, but didn’t and maintained my self-control.

After a month immersed with these tormenting thoughts and images, I realized more than ever that I needed to continue to practice what I’ve been preaching by consciously staying in control of what I thought about.   Once I caught my self-thinking negatively or feeling sorry for myself, I’d find an activity to take my attention to something positive.  Normally it was working out, which I was doing three or four times a day for at least an hour and a half each period.  I was writing more and at night I always had two or three books on the table next to my bed to read myself to sleep.  I brought a book light so I could read without disturbing my celli, which helped me to quickly fall back to sleep.

I choose to be patient with myself, knowing from prior experiences that the hurt and pain of a broken heart would heal in time.  By continuing to be kind, friendly, helpful and honest, I attracted the same to my experience when I most needed it.”