When the day finally comes that you are being released from prison, a lot of different feelings overtake you. Fear, excitement, hesitation. All of it seems to hit at one time. You also don’t want to be too overly excited because there are still a lot of folks who will never go home. There are a lot waiting a while for their day to come. I met many people though who shared my sentiments that everyone’s day will come. I truly believe that changes are being made to end mass incarceration. There has to be a better way. Other countries have seemed to crack the code. As the days progressed closing to my actual release date, the paperwork needing to be processed was done quickly. Prior to leaving you also have to do a drug urine sample. All of that was done. I mentioned before that when you leave, it’s customary to give your things to those staying behind. I had already decided that all of my commissary was going to my friend Heather. She was my rock during this time and my roommate. She helped me so many times to carry my tray. I walk with a cane sometimes and therefore it was difficult to carry my tray back from the chow hall to our room. She helped me so much and it was only right for me to bless her any way I could. I left my crochet items to my friend Becky. Everything else HAD to go with me to pack out. Yes, when you leave to go home you still have to go through the pack out process. The night before I was leaving, I had to take everything I owned down to property. All of the state clothing was returned to them. Any personal clothing or property that I bought had to either be trashed or taken home. I was leaving with my gray footlocker and my TV. The night prior to leaving was nerve wracking. I was so anxious and nervous to go home. Yet I wasn’t going “home”. I was giong to my Great Aunt’s home. This was just another temporary move that the Lord was having me complete. Each time that I had to move in prison and even the temporary situation of staying with my aunt and not going back to our house was an assignment. When Jesus sent out the 12 in Matthew Chapter 10:40, I often had to remember the words he gave them. These were Jesus’ directions to them as they were being sent out now on assignment to spread the gospel. (“Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me.“) I woke up that morning super excited and ready to go. There was 2 of us from my unit leaving. When you got down to the property/medical building you had to go to medical first. There, they gave you a month worth of refills for your prescriptions. You then signed your medical release forms. Next, we had to go to property. Even though we were leaving to go home, they still had to strip us out. Why not, one last squat and cough for the road. They gave us the clothing that our loved ones sent in for us, or you could wear out one of your personal items you purchased off of commissary. No thank you, I was not wearing anything brown outside the building! The final stop was to cash out. They returned all money to us on a Jpay debit card. That’s it, the time had come. Pretty much like you see on tv, I was allowed to open the front door and walk out. I was officially a free woman.
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