- Faith & Family
I’m willing to bet any amount of money that Michael Sterling, the R&B singer from way back in the day, has been to prison before, because he was able to give a perfect description of the pain and sorrow that most prisoners go through during the three major holidays when he so affectionately crooned the lyrics “Thanksgiving. Christmas. Crying on New Year’s eve,” in his song titled Holiday. Even if he has never spent time in the joint, we at least know for a fact that he delivered the song well enough to make prisoners feel in the bosom of their hearts that it was meant to be an emotional representation of what they experience during this joyful time of the year.
Of course, its needless to say that prison is designed to keep men and women who were convicted of crimes away from society for an allotted period, holidays included. Exclusion from mouth-watering turkey dinners, Christmas gathering and New Year celebrations are all part of the punitive process, affecting not only prisoners but friends and family members as well. When a very special loved one is shipped up the road to serve time in prison, like many African families who were forever separated from each other to be forced into slavery, family members of those prisoners are still able to look back at happy memories with nostalgic fondness, wishing they could be together again throughout the holiday season.
Some prisoners are not even remotely thought of, though and they receive no love from the outside, not even in the form of a greeting card. Some have no friends or family at all and are completely alone in this world, while others have been totally abandoned by everyone, perhaps because of what they are incarcerated for or the people they once knew have simply decided to move on with their own lives. Whatever the case may be in spite of the fact that mistakes have been made, there is some good still left in us all; and just like every other human being who has feelings and emotions, it is terribly difficult for prisoners to revel in the holiday spirit without having someone to love and receive love from in return.
Anyway, here’s another crazy bet that I’m willing to make and it has nothing to do with Michael Sterling — I’ll put two dollars up against each one of yours that some of my brothers and sisters in blue would like for me to send out a heartfelt message on their behalf to those who they love and cherish the most, which is: Seasons greetings and happy holidays to you and yours.
By Arthur Lee Hall, Jr.