8/10/2011, 2:13 p.m.
We never know when our time will come The chances of me being mowed down in a hail of bullets, while incarcerated are slim -- unless, of course, I decide to make a dash for it and attempt to climb over the barbwire fence surrounding the compound. While prison can be extremely dangerous at times, Im definitely not going to put myself in a position to be murdered in here or indulge in the kind of behavior that would invite HIV/AIDS into my life. So, as safe as a place could be, most likely I should make it out of here alive and even a little well-preserved. While it is true that I am tremendously confident that I will survive my years of incarceration before ultimately being set free, I do realize that as no one is capable of unravelling the mysteries of life, it is impossible for me to know exactly when my time to leave this world will come. The harsh reality is that the life of man can come to an abrupt end at any given moment, not to mention in ways we can not foretell. We may plan elaborately, but at some point in life, our plans will surely be interrupted. For the untimeliness of death will unexpectedly bring about a change of plans. You can never tell when tragedy will strike -- sometimes just when everything is starting to go well. You never know when your body will decide to fail you because, with the exception of death, nothing regarding our health is promised nor guaranteed. For that reason, every morning when I arise out of my sleep, I make it a point to look out of the back window of my cell where I could see the forest and occasionally catch a vehicle driving along the highway across the prison gates, silently thanking God for allowing me to keep hope alive by keeping me alive. When there is a hopeful future in view, death is something that we all try hard to avoid. Personally, I can not say that Im ready to move on because unlike Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., my eyes have not seen the mountain top. Perhaps this will always be until I am finally able to fulfill my dreams. Part of that fulfillment must come from me being released from prison someday and reuniting and spending quality time with my loved ones. But certainly after paying a debt to society worth almost twenty years, my list of things-to-do have gotten to be very long. The question is will God grant me enough time to do it all? With every breath that I take, as I move closer and closer to an unknown destiny, I can only hope and pray that my days here on Earth will not expire on this side of the fence. But if it does, I should hope that those who handle my body, will honor the last goal written on my things-to-do list which to donate my body parts to research and to those who are in need of my organs in order that I may do one final good act and perhaps live on through others. By Arthur Lee Hall, Jr.