Speaking About Mother’s Day in Prison

Roach Brown, a radio personality on 89.3 FM, WPFWFM.org, reached out to me and asked me to come on his show and speak about what it means to be a mother in prison on Mother’s Day. I was reluctant. I thought that he was looking for a compelling story about how sad it was every year on the second Sunday in May as mother’s day came and went.

The truth is, days like Mother’s Day tend to lose their meaning in prison. The officials do everything in their power to remove all semblance of normalcy from the lives of prisoners.

Thank God for our ability to adapt. When you are serving time you learn to live a new way of life. Sentiments are diminished, and celebrating is minimal. You are simply “doing time.” Allowing yourself to be impacted by special occasions can be counterproductive. The goal in prison is to block out the real world and the people in it. You unlearn social customs and become acclimated to new ones.

Related:  What it’s like to visit your mom in prison on Mother’s Day

I decided to take my son on the radio show with me. I imagined that he and my daughter were more impacted by my absence on Mother’s Day because they were out in the world with all of the remembrances, signs and symbols that screamed to them that I was not around. Oh, the shame and stigma attached to having a mother in prison. It must be traumatic.

My son was amazing on the show. He spoke about how I used to send him things like books, t-shirts with pictures on them, and letters. He said that those things meant the world to him and showed him that I cared even though I was not there.

My son was 10 months old when I became incarcerated. When I came home he was 19. Today he loves me more than anybody in the world. He makes it known often. He told Mr. Brown how much he adores me. He said, “No matter what, she is my mother and I love her.” He even recited a verse to a lyric from one of his songs: We’ve been through hard times, but I still love ya. In my heart there’s no one above ya.”

You may be interested in: Slideshow of Mother’s Day in Prison

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About Lashonia Etheridge-Bey

Lashonia Etheridge-Bey is a Public Speaker who can candidly and articulately speak to the consequences of youth violence, the effects of incarceration and the challenges of reentry into society. Read Lashonia's Full BIO Here 


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