Meet Michael…

The car flipped three times. Shawnee asked, “Are you girls ok?” Mika said, “Sami’s not here.” They had to search for her in the dark.

Michael, 57
Incarcerated: 25 years
Housed: San Quentin State Prison, San Quentin, California

I had a visit from my ex, Shawnee. She brought my kids Mika, 14, Sami, 7 and Stone, 4. Sami jumped into my lap and said, “Daddy, brush my hair, ” she loved me brushing her hair. It was crackling with static from the constant brushing. After the visit, they said they’d be back the next day. The next morning I was awakened, cuffed up and escorted to the program office. Once inside, I sat down. No one said a word. Next, Shawnee was on speaker phone, “I’m sorry, I killed our baby.” My mind refused to comprehend what I’d just heard. A month later, Shawnee came to see me without the kids, she’d brought pictures from the accident that had claimed Sami’s life. In one of the pictures, Shawnee was on her knees looking at her bloody, upturned hands. She told me Sami took her final breath in Shawnee’s arms, next to her, lying in the dirt was my sweet girl Sami. Her soft perfect stomach was ripped open, she had sticks and dirt in her hair. Sami loved me unconditionally, and now she’s gone. They were hurrying home so they could return the next day because Sami was insistent that she wanted to, “See my Daddy.”

Shawnee told me she was driving fast and her phone rang. When she reached for the phone, she heard gravel. She was going off the freeway at 70 mph. Sami had a terrible habit when sleepy, of removing her seat belt. The car flipped three times. Shawnee asked, “Are you girls ok?” Mika said, “Sami’s not here.” They had to search for her in the dark. They’d found her wrecked little body gasping for breath, dirt in her open eyes, and sticks in the beautiful hair I’d just brushed. I was so devastated, I wanted to hurt who’d hurt me! I cut Shawnee to the core with the most vile shameful thing. I was so wrong. Shawnee was no less broken. I’d seen a hurt I’d never seen before. Shawnee died three years later. She died in her sleep from a broken heart. Shawnee was 67 lbs when she passed. Hopefully my story will help someone else in their healing process.


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