William, 36

Meet William…

As a father of a 14 year old boy, I find myself having to answer questions that I have no idea how to answer. When my son was seven years old he said, “Dad, do you know when my birthday is?” I said, “Yeah boy, I helped make you.” He said “How did you help make me, when God made me?” I answered “Good question, put your mother on the phone.” So just imagine what a conversation with him is like as a pre-teen. I do my best considering my situation, But I guess only time will tell.

Incarcerated: 15 years

Housed: Wabash Valley Correctional Facility, Indiana

I am the eldest of six siblings, five boys and a girl, by three different fathers. My father would stop by from time to time, while my three youngest siblings’ father was with my mother for almost 30 years. Both fathers were present parents, but I know now that it takes more than just being present. To this day I have not had a meaningful conversation with either of them. My father died the day after I got out of boy school. I was supposed to call him, but I didn’t, and he died. It still hurts to this day, but that’s another story. I did not learn how to fill out a job application until I was sent to prison, but that’s what just being present does. As a father of a 14 year old boy, I find myself having to answer questions that I have no idea how to answer. When my son was seven years old he said, “Dad, do you know when my birthday is?” I said, “Yeah boy, I helped make you.” He said “How did you help make me, when God made me?” I answered “Good question, put your mother on the phone.” So just imagine what a conversation with him is like as a pre-teen. I do my best considering my situation, But I guess only time will tell. About a week ago my son asked me, “When are you coming home?” I told him, “Well it’s hard to say because I’m innocent and now I can prove it, so I could be set free any time in between now and the date when they have to set me free.” He said, “Well if you’re innocent why are you in prison any way?” I said, “Good question, put your mother on the phone.”

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