Yesterday was one of the most trying times ever for me. I did so much that after arriving home, all I could so was pass out. For starters, I went to Clayton, Missouri to see an old friend name Marilyn Swain-Cork whose locked up in the County Jail there for Vehicular Assault, Attempted Murder and Destruction of Property. Apparently she was suing her ex boyfriend in Civil Court over $100 to $400 dollars she loaned him. He shows up there with new lady, she gets upset in parking lot and wham! Everything was done in front of a police officer, so she has really no defense unless she plays the I-Just-Blanked-Out card in court.
I have not seen her in a few years, so when I went through the metal detectors, locking up personals in locker, emptying all pockets, (which made no sense since she’s behind glass) I was allowed to go to 4th floor of Justice Center there and start visit. She comes out with a huge afro and has (according to her estimates) lost over 60 lbs. I desperately tried to be upbeat and encourage her to attend church in there during chapel. The surprising thing is what time she’s facing in prison (she’s already been there 2010) is she was so energetic, full of life, smiling etc. I was almost at a loss for words.
The visit lasted just 40 minutes, as I tried crackin’ jokes about how she lost weight as she pointed out the fact I havent missed many meals. We talked abut her children, her job she lost since being incarcerated, her future plans and even her diet. As I ended the visit with a cheerful goodbye, I walk to the elevator and made my way outside.
Although this was just a visit, Marilyn made me realize that what I am going through out in the free world does not compare to what she’s going through. In the risk of losing my job, investigations, etc. Nothing I endure can compare to Marilyn’s situation. I count it all joy that no matter what I face this day, week, month or year will pale in comparison to being in a dorm size room and made to do this and that, caged up like an animal. In no way am I calling her an animal, but the situation is parallel to a dog pound. Marilyn made my situation seem like an ant hill. Marilyn made me view my personal problems as zero compared to her.
My point in all of this is: If SHE can smile under the stress of possibly going to prison for 15 years (plus the 2 plus she’s already done) then I should be able to smile at my circumstances.
When my job is threathening to fire me over a lie: SMILE
When I’ve been flat out lied on by someone I considered a friend: SMILE
When I’m embarrased by what has been said about me: SMILE
When it seems as if blessings are moving slow in my life: SMILE
When all Hell is breaking loose all around me: SMILE
Lord, no matter what may come my way, if Marilyn Swain-Cork can smile under the threat of going to prison for 15 to 24 yrs of her life (she’s already 53) then I refuse to EVER allow anyone or anything deter me from putting a SMILE on my face.
From this point on, whatever I go through, YOU will never know about it because when you see me, you’ll see my SMILE.
P.S. I still have my job!
Larry “SMILE” Nelson