“The Struggle” by Kim Lawrance (FL)



This path you have taken
I can’t understand.

Did I fail as a parent?
Why did you let go of my hand?

I search for reasons. The struggle is real.
Sad and confused is how I feel.

Did I not try to guide you as best I could?
Now you must find your own path
and only you should.

Life is full of struggles and choices,
both good and bad.
So make good decisions to keep
from ending up sad.

I love you and I’ll probably never understand what went wrong,

But when you’re ready to come back,
I’ll be there like I’ve been all along.

“The Wrong Turn”

By Taylor (FL)


While searching for happiness I took a wrong turn, and now I’m really feeling the burn.

Lost and confused is where I ended up.
There have been so many times I’ve felt like giving up.

I saw your hand reaching out to save me, but my pride kept whispering, “Don’t be such a baby!”

Help is for the weak is what I believed. I refused to let anyone see that side of me.

So I built my walls up and shut everyone out, including you mommy, and for that I’m truly sorry.

I thought I had this all figured out until life chewed me up and spit me out.

Now I’m stuck without a clue, but one thing I am surely certain of is you.

This road I am on will need some repair,
and when it’s time to rebuild I know you’ll be there.

Now and forever we will work together so we can survive the worst of the weather.

Taylor xoxo
15 years old

*The previous was sent to me by a member of an online forum for incarcerated family members. I’m sharing it with you to highlight the pain and struggle families go through. Taylor was 15 years old when sentenced to prison in Florida. Kim is her mother.

I created lettersfromchristopher to draw attention to incarceration in the United States. Please share these posts widely.


3 thoughts on ““The Struggle” by Kim Lawrance (FL)

  1. prisonreformisoverdue

    I don’t think someone as young as Taylor was (15) should ever be locked up in adult prison for anything short of the most severe crimes. Even then I question that. When you lock up children in adult settings you expose them to very negative experiences, from sexual to mental. This is more true in women’s prisons than mens:
    and this young woman is fortunate that she has strong support from her family, especially her mother throughout her time. Many families of incarcerated children struggle. Thank you for drawing awareness to this.

    1. christopherm001

      Prisonreformisovetdue I agree with you. Years ago I tutored juveniles in GED studies, the youngest being 14 years old. Most were between the ages of 15 and 16. Many of the children couldn’t fathom their situation. They were naive to the ways of adult confinement, often fell victim to sexual predators, and one was killed by an adult prisoner for nothing more than his race.

      I’ve written about these children on this blog in posts like:

      16 And Forever
      Wrongful Convictions
      Watching Children Grow Up In Prison
      #17: Video Fridays in 69 Seconds — The Day-Ones: A Guest Essay By Tim

      Sentencing children to prison may satisfy public anger, but it negatively affects these kids in profound ways, most of whom will return to society as adults.

      Posted by admin on behalf of Christopher

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