About 4:00 or 5:00 in the morning, my father came up to my mother’s bedroom and tried to smother her with pillows. My brother and I ran into the bedroom trying to stop him like we had done before. This time was different. My father took a baseball bat from the corner of the room and started beating my mother over the head, face, and upper body.
The darkest day of my life was the day they lowered her body into the ground. A war of emotions began in life. Being young I thought I could overcome the war, but as time passed, I knew I was losing. Although I didn’t want to go, my grandfather kept me in the church. Every Sunday I would hear the gospel message. They taught that Jesus is all we need. I became a Christian when I was sixteen. When I felt the love of God, I prayed, “God, let me live to sincerely tell my dad I love him and forgive him.”
Twenty-three years and two days after the death of my mother, I walked into Michigan State Prison in Jackson, Michigan, to see my dad. As I put my arm around my dad, I said, “Dad, I love you, and I forgive you.” A tear came into his eye. As we talked, he said he knew my mother was in heaven. She begged him to live for God, but he wouldn’t. He acknowledged that the reason he was in prison was because he didn’t listen to the voice of God.