Looking back on my 29 years…

So for those of you who don’t know, today is my birthday.  Every year I get a year older and arguably a year wiser.  So, what did I do for my birthday this year?  I went to prison.  However, not to worry, I did nothing wrong.  Joe and I yesterday escorted a bus load of people to the women’s prison in Chowchilla so that they could see their loved ones.

Although DayLight Savings time caused us to get up at 2 am in order to make the bus, once we got there I was reminded why we signed up.  It was just so wonderful seeing all the energy and excitement of the folks.  For some of them, one 18 year girl in particular, it had been quite a while since they saw their loved ones.

When we got there, everyone got a chance to go in except for that 18 year old girl.  I was over doing something else at the time and Joe came and grabbed me and told me that one of the guards said she couldn’t get in.  As I walked over to her, I could see that she was visibly upset.  I came up and gave her a hug and asked her to tell me what was going on?  She said, “I just turned 18 and I sent my clearance paperwork 3 months ago and they said they don’t have it and they won’t let me in to see my mom.”  With tears filling her eyes, she told me that it had been over a year since she had seen her mom.

My heart broke for her so I just stayed there and listened.  We talked school, hobbies, weather, etc.  After a couple of minutes, her frown turned to a smile.  After the last visitor was processed, we walked up to the counter and advocated for her and it worked!  The visiting staff ran her clearance on the spot and she got in!

As the day came to a close, she walked back out to the bus and this time, the hug was for me!  She took me in her arms and trying not to cry said, “Thank you for helping me get in.  You made my day and my moms.”  That was one of the best birthday gifts I could get.

Thank you all for your continued support.  I want to especially thank Chris McMurry our college roommate and friend for your kind donation.  Less than a week to run, help make my bus move!!


  1. LA Writing Conferences

    I am so proud of you. You give me a star to follow on the horizon. Who knows, maybe it will be the Riri and Rigi team??
    I am delighted in all of your accomplishments!

  2. Maria Costanzo Palmer

    We could be called the R & R team!! I love it.


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