Rara sends her love
I met Rara and her husband, Dave, a week before my second son was born.
Rara went to prison a couple of weeks later. Innocence doesn’t pay attorney fees.
She’s still in prison.
She was there when Dave posted that he had an infection a few weeks ago.
She was there when he died soon after.
Today, my husband, sons and I drove to Dave’s memorial.
My five-year-old, Li’l D, couldn’t understand how Rara had ended up in prison.
My husband and I answered Li’l D’s many questions until my husband finally said, “Some bad guys fight with swords. Other bad guys fight with paper. She met the kind who fights with paper.”
“Oh,” said Li’l D. “Maybe she just had to tell the judge one more time.”
“I wish it were that easy,” I said.
Rara was released from prison long enough to attend Dave’s memorial today.
I held my fidgeting toddler through the memorial. I watched Rara’s shoulders shake and wished mightily I could do anything to make the terrible situation less terrible.
Littler J wasn’t even born when I met Rara.
Today, she held him. She made him laugh. She made me laugh.
She doesn’t know who she’ll be when she gets out of prison in a couple of months. She’ll step out into this Dave-less world and have to build her new life from ground zero.
I believe that someday, not now or even close to now, the fire that shines from within her will warm her as it warms others.
But that is someday. For today, today is enough to deal with. So I said nothing, and thought instead,
From the outside, you will be the same beautiful person you were before,
and are now, even in prison blues.
Rara sends you her love.
I send to Matt my thanks for (among other things) his keeping Rara connected to us,
and to the universe my hopes that Rara finds enough support in this new world to someday love what’s ahead,
though it will never match what’s behind.