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Coming Home Dedicated to discussions about our loved ones that are coming home soon. Discussions here should not fit any other category.

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  #1  
Old 12-07-2017, 04:31 AM
gene-o gene-o is offline
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Default Going Home

Going Home

Here I was approaching my hometown after spending the last thirty years behind prison walls. I could feel a sense of deep sadness and loneliness creeping into my heart. Was I coming home, or was I only trying to make up for all the years I spent behind those walls?

How was it possible for such a backwoods kid to grow up and become such a dangerous criminal in the first place? All the years in prison, all the people Iíve hurt flashed before my eyes. I was wondering why such loneliness was coming over me. What was going on for me? Tears of sadness and joy were rolling down my cheeks. Why was I doing this in the first place? What was I trying to gain by coming home? In all actuality, there was no home. Mom and Dad had both passed away while I was in prison. The rest of the family had all moved away over the years. Yet I felt like I was being drawn to these hills as if by a magnet of life.

I turned left at the four corners, and as I entered Main Street, I could see many changes in this little village that I used to walk as a young child. Nearly half of Main Street was missing. It had been destroyed by a terrible fire years ago and was never rebuilt. I found this out when I was eating lunch at the only diner in town. Things had changed considerably. Every factory in town had closed for some reason or another. The local tannery where dad worked for twenty years, had been closed by the EPA. This was a blessing in a way. I remembered as a child how the rivers were polluted with the dyes and chemicals from this place. We and the townspeople swam and ate fish from streams that ran out of this river. I wondered how many naive country people died because of this beast. My family alone suffered, with tumors, moms total blindness from a tumor, and babies being born with birth defects and death. To think that my dad worked for a mere sixty-five dollars a week for this company! However, it did provide food to bring his six children up. Back in those days, it was a blessing to have a job.

I crossed the steel bridge which led to the country road leading home. One covered bridge had burned many years ago, the other was under repair from old age. This left our road, a one way to nowhere.

As I drove a while, I noticed myself coming up on an old suicide curve. This curve had taken lives in the past and nearly took mine one New Yearís Eve. I was fifteen years old, driving without a license, and drunk. I missed the curve, went through the guardrail and through the ice into the river. Iím happy I was alone and no one was hurt. Somehow I was able to climb out of my car window and nearly froze to death walking home. I bragged about it for days because this was the sort of thing we would receive praise for in our family. It made me a big shot in my dadís eyes. I would be considered a true Allen boy. Iíd be living up to the criminal family history. What a distorted belief for a child to live by. My dad did change over the years to be a very nice man.

As I approached, on the left, the dairy farm that belonged to the family that rented our house to us for many years, I noticed that it had grown into a beautiful homestead. As a young man, Iíd get drunk and drive my car to the edge of the road and smash their fences down. I did this just to have fun. I tried to kill one of their cattle on an evening when I was drunk. The bull chased me out onto the pond. I fell through the ice but was able to climb out on my own. My kid brother drove me home before I froze to death. I remembered stealing their gas one night because my car was on empty. The joke was on me this evening because it was diesel fuel. My engine froze up as soon as I put it in the tank. It practically ruined my car. This was just a beginning of my criminal career. The people on this road were some of my first victims. I spent my early teen years terrorizing this country neighborhood. I broke into houses, smashed windows and stole money from many innocent people. All this in the name of fun. Why were these memories all flooding my thoughts at this moment? Could it be that I was feeling remorse for the first time in my life about all of this? I wanted to stop and say I was sorry but would they believe me? I decided to continue driving toward home.

Over the next hill, was the last stretch of road leading to my home. My stomach was becoming even more nervous. I noticed two of the neighboring houses didnít exist anymore. They must have burned to the ground. I wondered if my house still stood for the many years that I was gone.

There it was, home. It was still standing and nestled in the tall pines that surrounded it. It was vacant and tall grass was grown up all around it. Weeds and vines seem to imprison this old farmhouse which provided many years of shelter for my family and myself.

I stepped out of my truck and stood silently in awe. I was feeling so lonely and sad. Tears flowed down my cheeks. I was home again. Where had all the years gone? Was this really home? Or was home only in my memories? I was such a young man when I left this place. Now my beard showed many traces of white and gray. There were times when I felt Iíd never see this place again. I always believed Iíd probably die in prison. But here I stood, all alone, in a fantasy land of memories. Mom was no longer standing on the front porch awaiting the school bus to bring me home. As I looked into the kitchen window, she wasnít standing by the counter preparing our supper meal. I couldnít hear her soft voice singing, I want to Be Bobby's Girl, as she would sing many years ago while doing dishes. Dad would yell from the back room, You better not be! She hadnít been in the flower bed for some time either because by the looks, weeds had choked most of them...She wasnít here!

I turned to notice the outline of the old garden in the backyard. Dad wasnít there picking the fresh green beans and carrots as he did for many years in the past. He wasnít in the back shed feeding the animals either. He hadnít mowed the grass for some time by the looks of it. I couldnít hear the sounds of my brothers and sister running around the yard. They all seem to have drifted away.

Then I noticed the full-grown weeping willow tree that Mom had planted as a little twig. I was in third grade at that time. The willow stood beside me as I was weeping. Did it miss my mom as I did? In a way, she gave birth to this child also. I gently touched its branches as if to feel a part of mom by my side. I wanted to feel a hug or see her smile, but the only voice I felt was the warm breeze, crawling off the cornfield. I couldnít smell any homemade biscuits coming from the front door. There seemed to be no life around this place. I was feeling more loss the longer I stood there. A lonely feeling filled my heart with sadness. When I should have been happy being free for the first time after thirty years of confinement. I had not only hurt innocent people, but I had taken my parentís son away from them for the rest of their lives. I had taken my children's dad away from them for all their childhood. I couldnít make up for that, could I? I guess what I really wanted to say, "Iím home mom and dad!"


I wiped the tears from my eyes and cheeks, got back into my truck, and said "Good-bye... I love you!

My name is Eugene Allen and I have been free in society for twenty years living a good life in northern Maine. I spent 30 years in prison and deserved it. The worse thing ever happening in my life saved my life and released me from the prisons of my mind. I'm just hear to offer support for families and receive support. Thank you
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  #2  
Old 12-07-2017, 04:47 AM
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MizzyMuffling MizzyMuffling is offline
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Thank you!
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Follow your heart but take your brain with you...
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Old 12-07-2017, 09:23 AM
xolady xolady is offline
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This was one great story, very sad but so heart warming to read this actually makes me have faith in humanity!!!
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Old 12-07-2017, 10:57 AM
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Sarianna Sarianna is offline
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Thank you Eugene for sharing this; you have a gift of writing! I am so happy that things turned out well for you after 30 years in prison... and that you are doing good now. Thank you again and a warm welcome to Prison Talk
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Old 12-07-2017, 11:08 AM
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Ms. Amnesia Ms. Amnesia is online now
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Thank you!
I agree, you have a gift of writing. You made a tear well up in my eyes and made me want to read more...

Welcome to Prison Talk!
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  #6  
Old 12-08-2017, 04:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarianna View Post
Thank you Eugene for sharing this; you have a gift of writing! I am so happy that things turned out well for you after 30 years in prison... and that you are doing good now. Thank you again and a warm welcome to Prison Talk
Thank you for your reply. It hasn't always been easy. I recently have had some people who tried to dig up my past and it was 45 years ago when I was a young man. I have been 20 years out of prison living a good life up here in Northern Maine on a potato farm. It does hurt but I just don't let it get the best of me. I do a lot of writing on helping families who have loved ones in prison. Would share some if you have any questions. Thank you for your reply. Have a wonderful day.
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Old 12-08-2017, 04:26 AM
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Originally Posted by xolady View Post
This was one great story, very sad but so heart warming to read this actually makes me have faith in humanity!!!
I'm glad it blessed you.
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  #8  
Old 12-08-2017, 04:29 AM
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Thank you!
always thank you
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