After much struggling with my soul, I had accepted John’s plea that I accept him as a son. He said very little at the time, as though if he spoke the prospect of a family to love him and stand by him might fade away as his own blood family had faded.
A few days later, though, I got this letter:
“It makes me very, very proud to write that. After you left, I went back to my cell and I sat on the bed and I felt this warm feeling all over my body, and I said to myself, Is this what true love feels like?
It didn’t go away and I lay awake all night just feeling good. I am not always an emotional person as far as letting my feelings show, as my present situation here requires that I never let anybody know what I am feeling.
I’ve been looking for love all my life, and meeting you have been a dream come true!! I was shocked when you said you love me. No one in my life before ever said they loved me, not just flat out like that.
And no one ever did love me except my grandmother. She loved me hard. She never said so, but I judge love by actions not by words.
I have never had a mother who loved me through actions and fought for me when I was in trouble. I only can recall my mother saying she did not want me, she wished I was dead.
It has been a long time since I was able to let my heart open up and let myself really love and trust again. What can I say but thank you and you have my undying love and friendship.
This certificate is a gift of my undying love for you. I have all of your children’s names on it. I used only the initial of their first name. JL -John Lee; A-Andrea; K-Katy; L-Samuel; S-Sean; M-Michael; A-Ashley. Yes, I have included my own name, that’s how close I feel to you.”
Enclosed was a handmade document with an ornate purple border and Old English lettering in black.
Certificate of Appreciation
Joanna Catherine Scott
In recognition of of your faithfulness, endurance, perseverance
and patience in this journey with me, I thank you
from the bottom of my heart. Traveling this road
can get mighty lonely at times, but your companionship
has made the miles that much easier to bear. I will
forever treasure your companionship.
– Love expressed in action
I sat there looking at it for a long, long time, and then I took it to the frame shop.