Prison Radio
Terri Harper

Hi, this is Terri Harper calling from SCI Muncy in Pennsylvania.

This piece is about a conversation that I had with one of my sisters about how I am looked upon as a woman who has committed a crime, and this is what came to my mind.

Eve tempted Adam with the Apple, so how dare you say a woman should be docile and soft? And how dare you look at me differently because I’m a woman who committed a crime?

Please be clear. I believe and trust my almighty god implicitly. I acknowledge that everything does happen for a reason and I identify why I became a statistic. I was naively fearless. I just wanted to take care of me and my baby sis and help my mothers.

I was so wrapped up in what I wanted and thought I needed, I did not consider all the paths that intersected and or intertwined with my life. I was not abused or hurt coming up. I knew love, friendship, family, and hardships. I was awake.

The problem was my lack of understanding of faith and gratitude, stillness and contemplation. I allowed myself to be caught up and lost in the hype. I allowed myself to squeeze in where I did not fit. I allowed corruption. How about that for the cycle of life? I feel my strength. I embrace my ability to have others listen and correct their behaviors. I am humbled to be called one of service.

Those things I took for granted. And so doing, I can not count who all I failed or hurt. I can, however, continue to listen, learn, evolve, and be of service. I will undoubtedly take it to the next level. When and if given a chance, will you be a part of that success of a societal change that shifts us out of more problems and reaffirms our status as the land of the free and the home of the brave?

I, too, ate the proverbial apple, shamed myself, covered it with the leaves of patience, earned trust, compassion, and service, and now live anew. And I’m far less than the two who started it all, so aren’t I redeemable also?

Thank you.

These commentaries are recorded by Noelle Hanrahan.