A Letter to a Prisoner,
Hello, I feel a little introduction is important so you understand where I fit into Noah’s life. My name is Kim, and Noah’s dad Steve was my first cousin.
I live in Michigan, about 1.5 hours away from where Noah was first incarcerated in Milan, MI. Before his incarceration, I only saw Noah at an occasional family function around the holidays, so I didn’t know him well.
However, family is family, and when I found out that Noah was going to be in Michigan and I was his only family here, I felt it was my duty to visit him. So I promised his mom Mary and his Bergland Grandparents, who are my aunt and uncle, and my Godparents, that I would try my best to visit him once a month during his time here.
Going to prison and visiting is a humbling experience. I did not know what to expect, but I thought people (prison employees) would be kind and helpful. WRONG, but that is a whole other chapter!
I was very impressed with how open Noah was with me on my first visit. He was honest and accepting of his actions and consequences, but I felt he had a chip on his shoulder.
As we got better acquainted, we talked about hopes and dreams and planned upon release. Initially, Noah hoped for an early release due to overcrowding and the freedom for non-violent offenses.
During these visits, I thought that if he was released early, I could see him right back where he started. There was talk of medical marijuana cards and visiting with his old buddies.
When I questioned Noah about the medical marijuana card, asking him, “didn’t he feel that it would be a gateway to using again?” He was adamant that he could control his usage.
That scared me. My biggest hope was that the feeling of needing to use would go away.
Before Noah left Michigan, we built an excellent relationship, and I enjoyed my monthly visits to Milan. But unfortunately, I didn’t feel he was ready to face the real world yet and hoped his recovery could continue at Yankton.
Noah has been doing these blogs now for about a year. The Noah that is writing now versus the Noah that left Milan a few years back is two different people.
I have enjoyed reading Noah’s blogs and seeing what a remarkable transformation has made. He is confident and determined to make a great life for himself and Melrose.
Noah realizes that his MOM is his best friend and biggest supporter and is grateful for the opportunity to start a job with Morgan and Jamie upon his release. However, he also knows that his siblings will not tolerate any re-occurrence of using or illegal activity and will sever their relationships with him immediately if he does.
No more second chances!
He now understands the value of friends and family and the unwavering support he has been given, not only from family but from our awesome hometown of Roseau, how the people he wronged have forgiven him, and the importance of forgiving himself.
Hopefully, Noah only has one more year at Yankton. I am optimistic that he will only become more assertive in his faith and continue his growth and strength. I know I am not alone in wanting him to succeed and have a happy, successful, and clean life.
Keep it up, Noah! I am happy we were able to build this relationship, I wish it were under different circumstances, but then it wouldn’t have been the same relationship we have today.
I love you and can’t wait for you to come to revisit Michigan, this time in Sterling Heights!