Jason:

Enoch, I’ve watched you grow and change from that rascal into a good man. I read many of your writings.  Hell, I even know your mother. You know I am not a bad guy, but answer me this.  Why all the losses in my life? I mean I’m sitting on my second two-year parole denial, another two year set-off. My sister died, then my brother, year after year. What else is there for me, for us? I’m over forty years old with more than a decade in the pen. Why the excess loss, Enoch? Can you tell me that?

Enoch:

For every ear that’s near, understand that I do not claim to hold all the answers to every question. But when you ask Enoch, why this or Enoch, why that, It will not result in me giving you tit for tat. I can only tell you what keeps me motivated when it comes to dealing with loss, what motivates me to keep living life. And, in my truth I hope that you find your own reasons to continue to progress.

I was Gifted with a loving family. At times I loved them just because it was all I had to give. I even claimed to “own” them, though none of them were truly mine; they were all gifted to me. I remember fighting with WilShanda (sister), even throwing a knife her way. I remember jumping on trains or acting out adventure games in abandoned buildings, so that my younger siblings could play. I remember my whole family singing church songs, and my sisters jamming together with some T.L.C. or S.W.V. I remember them helping my mother hold me, when my asthma got too bad. I remember the first time my father told me, “James, I am proud of you”. It was the first time I ever cried tears of joy. It was the first time thinking I made the right choice. I remember the day my son was born and how scared I felt. I remember all the laughing times, the tears and hell I put my family through. Now, close your eyes and remember you have your own memories of your family to hold on to.

I say Gifted, cause we hold value to every gift, both large and small. You hold and cherish it until the gift is lost in time. But you’ll always remember having it, even if you find others to replace it. A wise old man told me, “If you can’t afford to lose it, don’t buy it.” If you are too weak to carry the burdens of loss in life, then why are you living? I tell you, every person we’ve had in our lives was a gift given, so that we in return can give. Your loved ones aren’t yours; they were gifts given so that you will never forget to give. We must build memories to keep, and memories to give. These memories of my loved ones are one reason that I truly persist to live, in hope of creating, building, and holding more memories. Now I strive to be deserving of the love that they have for me. I’ve found that your family loves you regardless of what you do.  Like working for a salary, all you have to do is work. There is no overtime. Yet with me it’s the quality of work that has kept my memories of my family so precious and divine.

It’s not who or what you’ve lost that matters. What memories do you have that sustain you? When you choose to make your next choice, have that same notion in mind. We build memories with every word spoken, and every action taken, so it is your responsibility to make them worth something.

Question: Did you forget about all that you have left? You have suffered plenty of loss in your life, people and things. Still you struggle to understand the real value in life. It isn’t about any of us dying, but the impact we leave in our wake, how we influence others lives and allow them to influence us. What of your children, your mothers, friends, or wives? They are gifts. What is their true worth to you? Cherish what you do have, stop worrying about what you have lost or can lose. Living life isn’t all sunshine, granting us our every need and want. Be thankful for the fleeting memories; let them support you when you’re down. If God gave his only begotten, what is that sacrifice compared to the lives of every person? It’s a gift to breath, to hold those that you love, remember the smiles, and frowns. If they never gave you those memories then who would you be now? I say remember your loved ones, and earn the right to be proud when you remember them telling you that I’m proud of you. . .. Remember them saying I love you. That is a gift given; now, do not forget to give.