It's a small world
Tales from death row: Justice for Rodney Reed
This is going to be a more personal piece; I hope you all won't mind. As my physical world shrinks with the inexorable progression of Lou (ALS), I am astounded at how my emotional/relational world just keeps getting bigger! And how the big blue ball world gets smaller.
One day recently I found this message in my inbox on Facebook:
Hello Caitlin, my name is Karine, I'm a French woman living in Israel. I'm sending you this message cause I've been DEEPLY touched by your blog about Rodney Reed that I found by chance. Since I remember myself I'm deeply against death penalty but only a year ago I discovered the inhuman conditions on death row in Texas. Since this discover I also correspond with a man who is actually on death row in Polunsky.
When I see a woman like you, I'm full of admiration and I want toTHANK YOU for this great lesson of humanity!
I wish you all the best and I hope that Rodney will get back his freedom ! God bless !
To say I was very touched by Karine's message would be very true and it simply doesn't remotely capture the breadth and depth of how moved I was and am. I had to do a serious ego check, after all that flattery! Since that day I've been thinking a lot about how my life has changed and diminished and flourished over the past 2 years. A French woman living in Israel just happened across my blog, my goodness! Karine and I are now friends, we chat on Facebook regularly. This summer, Rodney's other wildflower, Julie Strickland, just happens to be going to Israel and yep, she and Karine plan to meet! My goodness!
Karine is one of some new "world" friends, Larissa, in Holland, Ana, in Slovenia, Andrea in Germany, are three more who I regularly chat with. Larissa and I hope to meet in late May, at death row, when she is here visiting her significant other; she and chat often about American jurisprudence. Ana, has been an incredible help to me, in my efforts to learn to use social media more effectively. Andrea and I have met once at Polunsky and hope to meet again on 4/2! (We did) Of course, all these friendships I share with Rodney and he is forever awed by the power and reach of the Internet and the human spirit!
Hundreds of new bonds have been formed through the advocacy work I do on Rodney's behalf and as an advocate for the abolition of the death penalty and criminal justice reform. Those bonds cross the length of the US and the north American continent Maribeth in Seattle, Washington, Danielle in New Jersey, Liz in North Carolina, Louis in Canada and they cross oceans, Kirsty in England, Diana in Germany, Indranil in India, Misha in Russia. New messages arrived in the past few days from Wendy in California, Jorunn in Norway and Ellen, i think in Germany, messages of hope, solidarity and blessing. These bonds are forged in a heartfelt desire to stop injustice, to speak out for the voiceless, to create a better world for all.
Then there are the bonds closer to home, Jewels, Lily, Randi, Marlene, Mark, Gloria, Neshia, Becky, Shawna, Lynda, Sandra R, Judy, Kelly, Jamie, David, Dewey, Shujaa, Sandra J, Katy, Julie G, Liliana, Blanca, Griselda, Dena and many more, who I have been blessed to meet "live and in person" - well, everyone except, Julie G, Neshia, and David! These justice beacons and kind souls work tirelessly everyday to improve the lives of so many.
Then there are the bonds with all those that I don't know, all those millions of others who also fight the good fight each and everyday. And I get to be a part of it all - it's a small, wondrous world.
When one door closes, another opens, thanks to all of you for being on the other side of that opened door!