Sunday, July 26, 2015

Remembering April

Eight years ago, I met a lady named April. She was 67 years old and not in good health. She had been sent to federal prison to serve a six-month sentence.

April was a sweet lady. She had a ready smile. Some of us discovered that April was very ticklish. She even giggled in anticipation of the tickle. In fact, she started giggling when she saw fingers coming in her direction. Everyone in the federal prison camp in Danbury, Connecticut, loved April.


Being in prison was very hard on April. She always seemed a little sad at being taken away from home. One time, I asked April, "How long will you be here?"

"Oh, a long time," April said. "A very long time."

Her time turned out to be longer than I could imagine, longer than her sentence would indicate.

April had a heart condition. One day, she was taken to the hospital for a medical procedure. She was away for several hours, and then, she came back. That was on a Thursday. I had heard that the doctors wanted to keep her in the hospital overnight, but that prison officials said that April's furlough had expired and that she had to be returned to the prison.

On Saturday morning, I was asked to draw a "get-well" card for April. I was given card stock and colored pencils. I drew the card. Everyone in the camp signed the card.

I did not see April receive her card, but I was told that she liked it very much. The card was full of sentiments of love and support for April.

That afternoon, April was taken back to the hospital. She collapsed and became unresponsive.

I had heard that someone asked the corrections officer how April was doing. He said that she was not doing well and for everyone to please pray for her. We prayed for April.

A few days later, April passed away. Her family, I was told, was with her when she passed.

Eight years ago, on July 26th, there was a memorial service for April in the federal prison camp in Danbury, Connecticut. We got together and shared our feelings about April. We sang and we read Bible stories.

I will never forget April. She was a gem.

She was taken away from the world too soon.

Rest in peace, April, and know that you were loved and that you have not been forgotten.


1 comment:

Kebba Buckley Button said...

Alyce, I'm visiting again from the UBC. Although you don't say what April was in prison for, it apparently didn't weigh down her soul. It sounds like she touched the hearts around her and stayed Light, like a traveling bit of Heaven. Perhaps that was her purpose: to touch the souls in a limited, potentially dark place. To BE a blessing. What a joy that you were blessed by her. And thank you for sharing your experience of her.

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