First Year out
I was released from prison on August 4, 2011 and while my license had expired while I was in prison since my material possessions were stored in a warehouse in Des Moines and my brother had come to get me in his Hundai Accent I would have to drive one or the other vehicle to get my material to Mississippi where he and his wife had a home out in the country in compliance with that state's 1500 foot law.
So we drove from the prison in Mt. Pleasant Iowa to a Penske Truck rental on 14th St in Des Moines and then to the warehouse where we opened the storage space and began loading. This was fairly heavy lifting since my brother, having a bad heart, could not lift much.
We loaded it starting with the small stuff and then I took all the drawers out of the triple dresser and lifted it onto my back and walked up the ramp into the truck.
I was still very strong from the constant activity in prison. Work there is poorly compensated but you get activity enough to keep weight off if you don't buy a lot of commissary. You can also build muscle even staying off the weight yard. Exercise for me had been walking but even so I had lifted 306 pounds while at Anamosa so I could lift most of the stuff we had to move.
Since the two of us could not empty the storage in one day we took a hotel room at the Econolodge which was not far from the warehouse we all my earthly possesions in. We got up early the next morning and had a full breakfast provided by the hotel. We then drove to the warehouse to continue loading.
My brother had brought up a cart that could be a 2 wheel cart or a 4 wheel dolly. But when we pulled it out of the Accent's trunk we found one wheel was flat. The valve stem had retreated into the wheel and we could not pull it out so we went to a tire service to see if they could help us. Instead of waiting while they tried to fix it, they had told us they probably could not do it. we went to the local Harbor Freight Tool Store to see if they had a matching wheel. They didn't.
We went back to the tire dealer and they had fixed the tire by pulling the valve stem back out and reinflating it. So we had the cart for loading the truck but much of the furniture was so wide it was not that much help in loading.
When my brother had taken a load of stuff up the ramp and he was coming off the ramp he missed the ramp and fell off the truck. He was bruised and we decided to call for an ambulance and he was transported to Methodist Hospital West Des Moines for treatment.
He was taking Warfarin to thin his blood since he had a antithombin III deficiency and this increased the bruising and the seriousness of his injuries. So now the loading rested on me alone.
We got a lot on the truck the second day but left only a little in the storage place but still had to retire to the hotel for another night.
The third day we started again with a free full breakfast at the hotel then we went to warehouse to finish loading. When the warehouse was empty we closed the truck and left. I drove the truck. He drove his car.
The trip south was over roads I was not familiar with. I was supposed to follow him but the little compact could out accellerate the truck and could out corner the 20 foot straight truck.
So eventually someplace in Southern Missouri I had to stop for fuel and he was far enough away that he did not see me turn off. I used the Prepaid Visa the prison had given me to buy $100 worth of diesal fuel. He realized I was no longer following him and he came back shortly after I had paid the fuel bill.
We took off together again and drove through Memphis on our way to Holly Springs where my brother lived. Then we took a four lane state road before we ended up on hilly, winding MS309 and got to his home in the country.
Now he had told me there were 2 bedrooms here and bathroom that were to me mine. He had not told me the bedrooms were full and floor in the bathroom was soft because of earlier leaks from the toilet. They are hoarders!
So my furniture ended up in the car port which has a collapsing roof and I sleep on two foundations under a queen sized mattress. I can't get to the dresser in the room because there is a mattress standing vertically in front of it.
I guess I should be thankful they took me in but I really believed what he told me about having room for me. There is room for me but not for my stuff.
Now I have to look for work. I signed up with www.dice.com and www.careerbuilder.com and www.monster.com but nobody wants to hire a sex offender. My brother has said and firmly believes I can fix anything. But the news stories keep on saying the lie that 85% of sex offenders repeat their crimes. As noted elsewhere on this site the truth is something else.
I saw several jobs on the job boards that I was emmenently qualified to do. But with the lies about sex offenders in the media no one want to have their company connected with a sex offender. And since registration includes where we work and volunteer they know they will be connected to the offender on the off chance that he re-offends.
I saw a job by the employment agency Robert Half and Company for repairing computers but when I called them and told them about my conviction they refused to even consider representing me.
With instant background checks being available on the Internet more and more companies are conducting background checks and it would be hard to pass that since this state has lifetime registration.
So in February I get an e-mail mentioning a site that connects workers with short term contracts and the companies hiring pay the workers. So I sign up with them for work as an electronics technician. In the first job I take I am sent to Ripley to a Fred's Pharmacy to swap out a printer. This is a large commercial Laser printer by Lexmark with dual paper trays. I had a lot of trouble lifting the old one to put it in the box to ship back to Lexmark. Odd that only a few years before I was lifting 300 pounds without any soreness or trouble. They only weighed about 50 pounds. The women who worked the pharmacy offered to help me left but my chivalry would not allow that.
So I swapped out the printer and the Fred's company installed the drivers for the printer remotely. I had no access to the network to do it so that was a good thing.
My second assignment was more carpentry than it was electronics. The job was in Richardson Mississippi where I was to wall mount a 50 inch LCD Television. I took my brother, to help since Workmarket thought it would take two to hang the television on the mount.
We went to the residence and got no answer to our knock. The man had worked late at the casino the night before and had been asleep. I mounted the brackets on the wall. One side hit the stud and the other one was installed with plastic inserts and lag screws. The man came down and told us. "No, it has to go higher. I want to put my aquarium on the table it used to be on and the television has to be above the top of the aquarium. So I pulled the screws and using the formerly top screws as the new bottom screws I raised the brackets so the television would clear the aquarium.
Now it was time to hang the television on it. As I mentioned previously on this account he has a bad heart and can't lift much. I lifted the television and my brother stabilized it. I knelt on the television table and lift the television onto the new mount. I heard the bottom clips click into place and knew it was done. He shot the installation with the cell phone camera and we packed up and left.
I realized at home my Sprint PCS Kyrocera 2320 cell phone was missing. The customer had moved it out of my sight while I was working and kept it. Oh well I had not signed up for service so the phone was only good for 911 calls. Besides, how could he sell it without the charger?
That job was done. I got home and collapsed into a chair and only got up to go to the bathroom. At this point my brother was doing the cooking and we each washed our own dishes as we returned them to the kitchen.
My brother was deteriorating during this time. His speech was slurred by ministrokes and he was increasingly frail. He was having trouble breathing at night due to neurological damage and his swallowing food was also effected.
In Early JUne of 2012 we took him to the Emergency room of Baptist DeSoto in Southaven Mississippi three nights in a row with trouble breathing. On the fourth night he was bleeding from his mouth and we took him in and they put him in intensive care. He was intubated and put on a respirator and unable to talk.
On the second night in there the doctor said for him to get food down we would have to put a tube in his stomach and feed him through that. He waved his had violently horazontally, indicating he did not want this.
Now they moved him from intensive care to the hospice area. At this point my sister-in-law asked me to go to West Plains, Missouri to bring her and my brother's daughter to the hospital to say goodbye. I still did not have my driver's license but knew it was an urgent need and so I agreed to do it. I had a little money in the bank so I did not ask for my sister-in-law's debit card to cover gasoline.
It was just as well. I got lost, not being familiar with the roads down here yet. Instead of catching US 67 coming out of Memphis into Arkansas I got onto US 61 which took me into the bootheel of Missouri instead of directly to West Plains. So after refueling I took a road going west and continued in that direction until I hit US 67. My neice was concerned because it set me about four hours behind schedule.
One fact I became aware of at this time was the fact that my brother had never given his daughter his cell phone number. I was carrying his cell phone with me and it rang and so I got her number in it.
It was a good thing because when I got to West Plains I could not figure out how to get to her house. So I called her from a well lighted business on the main road and she guided me in. My sister-in-law does directions by landmark. I typically do it by road name or number and turn right or left.
I was dead on my feet by the time I got there and it was a relief when my neice said she wanted to drive. I think I fell asleep and did not wake up until we were in Southaven where the hospital was.
With a couple days my brother past peacefully from this life into the afterlife.
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