THE DEADLIEST DAY OF MY LIFE… Final Part 2 !!!
I, like all convicts thought that the shoes we stepped out of to enter prison would be right where we left
them and we would just step back into them when we got out and continue our life as it was when
we left it on the shelf. That is where all convicts are sadly mistaken, because prison is just
beginning when they return… and sadly it never ends.
No employment for exconvicts – criminal record. No apartment, home purchase, no credit, no car loan,
no voting, no family acceptance, people thinking of you as an untrustworthy person, afraid of you,
family rejection even moving away, the only fear was the fear of returning to the unknown.
Prison becomes a functioning society without bills and responsibility.
I became just another number stripped of dignity and humanness.
My life was over, I was finally caved in and broken and so weak, I had no future and the past I had was
miserable, not even worth remembering. My present was black, filled with despair and rage for
anyone or anything within a thousand miles of my rejected heart.
The only time I could ever feel was with pain, sweet pain usually from beating my own self in the face and head often blacking my own eyes, mouth and nose. It was the only time when I was able to cry tears and know
I was at least still alive and not totally dead inside. It felt like it was the only time I was in control of my
own life and emotions. Without the constant threat of if I did something else I would be sent back to prison.
Something else I also wanted to be in control of, not only when but how I went back to prison.
The streets of Dallas held only darkness, humiliation and rage for me.
Everywhere I turned more rejection, snickers, backs turned, and hopelessness.
I felt no love and I had no purpose when I said …. There is nowhere for me where I will be accepted….
Except back in prison or in a coffin. I was crying so hard I knew it was my final act in and against society.
The same society that had never accepted me back – even after I had so called ‘paid my debt to them’ whoever they were….. Now it didn’t matter – now they would all pay.
I was standing in a small shack behind the family’s house where I lived who also rejected me – I was in the dark and my chest feeling like all I had ever received instead of the love I wanted so bad was a
trash can where in a darkened corner I sat alone while more wadded up trash was tossed into me.
I never knew a purpose in life. I thought because I was an exconvict I could fight my way through
any battle in life after prison – I had never felt fear and nothing intimidated me.
I had become known as the fierce ‘Del from Hell’ and I laughed about my reputation as a societal
psycho back from prison, smarter than ever before, a product of its cold and furious environment…
I had told a neighbor who was about the only person who would even speak to me, a sweet
Mexican lady who always told me she cared about me when the family I lived with would lock me
out of the house, nail the windows shut and throw my belongings out into the rain and mud.
I had tried and tried not to believe I was going to commit a mass act but I felt it inside me
coming for a long time – I had lied to her and told her I badly needed a gun to protect myself.
I knew as an exconvict I could not possess a gun plus I had become too crazy to have one before but
she had believed me and had brought me an uzi. In Oak Cliff where I lived drive by shootings are an everyday occurrence.
I was holding that loaded uzi close to me – as cold as it was – I felt like it was protecting me from society’s hatred and rejection. It was about to help me get even after all the years of pain. I don’t even remember the year anymore. I just know it had been about seven years.
I was leaning against a table in the dark building. It was dark because it was the darkroom for the little printing business I had started because no one would hire me.
I was trying to stop sobbing and crying and wipe away my tears, so I could reach for the doorknob and go out into the light with a deadly mission to kill others even if it meant my own going out in a gunfight with cops.
It was all I could see in my mind. The shooting the killing, my dying or being taken back to prison – finally it was going to end. Finally it was going to be over forever.
Life in prison, execution or dying. I thought I had no other future – I thought my life was over.
As I opened my eyes to reach for the door I saw a tiny tiny light piercing through the covering on the windows. It was pitch black in there because it was a darkroom. At the moment I saw the light come in I thought ‘a light is coming into my darkness’.
It was at that same moment I heard a voice kind of over to the left and slightly behind me. The words were clear and calm….“YOU LISTENED TO MAN AND YOU ENDED IN PRISON LISTEN TO ME AND SEE WHERE I LEAD YOU”.
I thought, that is so weird, especially now at this second of my worst hopelessness ever. I thought.. is there more?
I heard it again. It sounded like a Father’s voice, strong, wise, compassionate, loving, forgiving, understanding. I know it was God who spoke to me that day. Why had I never heard it before, and why now? My mind was made up – I had my finger on the trigger of the uzi. I was ready to lunge out the door as I had countless times before in fits of black rage, running away from whatever it was that haunted my mind.
As he spoke I began to listen, all the while never for one moment believing there was a sane bone in my body. I already had battled sanity vs insanity and insanity had easily always won out. I just was afraid to tell anyone. I kept it inside me until pain could release some of it. The real and only thing that kept me going was my printing.
It was always a challenge. And I made money in doing something that I continued to conquer day by day. But today was different. I didn’t care anymore – it was a deeper sinking feeling than when I was arrested.
The voice told me, ‘I need someone like you to speak to others like you… broken, hopeless, without purpose, psychotic, lost, numb from pain of suffering failure and rejection – to go and prevent young people from
going down the same path you have just crawled back up from.’
He said, ‘young people have no life experience or the wisdom to make good choices in their lives’.
I thought, ‘wow I can’t stand kids’. But I continued to listen. He said, ‘you need family, you need love,
you need acceptance in your own life that you have waited years for from your own flesh and blood family –
so if you go to the lost, and open your heart and your mind to them, you will find those
things and much more – and it will become a sort of therapy for you to begin to be whole as never before.’
He said, ‘I’m going to take away all your worldly possessions, but I will replace them with others’. He said, I want you to begin to work on what is like a puzzle with a thousand pieces, but you must build each piece one by one without knowing what the puzzle looks like – you must build it on faith.
I thought, ‘I know now I have gone over the psychotic edge for sure’ – but I kept listening.
I had thought I was strong enough to never pray to God, never go to church, and never ask for help.
Now I was hearing what made the most sense to me in my whole entire life. I kept listening.
He said, once you have built many pieces of the puzzle, they will begin to fit together and the lines between them will disappear so you will begin to see the picture. I thought – A THOUSAND PIECES! – there was no way I was going to do a thousand of anything. I was too busy – if I did lay down the gun and take this ‘challenge’ on.
But I have to admit it sounded wonderful for the first time in my life. He said for me to think of prison as a bridge from my old life to a new one. He said, continuing, “when you have built all the pieces to the puzzle
all the lines will disappear and show you the entire picture – at that time, is when life will be
breathed into it and it will begin to move on its own and at that time it will carry you with it.”
He also said that if I could be the marketing strength for huge corporations who hired me to do their
graphics and promotions I could do it to prevent others from going to prison.
I thought to myself, and if I did do this I would also be keeping a victim or victims from harm so it would be a double salvation. But why me? Why such a horrible person like me – that is why I thought for sure I was not worthy of hearing God speak to me – I was the worst person I knew – I did not even love myself and neither did my own family – how then could God love me?
I did believe at the time that if there ever was a hopeless, violent person chosen for working with others like me – I would be great for the task at hand. I certainly knew it all far too well.
It was then I took my hand off the doorknob, and I laid down the uzi – I decided then in my heart that the words I was hearing was truly that of God speaking to me.
I remember the day I was ‘told to go before the Dallas City Council’ and let them know of my wonderful work reaching young people. I was so embarrassed that I had registered to speak and for only three minutes.
All I took with me was a recording of a song a young man sang about how Bajito Onda
had given him hope and had helped him stop selling drugs and being with gangs.
I remember how shocked they were that I had done something so seemingly ignorant and out of place I began to cry. I could not even speak my three minutes because I cried the entire time – knowing that what I had done was so ridiculous yet I felt God needed to send them a new type of message and I was his only messenger trying to serve I did not know any better.
They went ahead and gave me another three minutes and applauded me for my boldness for standing up for youth. I practically ran out of there and spent the next many years working in private with kids and others on probation, parole and even into prison.
This work in serving only God, my friends has fully replaced the family that abandoned me when I was in prison – like hundreds of thousands of others just like me.
Nothing will ever come between my God given Family of Bajito Onda.
My violence has been replaced with peace. My worldly greed has been replaced with giving. My hatred for children has been replaced with love and passion for others to listen to their tiny voices.
My belief that prison happened to someone else but could never happen to me led me
straight into the cells of hell.
If you will only ask yourself. WHO ARE YOU SERVING? IS IT YOUR FAMILY? IS IT YOUR FRIENDS? IS IT PERHAPS YOURSELF? OR IS IT GOD?
If you worry about heaven or hell, if you worry about trying to control and conquer your life and all the obstacles in it – then perhaps you are not putting God first in your life.
You could be doing what I was doing…. ‘listening to man – and that will always lead you out of God’s path and the light of His love and Grace.’ At this Holiday season, although my mother and sister have never accepted me into their family again – where used to I languished horribly over it, now I have moved on and made a new family that doesn’t reject me, hurt me and belittle me.
I could not be happier, I could not feel more loved, I could not worry less than I do because if I just stay focused on all Bajito Onda Many Ministries of global works and peace in prisons and communities, I will receive far more than I will give, because without God in my life and in the lives of the entire Bajito Onda Family we would not have all the many blessings we have received.
When you walk away from man, you will find God. When you listen to God –
God will listen to you.
I leave you now, and I tell you that I have about put the thousand pieces of the puzzle together. It has taken me about twenty-five years or maybe even more. I’ve lost count.
But so many miracles have happened in my life I have seen lives I never believed would ever stop selling drugs or being lost and violent animals turn into warriors for Christ and for peace.
I have been inside prison with men serving eight hundred years – sixteen life sentences – tell me that Bajito Onda is their family and they have hope and love in their hearts because I took the calling that deadly day in my life.
They wish they had done the same but they did not hear God speak to them until it was too late.
It is never too late my friend,
Many humble blessings,