I AM grateful for all the love and support over the course of this 10 year wrongful conviction. Each and every person I’ve encountered has been a great teacher, and this is a shout out to those that forever impacts.
Lawanda Hollister has been one of the greats for me. She showed me how to make it through the incarceration in sound mind. Reminding me to stay focused on what’s important. Cooking all them creative, delicious cook ups. I can hear her saying “not this one!” in reference to me, adamant that this experience didn’t have to dim my light. After 34 years she made it out. Thriving beyond this place. I’m thankful for the time Lawanda invested in me.
There’s a big gap cause for many years it was only her pouring into the best of me.
Ena Stokes, a childhood friend, family, sister. Showed up and showed out being my #1 advocate and supporter. Coming thru for me in ways no one has or will. Opened her door to my partner off the love for me. That’s huge! God send. I’m grateful!
My day one, Tomorrow Young came through briefly, but was essential to my shift. At the precise time…. in the only moment, she located Aaron Salter. Had she not did that when she did…. I would have missed the opportunity for Ena to be present at Aaron’s event and meet Valerie Newman. The day Tomorrow made the connection was the night of the conference. Dig the synchronicity of it all….. Ena took it a step further and looked at Aaron Facebook page and that’s how she knew where to be. I’m grateful for the willingness of so many great people putting forth the effort to go that extra mile on my behalf.
Willis X Harris at Cure Life-Long, I’m thankful for the outlet to write. The submission of my story to this publication facilitated my case being compared to Aaron’s in an article on false witness testimony that led to his exoneration. That put Aaron in my mind’s eye as one to contact.
Aaron Salter at Innocence Maintained, my exoneree brother. The first to show me love and support in the process. Just having someone to talk to that understands the struggle. Going that extra mile during the pandemic… I thank you.
Aaron connects me to Mrs. Zieva Konvisser who’s my guru. An Angel. She’s been there to encourage and uplift me. She never judged my crazy when I’m all over the place seeking my way out. A light in this darkness.
Jennifer Gross my advocate and Earth sister. Synchronizing events led to our encounter. I have no doubts you are instrumental on this journey. I’m grateful.
Karen Boler, my sister in the struggle…. one day watching the news I see Larry Smith. I speak out loud that I’ve been wanting to locate him since his exoneration and release. Karen, in ear shot of my moment of thinking out loud, gently says I know how to contact him and shares her knowledge with me. Something we all need to do more of….share. Thank you for that!
None of my friends or family understood why I sought out the exonerated men. For one…. they only release the men. Secondly….. I wanted to talk to those that’s achieved what I want most in life….. exoneration! I literally cried cause no one understood, as if I’ve lost Faith because I needed those connections.
Larry Smith…. my brother from another mother!! I love you! He’s something special for the world. I’m so grateful for you! He felt my pain. He never worried about etiquette or overstepping bounds…. this man put Kym Worthy on the phone for me! Others could have done that and didn’t, you did do that…. I’m eternally grateful. I was having a melt down after a court date where the prosecution said there were no police, prosecution, or FOIA files for me. In that moment, feeling defeated, feeling like the system threw me away, I called Larry and my Hope tank refilled. Not just that though…. he connected me to the whole National Organization of Exonerees. Represented me for the rally October 14th. Didn’t owe me anything and showed me mad love. I’m thankful.
Anthony Leigon at AceLaw. Extended resources to the women of WHV. Planted a seed in me that will change the course of my life. I’m grateful!
Natalie Holbrook at American Friends Service Committee. Held the women up during this pandemic. Donating books for our book club to promote trauma healing and self-help. To nurture and positively feed the mind of others is to change the world. I’m grateful!
Tashiena Combs my Spirit sister, Bees Keeping Bees, and bestie. I’m grateful for you. Daily feeding my mind and challenging my Spirit to explore new heights. We will make it out!
Susan Brown, my sister in the struggle. I’m thankful for this time together. My left hand and creative flow to my heart. I love you!
Amber Smith, my sister in the struggle. We don’t talk much, but the words spoken were meaningful. She plugged me to my T.B.T.W family. Life has a way of connecting us to everyone needed for the journey ahead. It’s up to each of us what we do with these connections. I’m grateful for this platform to express myself and be heard with presence felt in the community.
Last, but not least….. Mom. Showing me through tough love that this journey was mine alone. One between God and myself. I’m grateful! That space allowed me to cultivate my own relationship and discover I AM.
Tamerra Washington 486364