By: Charles D Flores #999299
June 4, 2017
I began this epic saga/journey/nightmare, whatever name fits best, in 1999. Over 19 years ago I was sent to Texas Death Row for a crime I did not commit and I’ve been fighting for my life ever since. To put it mildly, this 19 year experience in my life has not been easy. More often that I would care to admit I as not sure I was going to make it. But when I would find myself on my knees having been knocked down by a savage blow that life had give me, what would always give me strength to get back on my feet again was the love and compassion that my friends would give me. I think back to the summer of 1999, and my first friend that I met via correspondence was a young guy named Antonie. He was a law student in Switzerland and he was a very good friend. He was with me when I first began my confinement on Texas death row and I was in contact with him for several years. They next friend was a lovely lady from England named Debbie. She was such a positive influence in my life, helping me mature, learn to grow, and become a better human being. While we no longer exchange letters like we used to, we’re still in contact and close friends.
I can’t begin to count the friends that have come into my life since then. Some stay for a season maybe two, and others are friends for life and I call these amazing people forever friends. Each friend that comes into my life plays a critical part and I believe has been connected with me by the Universe for a specific reason. Maybe I’m feeling less than 100% and so are they, and together by helping each other with love, compassion, and support we can heal each other. Others might even be able to visit me and get to know me in person! That’s as good as it gets on Texas death row. Visits are the best thing we get here and mail/correspondence is a close second. Everyone plays a part in life and I know there is no chance or coincidence about it.
Without a doubt the best friends that I have ever had in my life I’ve met as a result of being on Texas death row. Friends who have blown me away with their love and compassion, friends who have made me want to be a better person because they are such wonderful people and I can’t stand the thought of disappointing them. It’s amazing to say that and I feel so blessed to have these kinds of true friendships by my side through thick and thin.
19 years is a long time. I think back to the beginning when I was first sent to Texas death row and I would not allow myself to dare think about what it would be like to leave this place on day. I had severely incompetent trial attorneys and as soon as I got to death row I was saddled with 2 more state level court appointed attorneys who were worse! These were the lawyers who were supposed to help me get out of this place? With guys like them representing me I didn’t need enemies! So I was not thinking about freedom because I knew the consequences of having ineffective assistance of counsel on state level appeals by my attorneys. It usually meant you were DEAD! So much so that I got to within 6 days of being DEAD which was a direct result of these original state level attorneys’ incompetence. But that’s a story for another day. My point is that for a long time I’ve been engaged in the fight of my life, trying to stay alive because where there is life there is hope! And when I’d find myself on the ground beaten and bruised, the love, compassion and support that my friends had for me was the well from which I drew the strength required to get back up and continue the fight. For this I am forever grateful.
In January of 2017, I met a new friend. From the first letter I knew she was special and that w’d be the best of friends and she would help me and more importantly I’d be able to help her. Call it intuition, call it whatever, I just knew! Since January I’ve gotten to know my friend quite well and she just amazes me and makes me want to be a better person. She’s my teacher and is currently teaching me about feminism, which I think rocks! She’s teaching me about websites and hashtags and all kinds of super cool stuff which I love! And this month I will meet my friend at visit! I’m so excited about that and looking forward to it. And we’ve even talked about the things we’d like to do together when I’m free which is amazing and so thrilling that it gives me chills because I KNOW this is going to happen. I know something else too. I know my friend Abby who I met in January is also a forever friend and that realization brings me joy like you wouldn’t believe! I’m a blessed man to have friends like mine and to everyone I say thank you for being who you are, for caring about me, and for allowing me to care for you!
LOVE PEACE HOPE & FREEDOM!
Charles D Flores