TEXAS DEATH ROW NEWS – JUNE 1st 2020.
“Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”
Recently I read about an orca named Talequah who gave birth last summer. Talequah’s pod of killer whales was endangered and her newborn was their hope for the future. But the calf lived less than an hour. In a show of grief that was watched by people around the world, Talequah pushed her dead calf through the cold waters of the Pacific Ocean for seventeen days before letting her go.
When I read about Talequah and her terrible loss, I was deeply moved because I understand on a gut wrenching level what it’s like to suffer such heart-breaking loss that you can’t find a way to let go. When I lost my mother last year, that loss brought home the realization that with her being gone, so was my father, home and the dream of getting back in time to devote my life to caring for them. Like Talequah’s calf, my everything was gone and nothing would ever bring them back. When you find yourself in that situation, it’s impossible to let go. Impossible to stop thinking about all you’ve lost. Because all that me and my beloved family had shared is now gone forever.
As I look back on those days, weeks and months of heartbreak in my life, I know what got me through it. It was the actions of those who loved me and cared about my well being. All of those who ran to me and lifted me off the ground and shared with me gracious words of love, kindness and reaffirming their friendship with me. True friends who cried with me, who held my hand and allowed their heart to break with mine. Because when you are dealing with such epic losses nothing will “make it better”. And those fair weathered friends, both old and new, flew the situation to distract themselves with whatever their privilege allowed them. Because being human is hard, and it’s extremely difficult.
“The ultimate measure of a person is not where they stand at a time of comfort and convenience, but where they stand at challenge and controversy.”—Martin Luther King Jr.
I have come to understand that through grief and suffering in the experience we call life, it’s human nature for us to lament, to be moved to express our pain and sorrow. It is the price we pay for loving someone so much that it feels like losing them will kill you. I often thought about why I went through such extreme long suffering but found no answers – it was just part of life and something we all experience sooner or later.
Then, my hypnosis appeal was denied by the Texas court of criminal appeals (CCA). When I got the news that we had lost and would have to move forward with Plan B, it took me about 5 minutes for me to shake off the loss, and ACCEPT the fact that for whatever reason, it just wasn’t time for me to go free. We’re far from the end with regards to exhausting legal appeals, what this means to me in real time is I will be here for four or five more years, and I’ve accepted that.
As I come to this point of acceptance in my life I realized why I was put through such extreme pain, heartache and long suffering – my parents dying, losing home and our dream, one of my best friends abandoning me – all of that. In an instant I knew that I was put through that to be able to stand tall and keep pushing forward when this loss hit me. Because this is one of the biggest losses I can experience. And I’ll tell you something it was blow, a hard body blow no doubt but I’ve reached a place of such strength that the loss of my hypnosis appeal did not even cause me to break my stride. It’s full speed ahead now more than ever. And the reason I was able to absorb such a blow and keep moving was because of the extreme losses I experienced these past two years.
Dedicated to the Struggle for Life and Justice and Peace for All!
Charles D. Flores No. 99299
Texas death row
June 1st 2020