Texas Death Row News – November 2nd, 2019

“Receive with simplicity everything that happens to you.” —-Rashi.

Scar Stories. I don’t recall where I got that worn out pocket knife I just remember being obsessed with having it and learning how to sharpen it. Once I mastered that technique I would take time to hone the edge of that little pocket knife on the sharpening stone daily, then go about UL house and back yard looking for things to cut with it. Of course my mother was aware of my new treasure and she specifically told me to be very careful with that knife because I could hurt myself with it. She told me this in such a way I knew that she was thinking about taking it from me because she KNEW what was going to end up happening! And me being 11 years old she had the power to take it from me in my world her rule was absolute. One day I got the bright idea that I would use the pocket knife to sharpen the end of a tree branch to a point. I can’t tell you what I was going to do with a stick that had a point on the end of it — I just wanted to do that. As I began to cut on the end of the tree branch I realized that green wood was hard and to get a better grip on the stick I sat down on the concrete step outside the be door of our house. Holding the stick in one hand and trimming on the end with the knife in the other the blade of the knife was not cutting through the green wood easily. So I put maximum pressure or it using all my strength and as the blade suddenly cut through the branch the momentum of the slice continued in an outward arch also going through my leg right above the knee! The resulting wound was three inches long and deep enough to cause the edges of the skin to roll up inward exposing white flesh underneath. As soon as I cut myself my mother’s words echoed in my head and I knew if I run to her and told her I’d cut myself she would take the knife and I’d also be punished for I not listening to her! Afraid of those consequences I told no one and instead endured the pain that come from the cut and managed to keep it a secret. This was not easy, the wound bled a lot and was very painful and took a long ta to heal. I now know that I should have told my parents and allowed them to take me to the doctor and stitch up my wound which would have taken 15-2O stitches. Today the scar crawls across my leg, about 3 inches long and a half inch wide, telling the story of both wounding and healing. As I think about that life experience I know I learned a very important lesson that to this day have not forgotten. Always make sure your body parts are out of the way of a cutting blade, lest they become part of the material you are cutting through! The reason I”ll always remember this lesson is because of the pain and suffering that wound caused me, emphasizing the fact that pain, suffering and heartache are our most persuasive teachers in the school of life. …

Today that scar tells a familiar story in my life of wounding and healing. Stories of going into a situation not knowing any better but learning quickly to not make that same mistake again because that hurt! And after the wounding has taken place, the pain inflicted, endured the healed I am a better person as a result of the experience.

Now that I am in my twentieth year of my marathon experience called life on Texas death row I realize more than ever that life is not easy and at times it feels like it is getting harder. Learning these difficult lessons on death row is often like climbing a sand dune. I frequently feel like I’m not making enough progress in the transformation process to become a kind, more aware and loving soul. But I must keep going never giving up taking one step at a time knowing that I will make it through whatever life throws my way. In the beginning of my experience on death row it was nearly impossible to not become upset and angry at how unfair life has been to me. But as the years go by I learn that I’m not really in control of much in life. Even if I have the perfect life in the perfect city with the perfect spouse, working at the perfect job living in the perfect house, all of that perfection can be gone in an instant. Your spouse can not come home one day, you can lose your job, your house can burn down – so much can go wrong in the blink of an eye no matter how affluent, how privileged your life has been up to that point. And it is in the moments of extreme pain and suffering that I have learned my most important lessons. If I can manage to receive with simplicity everything that happens to me and sit and experience it – burn — especially the very traumatic episodes, life will be easier because it flows through me without meeting any resistance. I am grateful for these lessons no matter how much they cause me pain, or how many scars my body carries or how many times I have to sew my little heart back together after it has been broken by someone dear to me. That’s what life is all about. And the best thing I can do is accept it on its terms and learn whatever lesson the situation has come to teach me. Because one day soon I will reach my ultimate goal — freedom and beginning Part II of my life and then the true tests will begin. Those tests will be welcome and dare I say easy to deal with because the hard part – the miracle is going from life on Texas death row to forever free!


Charles D. Flores No:999299