Kenya Gore and Rowena Gore-Simmons
KG: What was your first night like in prison?
RGS: I was shackled, hands and feet. I was disappointed in myself and I was scared for you guys. What was the hardest part about me being gone?
RGS: What did you tell people where I was at?
KG: I didn’t tell them nothing, but people kept saying, ‘Where’s your mother?’.
RGS: Did that make you feel like an outsider?
KG: Yes. What did you think about while you were there?
RGS: Well, it made me really think about life and I asked myself, ‘Who are you and who do you want to be?’ I wanted to be a better mother and learn more about being a mom. I wanted to hold you. I wanted to count your fingers. I wanted to brush your hair. I wanted to be with you.
KG: What’s the best part being out of prison?
RGS: Oh my god (laughs). That I have my family. This is what I’m living for– to be able to be a family.
KG: Are you different now?
RGS: You know, I sometimes look back at the past and I say to myself, ‘Who was that person?’ And I thank you for being patient with me and I thank you for still loving me. And for giving me the opportunity to be your mother. What do you hope for the future?
KG: That we never get split apart again. And we stay together forever.
RGS: You’re so special to me. And I will always be by your side.
KG: I love you.
RGS: I love you too.