Miguel Delgado (MD) and Jack Russell (JR)
JR: When I left my mother’s house, I was 7. And I lived with a, I call her grandma, but she was a foster mother. She taught me how to become the guy that I am today… and I appreciate her for that. But me and Grandma started clashing. As I got older, I felt like, you know I was never really part of her family.
I was hurting, so I acted out. I had this like, a rage, a roar in my heart that needed to be heard. I was in the streets, I was gang banging. After a while, I left my grandmother’s house when I was 16. I just wanted to get away. They moved me to a group home and they had to make me sleep on the couch. And, one day, one of the staffs, he just wakes me up. And I told him I would like to go back to sleep. And he said listen, we cannot have no kids sleeping all day. I actually pulled out a box cutter, and I swung at him one time, I almost nipped him.
MD: Thank God you didn’t.
JR: Thank God I didn’t. But, he called police and the whole Westchester police force came, locked me up. And it was my first time, I did a little 90 days. <BEAT>
I’ll never forget, my Grandma sent me a 50 dollar money order. And she wrote me. And she said, you know, my hands don’t work like they used to work. I’m old. But I just want to make sure that you ok. You don’t write me, I don’t know if you hate me or are mad at me, but I want to let you know that I’m still Grandma. And that I love you.
I was more fascinated with the letter than the money. Because it takes time for somebody to sit there and think and write what they feel on paper. And that made me feel like, you know what? She thought about me, she reached out to me, and that’s more than enough to change.
When I was incarcerated I cried many nights. but in jail I learnt when you don’t want to be somewhere, you embrace that, so you don’t go back there.
I have to step out of my comfort zone. Because where i’m comfortable at, i should not be comfortable at. I got to take that risk and open that door and see what’s behind it. And I did that.