Saturday will be the two-year anniversary of the execution by the state of Texas of my friend, Rogelio Reyes Cannady. I’d like to share something he wrote while on death row:
“IF I COULD choose which life would be mine at this moment, I’m sure it would not be the one I have now. Or would it? How easy it is to conjure up a satisfying dream with the best house, car and lots of money, although hope, love and happiness – to live – is what I want, in truth.
“I find myself incarcerated, under a sentence of death. The reality of existence here is hard indeed. Emotionally, if you open up, the environment is unforgiving. It gets crazy in here, if you can imagine it. Along with downcast eyes and desperation, there is, however, laughter and joy. How else does one explain hope in this synthetic world, than by laughter in the face of possible defeat?
“When you live with death so close, you begin to understand and appreciate life all the more. I accept the feeling that whatever happens in life, whether it’s pain or pleasure, there must be a purpose – that my soul must experience loss in order to better rejoice in the joy of understanding, the gift of life and happiness.
“When walking the paths of life, regardless of where you walk, you find friends and common souls to share the days. You know then that you are in the right moment. The right life.
“Although my situation and future do not look so promising now, today I live a beautiful reality where again I look to understand the meaning of hope, love and happiness of love.
“I may walk through the valley of the shadow of death, but need only remind myself to reach and feel the warmth of those who hope and love with me. Truly, the Lord has not allowed me to walk alone. I feel the love that God has placed on me and I choose to enjoy this divine love and human experience. I choose to understand life for all it’s worth.”
I miss you, friend, and I’m still trying to understand life.