Life-Writing with Lifers: Week 7
This is the seventh and final installment in a weekly series by Dianna Marder about her volunteer work with prisoners serving life sentences in a local prison. The series will return in July. Read it all here.
Yesterday was the last formal session of my Memoir Writing series with the lifers. But now that they’re hooked on the idea and I’m hooked on working with them, we agreed to meet again in July and early August for another four sessions. At that point, I hope, each participant will be able to re-write and polish a favorite piece that can be posted online.
For the last session, I asked them to write about a time when they were sick and needed care – and whether or not they got what they needed. Their stories were, of course, contrary to any you’d get on the outside.
I was pretty much the only person in the group who had never been stabbed or shot, and those that had been debated which Philadelphia-area hospital treats gunshot and stabbing victims the worst. The competition for that designation is tough.
The lifers offer these words of wisdom:
- Stay out of a particular hospital known as is The Fray.
- Make sure your friends take off quickly after dropping you at an emergency room, so they don’t get questioned about what happened.
- You will probably end up getting arrested anyway after the incident, so don’t focus on that. Just concentrate on surviving and recovering.
And finally, here’s a riddle from one young inmate: What’s worse than being born blind? Having sight without vision.
That’s it from me until mid-summer.