“As I held my daughter for the first time, I felt something inside me change completely. Suddenly, I had a reason to live.”
It was a warm day in October 2002 when I stood in the hospital holding my newborn daughter for the first time. It was the most amazing feeling. But the moment was cut short. The feds came to the hospital to arrest me. I had sold cocaine and they charged me with drug conspiracy. Growing up, I didn't dream of becoming a drug dealer. My mom worked at a factory. My dad didn’t live with us. Times were hard. I wanted more than just milk, butter, and cheese for my family to eat. I was tired of spending nights with just candles burning for light or using the stove as a heater. As a young boy, chasing fast money made sense to me. Today, as a man, I understand chasing fast money was not the answer. But it feels too late.
That day in the hospital in 2002, I remember handing my daughter back to the nurses when officers put me in handcuffs. I haven’t held her as a free man ever since.