Ask Grandpa: Two paths taken coming out of prison

Ask Grandpa
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I have been out of prison for a month. I am homeless. A friend I had met in prison got out three years ago. We continued writing until I got out. I told him that I needed money to live on. He lives (out of state) and has money. He even bought a house. He told me that the only way he would send money is by sending me a ticket to come to where he lives. He would give me a job where he works and I could live with him until I get a place of my own. Grandpa, I was in prison for more than 20 years and spent every day of it under the thumb of someone else. I want the right to exercise my freedom. I don’t want to have to live by a time clock or under someone else’s roof and rules. He should understand this situation. He was in prison nearly 20 years. How could a person change so much? He used to be a really nice guy with a level head on his shoulders. Now money has changed him. Either live by his rules or you don’t get anything from him.

Grandpa says: I only printed about a third of your letter. Are you serious? You asked a man to just send you money? You say that you have a right to live as you choose. So does he! Two men in the same prison for the same length of time and look at the difference in attitudes. One got a job and bought a home. The other got a bottle and demands respect be shown in the form of a hand out. Grandpa is all about giving a person a second chance. You were offered a second chance and you ignored it. Your former friend did you a major favor by writing you for the years you were still inside. He owes you no more. It is individuals like you who give a bad reputation to those who legitimately, need help. Quit your whining and begging. Follow your friends lead and get a job. With the unemployment rate running as low as it is and employers begging for good help, you have no excuse for turning down a job and home offered. Call your friend. Humble yourself. Accept the offer if it is still valid. Grow up and be a man. There is no shame in contributing to society.

I live in a rest home. It gets very lonely here. Sometimes I hear my late husband’s voice. I am tired of living on pain-killers. I am ready to go on to my reward. I have lived long enough. I envy my husband. He has moved on and out of the pain of old age.

Grandpa says: I can give you no advice and you asked for none. Our generation is at the same place all of our ancestors had reached. There is a reason God allows us all to live different life spans. I will not ask questions of the Lord. Just like you, I accept what God offers.

Got something stuck in your craw? Ask Grandpa. Address your letters to Ask Grandpa c/o The Voice, 314 N. Lake Street, Suite 2, Aurora, IL 60506 or send an E-mail to

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