I’m joining in with this fun writing exercise hosted by Lisa-Jo Baker. If you’d like to join in, simply write for 5 minutes and stop. You’ll find how to link to Lisa-Jo by clicking the button above. (Linking up with imperfect prose over at emily’s place too. if you don’t know em, please go get to know her. she’s a special gift.)

This week’s prompt: AFTER


It was an early September Saturday morning when my world was rocked to its core. My brother was on the run, he had just killed his best friend, how could this be? Was this even so? They had to be lying, they must have had the wrong person. I couldn’t wrap my heart around this new found reality I’d just been thrust into.

They located him hours later, passed out in his backseat, in a coma-like state. Flash forward 2 years, we were seated in a small and crowded court room, listening to experts wage war against murder one, with a defense of mental illness. You see, he’d been in treatment for paranoid Schizophrenia for many years, a solid defense, but one that failed on October 26th, 2007. My birthday. On my birthday, I sat in the quiet courtroom, listening as the judge sealed my brothers fate.

Guilty of all charges.

Life in prison.

No parole.

And with that, my brother was ripped from my arms, carried off into the belly of county jail.

Never to come home again.

After that day, life’s been a bit of a blur. Holidays have come and gone, tears drenching worn faces, pain palpable. Days melt into months, months into years, and before you know it it’s been 8 years since that terrible Saturday morning in September. We have two very distinct lives: before the crime and after the crime. Before the crime, he was locked inside the prison of mental illness but he was still with us, his loving family. After the crime, he’s now locked up inside more than just a prison of his mind, many hours away from us, might as well be a world away, living with the worst of the wicked.

Grace and hope have lifted us, keeping us, directing us down a violent river – somehow we’ve held on. Somehow we’ve been making it through, finding the joy in everyday moments, treasuring what we have, embracing the good that grows like tulips in spring. That “somehow”  I speak of hung from a blood stained wooden Cross, broken and bloody – for my brother – blood covering blood, holy for human, wiping out sin, making white like snow. in everything, it’s all grace.


Five Minute Friday

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