Archive for January, 2011

Kerri’s Idea

January 20, 2011

Credit Kerri – or blame Kerri. I’m not sure which to do just yet.

 

I woke up calmly after another dream about being in jail. Sometimes, when I wake up, it is not calm. I do think it is ironic, sometimes in jail I would dream of being free, and would wake up very disappointed. And now, in freedom, I sometimes dream of being in jail. And it is not disappointment that I am free that wakes me up, rather disappointment that it still occupies my subconscious brain.

 

Kerri simply said “write about it, and see what happens.” I can’t imagine why someone would want to read about what happened in jail. Maybe getting it out will get it out. Please get out of my brain. There must be something better….

 

So here it goes…

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George Is Gone

January 18, 2011

I did not notice until Jonny the Jew asked me if I had heard from George. I looked at my phone, which I’ve had for five months, and George is not in the phone. Then it hit me, George is gone.

George was my boss. As chaplain in Middleton, he was in charge of the Protestant services and I was in charge of the music. George was much more than a boss, he provided spiritual direction. He also provided food. There’s an old saying in the zoo, “Don’t feed the animals.” At least in the zoo, I think the keepers feed the animals, and certainly the food is better than the grade F meat in Middleton. George went against the rules, but some rules need to be broken.

 

I continued to see George for a while after I got out. He tried having a monthly bible study for a while. Then he finally got fired from Middleton, apparently he went against one too many rules. But he got a job right away preaching in Nursing homes, and once again I was able to provide music for him. I did that for three months until I left Massachusetts for good. Then George gave me a memorable gift, my first guitar.

 

I talked to George several times from Virginia, and tried to get him to come down to officiate the wedding. It didn’t work out. Now, as Kerri and I approach our first anniversary, I’m realizing that George is not in my life. Kerri says it works that way sometimes. I’m reminded about a priest, Fr. Kevin, that I met at Christmas in 1991. He helped when we found out the Sarah had Spina Bifida in February 1992. He visited her in the hospital after she was born in August. As her first birthday approached, we wanted Kevin to baptize Sarah, and that’s when I realized Kevin was gone, never to be heard from again.

 

God works that way sometimes. He sends his angels to help us through the toughest times in life. Sometimes we never get to say good-bye or really than them for all that they did. Sometimes they just fade away.

 

Good-bye George. Thanks for everything.

The Free Jailbirds

January 16, 2011

Chaplain Christenson,

This morning at the Good News prison ministry breakfast, several people spoke about what they do as part of the ministry. Later, the idea was suggested to send some of the comments to you in an e-mail. I have put some friends on copy that are active in prison ministry in Massachusetts.
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My name is Christopher Corazon and I teach piano in Virginia Beach and other towns, I also drive for the American Red Cross. My wife Kerri and I attend Holy Spirit Catholic Church. I am in the music ministry and visit the sick, Kerri teaches religious education. We are both in the band “The Free Jailbirds” (although I might point out Kerri has never been in jail)
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It was wonderful to be at the breakfast this morning, and hearing the stories of those involved in the prison ministry. It meant so much knowing how much their volunteer work can change lives. I know this even though I did not experience their work in Virginia Beach, but from what I know from what I experienced in Mass.
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I was incarcerated in Essex County Jail in Middleton, MA from January, 2007 until November, 2008. Looking back at that time, I think about Joseph in the book of Genesis. When Joseph was in prison, he was given an important trusted role in the prison. I know that when I did my time, I had the best job in the jail. After only 2 months I was placed in charge of music in the chapel. I was still “pre-trial”, and it was uncommon for pre-trial inmates to have a job, but I was given it because of my musical ability. I worked for the Catholic chaplain and the Protestant chaplain (in Essex, there were two separate offices, while in Virginia Beach there is one office working together). I am Catholic, but it was an additional blessing to be able to serve in all of the services in the chapel. The chapel became my home and my refuge.
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We had a bit of a “rock sound” and one of the volunteers gave us the name “The Jailbirds”. When Jerome joined our group, we switched to more of a blues sound. After we got out of jail, we decided to change the name, as there already was a band called “The Jailbirds.” It wasn’t the most creative, but we just changed it to “The Free Jailbirds”. Once I was asked if we would change it, that perhaps keeping the name “Jailbirds” was too negative. But I like it, we are Jailbirds, and Jesus makes us free.
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Two Bible verses: One was given to me from a volunteer in Middleton. Joel 2:25 “God will restore the years the locust has eaten”. When she said that to me, I was at a point in my life where it seemed like I had lost everything. Now I have been out for 26 months and I continue to see how God continues to fulfill that promise. (and in the most recent news, Kerri and I will welcome our son in June)
The second verse could be the creed of everyone in prison ministry, Matthew 25:36 “I was in prison, and you came to me” (and as another note, our son’s middle name will be Mateo)
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The Free Jailbirds music is available at myspace.com/thefreejailbirds, or if anyone wants a CD send a request to me at pianochriso@hotmail.com

The Fighter

January 16, 2011

Quick note on last week’s date night, loved it. Loved seeing Boston. Would never live there again, still I like to see it. Also I realized how much I always liked boxing.

The movie had me searching on google to compare what was on the money, and where Hollywood went Hollywood. Boston accents were acceptable….