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Dignity for my family

I've been blessed by my family to have plenty to eat out of my locker box, which is a good thing, especially for a man incarcerated. I am a man with multiple choices of items to eat and not starve—being able to buy items from the commissary such as tuna, gumbo, sausages, chili- packs, red-beans and rice, chicken alfredo, mackerels and sardines—which all have a high price on them. So here I go again with a choice of fixing gumbo, making chicken wraps, sausage, red beans and rice, or maybe even a pizza to curb my appetite. Well, perhaps I’ll just eat some junk food to snack on for right now and nothing too heavy. Actually, that's just being selfish because I get three meals a day. As a MDOC convict they have to provide me with something to eat, even if roughly seventy-five percent of the time it’s something I don't want to eat. Therefore, as a man, somewhere, or sometimes a person has to have dignity for his family. Stop thinking about himself and have self-respect for his family and self-esteem for himself. 

One day, after receiving commissary, I had a very sorrowful feeling. I should have been feeling joyful, especially with a $150 bag full of all the goodies: chips, M&Ms, Honey Buns, Stage Planks, and candy bars. All at once it hit me like a train: my family has been spending money on me for the last fourteen years. What a disappointment I am to my family, a pitiful excuse for a man. I don't ask for anything, but they still bless me every other week.

Well it's time for that to stop. As a man I am supposed to be taking care of my family, but being incarcerated it's the other way around. My daughter Juantaya has just had a baby, and she needs help physically; Mom needs help financially, and my entire family needs help spiritually. Yet my entire family has been supporting me financially. To me it seems like I'm a monthly bill. So, I've decided to take that monthly bill that's being spent on me and use it in a way to help support my family, especially Mama. 

I'm tired of taking food out of my family’s mouth, accepting money that should pay a utility bill, money that should pay childcare, money to put gas in their vehicle. So what can I do to give the groceries back, pay a utility bill, and offer childcare for my grandchild?   Can I save and give back what my family has given me starting yesterday? Even though I'm incarcerated there has to be some concerned consideration for dignity and how I can show love to my family. 

Mack Watts Jr. was born May 26, 1963 in Tchula, Mississippi to parents Mack Watts Sr. and Corenia Watts. His daddy passed on April 15, 2008 from a heart attack. His mom still going strong. He has three brothers, one died from polio in 2000, and three sisters who are all in good health. He was raised by godly parents. His father was a farmer and sole provider for his family and his mom was the caretaker of the home. During his teenage years, his parents really let him do anything he wanted to, as long as he did it without getting in trouble. He always had a job making his own money, and he started working with his dad on the farm all the way through high school. 

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