Journal Entry: Jeffery John Okeefe-08/27/2023

Journal Entry

The weekend has been a decent one. Though really hot outside I’ve been spending most of the day in the recreation yard. We have set times we can go and often they will cancel rec at a moments notice, so I take advantage of it the best I can. The early mourning hours are the best, usually a lot cooler and a soft summer breeze makes it a great time to just be still and take in the calmness and tranquility of the moment. Aside from the dozen or two routine workout inmates, there usually isn’t a large number of inmates out so the noise levels are almost non existent, leaving me the opportunity to sit in the stillness to pray and meditate.

Sundays are good days too. I usually attend two church services, one a Christian service and the second a Catholic service. Both these services remind me that no matter how alone I may be feeling, I’m really not alone. God is always with me and can be called upon at anytime.

I’ve been trying to keep as busy as I can to help time pass. Still not as disciplined as I’d like to be, but I’m working on it. The Santos assignments, if done correctly can help your time pass quicker, but more importantly in a productive way. I promised to write about a parable or story my father once shared with me. Its about whether or not anyone person can make a difference in someone’s life.

My father was a “good” man, and if it weren’t for his raging alcoholism could have been a “great” man. The same goes for me. The difference, however, is that my father is deceased and I am still alive. I still have the chance to go from “good” to “great” but only if I eradicate ALL drugs and alcohol from my life. I am working hard to do that. My father taught me a lot of things. He loved the outdoors, he taught me how to hunt, how to camp, how to fish, how to play basketball and golf, we’d sit outside on the porch in the evenings and he would teach me how to play chess. I loved my father very much.

My dad owned a boat and he would take me fishing all the time on Lake Erie (where you actually catch fish…lol). One day while fishing he told me this story. “There is a man and a boy strolling down a long winding beach one night, though it is nighttime, there is a full moon and thousands of stars that light up the beach as though it was like daylight. As they walked around a small inlet on the beach they could see small twinklets of something on the beach, as they got closer and closer there were thousands upon thousands of these trinkets that had washed up onto the shore. Finally once upon these trinkets the man and son realized that thousands and thousands of “starfish” had washed up onto the shore. The man simply bent over picked up one of the start fish and through back into the sea, then picked up another and another and through them into the sea. The boy looked at his father and said, what are you doing, surely you won’t be able to save all these starfish there are too many. What difference will it really make? The man listened, then slowly and deliberately picked up another starfish, briefly held it in his hand, and then through it out into the sea as far as he could. Then looked at the boy and said “What difference does it make, well it made a difference for that starfish”

Michael Santos has made that difference for me!