Morgan here! Noah recently talked to our cousin Kim and through their conversation, something hit home with him and he ended up asking her if she’d write him a letter for the blog. When Noah got this letter back from her, his response back to Kim was, “… If I weren’t sitting in a room with 15 other guys, I would have cried. It stirred some emotion in me, because every word you said was true. I can’t wait to come see you…”
Later emailing me, “Did you get Kim’s letter? Pulled at my heartstrings…I lost it. God Bless her.”
So grab a box of tissues and without further ado, our cousin Kim…
Hello, I feel a little introduction is important, so you understand where I fit into Noah’s life. My name is Kim, and Noah’s dad Steve was my first cousin. I live in Michigan, about 1.5 hours away from where Noah was first incarcerated in Milan, MI. Before his incarceration, I only saw Noah at an occasional family function around the holidays, so I didn’t know him well.
However, to me, family is family, and when I found out that Noah was going to be in Michigan, and I was his only family here, I felt it was my duty to visit him. I made a promise to his mom Mary and his Bergland Grandparents, who are my aunt and uncle, and also my Godparents that I would try my best to visit him once a month during his time here.
Going to a prison and visiting is a humbling experience. I did not know what to expect, but I thought people (prison employees) would be kind and helpful. WRONG! But that is a whole other chapter.
On my first visit, I was very impressed with how open Noah was with me. He was honest and accepting of his actions and consequences, but I felt he had a chip on his shoulder. As we got better acquainted, we talked a lot about hopes and dreams and plans upon release.
Initially, Noah was hoping for an early release due to overcrowding and the release for non-violent offences. During these visits, I thought to myself that if he was released early, I could see him right back where he started. There was talk of medical marijuana cards and visiting with his old buddies. When I questioned Noah about the medical marijuana card, asking him, “didn’t he feel that it would be a gateway to using again?” He was adamant that he could control his usage. That scared me. My biggest hope was that the feeling of needing to use, would go away. Before Noah left Michigan, we built a really nice relationship, and I enjoyed my monthly visits to Milan. Unfortunately, I really didn’t feel he was ready to face the real world yet, and hoped that his recovery could continue at Yankton.
Noah has been doing these blogs now for about a year. The Noah that is writing now versus the Noah that left Milan a few years back is two totally different people. I have enjoyed reading Noah’s blogs and seeing what a wonderful transformation has taken place. He is confident, determined to make a great life for himself and Melrose, realized that his MOM is his best friend and biggest supporter, grateful for the opportunity to start a job with Morgan and Jamie upon his release, knows that his siblings will not tolerate any re-occurrence of using or illegal activity, and will sever their relationships with him immediately if he does, no more second chances! He now understands the value of friends and family and the unwavering support that he has been given, not only from family, but from our awesome hometown of Roseau, how the people he wronged have forgiven him, and the importance of forgiving himself.
Hopefully, Noah only has one more year at Yankton. I am optimistic that he will only become stronger in his faith, and continue his growth and strength. I know I am not alone in wanting him to succeed and have a happy, successful, and clean life.
Keep it up Noah! I am happy we were able to build this relationship, I wish it was under different circumstances, but then it wouldn’t have been the same relationship that we have today. I love you and can’t wait for you to come visit Michigan again, this time in Sterling Heights!