He is astonishing.. Roger McGowen is an innocent Black American who has spent 20 years on Texas Death Row in Polunsky Unit in Livingston Texas. An internation support group and amongst them our dear friend Pierre Pradervand made that his story full of hope and love arose from the dark cells into the daylight of the spirit. Please find herewith a letter he just wrote to Michel Montaud and his Friends. It’s a letter of pure inspiration and the living proof that if you cope with your destiny, as hard as it can be, and take it as your path, you can create miracles all around you. And you are never alone.
By Roger McGowen 01059648
Wynne Unit – 810 FM 2821
Huntsville, TX 77320
To: Michel Montaud
November 1, 2018
Dear Michel and Friends,
It is a great honor for me to be able to share this moment with you. I can never thank you enough for the love and support that you have provided to me and to the many guys who are here with me who also benefit from your kindness.
People sometimes in their greetings to me, ask me, “How are you today Roger?” And I tell them I am blessed that God saw fit to allow me to make right today what I failed to get right yesterday – by opening my eyes. And now, the rest is up to me. Yes, the rest is up to me and to all of us who are able to attempt to right the wrongs of yesterday.
I can actually say that I believe that I am where I am supposed to be for the moment. I was talking to my attorney, Tony, yesterday and he said to me, “I wish I could give back some of what has been taken from you all of these years.” And he was so sincere that he touched me deeply. And when I gave him my answer he said, “That is why I love you so much, and that is why I will always fight for you!“
I told him yes, I have lost so much over the years: I have lost the chance at a family, a home, and, I lost my freedom. But what I’m doing now feels so important, that I think would have gladly walked away from my life on the outside, if I knew what opportunity to make a difference was ahead of me. I have gained so much. I have been touched by Love. And once you’re touched by love nothing can ever compare! I’ve gained a new perspective on life because I never expected anything from life as a young man. I never waited on anyone to do anything for me. I never asked for help because I was taught that it was considered weak to ask for help.
But my grandmother who was heaven sent thank God, told me, “Boy, if you keep your heart closed to the world the world will keep it’s heart closed to you.” Only a simple person would drown when there are a hundred hands reaching to pull him to safety, because he is too selfish to take a hand.
Thank you for the hand that you have offered to all of us here. My grandmother also told me, “Stop worrying about what you could have done, and instead just do what you can now!“ And that, is what we are doing here – reaching out and helping those who have forgotten what it feels like to be loved – to be seen as a human being and not an animal. We can’t help everyone – although we try. And, your help makes that possible!
We have helped inmates reconnect with their families. We have helped guys buy clothing items, personal hygiene products as well as boots, coffee pots, radios, fans etc.. We provide a monthly Spread of special food items in the Day Room shared freely with all inmates. We have made it possible for guys to go to the commissary who have never been to commissary since being in prison. I have had big tough men who others were afraid of break down and cry and hug me because of the help we were able to provide for them – and that was unheard of before. Gang members who were once rivals sit and eat at the same table together, and that was something unheard of before I came here – with your support behind me.
I could go on and on, but there is no need. We are fighting hate on the front lines. And, many of the guys who we are helping will one day re-enter society and we want them to take the love that they found here with them instead of the hate that came with them. We want them to spread the love that they now know instead of the hate they once knew.
So, I think I am where I am meant to be for the moment. When God thinks this task he has set for me is complete, perhaps there is nothing that will hold me in prison any longer. But until that time comes, I will continue to spread love as far and as wide as I can. And I thank you all for making it possible! You are the unsung heroes! I am, and all of us are putting forth the effort to make life better here. Our efforts are being written on the hearts of everyone who we have shown that love is the greatest power there is, and we are making a difference and that is what counts!
Again, I thank you. There is so much more to say but I want to keep it simple. Love is not complicated, and I do not wish to make it so. I simply say thank you for the love. You are family now. We are related in love and bound by efforts to fight hate. We change minds by changing hearts and we change hearts by changing minds. And we can change the world one heart and one mind at a time.
-Thank you, Love Roger