Let It Be

Rara is free. And I have it on good authority she is sneaking around the blogosphere to see what everyone has been up to. Check out the last of her series over at Stories and feel free to leave links for “all the things” she has missed in the last year.

Stories that Must Not Die

This is post 6 of 6, and concludes the series of poems and prose that Rara sent to be shared with the Stories community. 

In a bit of good news, she was released early on July 18th.  

Still, if you can, and you haven’t already, please donate to the Rara Relief fund.  Every little bit will help her get back on her feet.

He wouldn’t be caught dead
In brick-ugly maroon, he declared

And I asked – –
Would it make the stars fade?

YES.  He said,
With a certainty most reserve for big truths.

(But then – he never believed in measuring truths.  Or dreams.  Or possibilities.  Or the cosmos.)

He wouldn’t have been caught dead
in a brick-ugly maroon box – –

but then he was,
and in appreciation of the way he let them be

– – limitless – –

the stars let him be right…

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Rara Issued Missions

Gather round, gather round, and ready your writing pens and paper. We’ve been tasked with sending letters of gratitude to the inmates and staff who have been watching out for Rara since she found out her husband passed. So, pick one, two, three, or all of them and send some thank you notes.


The inmates.
Here are their specific addresses and why, in her own words, Rara is grateful for them:

Stephanie Applin WE9817
16756 Chino-Corona Road
Corona, CA 92880

Steph has been the leader of Ra-care. She keeps me laughing all day long. We work together and she is always dancing and giving hugs. She says “I got hugs for days” and makes hysterical faces. I would not be eating if it wasn’t for her.

Veronica Padilla WE8335
16756 Chino-Corona Road
Corona, CA 92880

Vero has 3 more years to do and she is married to a David Martinez, too. Despite her life angst, she’s been a rock to me. She believes in auras and all my crazy stuff so I have a spiritually kindred soul on hand at all times. At my lowest point she refused to leave my room until my energy changed. She saved me from me.

Michelle Burke WE9447
CIW BA 1018 UP
16756 Chino-Corona Road
Corona, CA 92880

Michelle has a stretch of time to do and has already been down for many years buts but is always kind. She walked all the way across the yard because she heard me laugh “wrong,” and then sat and sobbed with me when I told her what happened. She took away the bulk of the fault I was feeling.

Falisha Garlow WF0398
16756 Chino-Corona Road
Corona, CA 92880

Falisha – my Fifi – is a County friend, so she’s been feet away from me all year it seems. I went to work just to tell her, because she has power prayers and I felt protected. She is God-graced and I can’t look at her without feeling… loved.

Susan Bustamante W27953
16756 Chino-Corona Road
Corona, CA 92880

Susan is an LWOP – a lifer without possibility of parole and has been down 27 years. At work, she is my safe haven. Where I go when being a part of reality is too much. She is at peace always, and I help myself to her serenity all the time.


The Firehouse.
Again, here is the address and the information on her bosses. All three can go to the same address in the same envelope:

C/O Firehouse 531
Attention: Chief Joel Johnson
16756 Chino-Corona Road
Corona, CA 92880

My bosses have been amazing.

The Chief was already one of my favorite parts of the job (second only to the engine.) He told me to ask for anything I need and meant it – the man is so sincere and dignified in all things that I wish I could carry him around in my pocket.

Captain Clough sat down and talked with me – about the good times. He is gentle and patient and positive. I feel healed just being around him.

Captain Dakin is older, and funny – and has encouraged me to make use of the grief services here. He tells the girls to take care of me and just – well – cares.


The staff.
For these thankyous, unfortunately, they all have to get routed through the Warden. So, here is her address and the verbiage that Radha came up with to make sure everyone on her list of awesome gets recognized for taking care of her:

Attention: Kimberley Hughes, Warden
16756 Chino-Corona Road
Corona, CA 92880

“Our gratitude goes out to your institution and staff for their care of our Ra (Radhika Jaini WF0124) in her time of loss. Specifically, we’d like to thank:

Ms. Landeros (CC1): she ran all over the prison making Radha’s attendance at the funeral possible.
C/O Blige: she told Radha Dave passed in an unbelievably kind way.
Sgt. Hinostrosa: wrote Radha passes to mental health and called out so she could figure out what happened to her husband.
Chief Joel Johnson and the Firehouse Captains: have all been incredible.
C/O Franco: babysat Radha, basically and dealt with the moodiest of her moods for the first week.
C/O Mangandhi: checked on Radha hourly, until he was comfy with her stage of grief.
The Compassionate Companies Program: brought Radha a sympathy card and provided her a list of rooms she could visit should she need support.
C/O Uribe, C/O Darrow, C/O Miranda, C/O Curry, C/O Roberts, C/O Ham, Sgt. Stricklen, C/O Ayala, and Mr. Rodriguez (Education Room 6): have all gone the distance, have gone way beyond expectation or need.”

A Request

Click on through to see a simple request that could make a huge difference for Rara.

Stories that Must Not Die

In a recent letter I received from our favorite Jail-Dino, Rara, she requested any and all glimpses of our worlds that we were willing to share, including: “traffic, skies, coffee cups, buildings, kids, art, snowcones, everything.  I want to see the world!”

And!  To make that super easy, there is a wonderful app called freeBird Cards (available through the Google Play store, and probably through iTunes but I haven’t confirmed that – if someone could and leave that information in the comments below that would be greatly appreciated).

Some of you may have already heard about this app, because Grayson posted about it over on Rarasuar a few days ago.  If you haven’t checked it out, it really is as easy as he made it sound.  I installed the app on my phone, selected a picture, input the correct addresses and a personal message, picked which advertisement I wanted to…

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Rara has moved again

Her new address:

Radhika Jaini, WF0124
PO Box 8100
Corona, CA  93610-8100

She should be in this new location for at least a couple months.  And, yes, any letters you just sent off to the previous location will be forwarded to her.  It may take a week or so, but she’ll get them all eventually.

Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow, everyone in the US.  Happy random Thursday in November, everyone else.  If you’ve been following along with my new “sorceress” story you’ll be happy to know that I’ve written enough so there is a post scheduled for every week now through the end of the year.  Thanks for the feedback.  Thanks for reading.