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A Man's Redemption

Issue 3: May 15, 2017

Rolando Terry learned a life altering lesson about the wages of death, poverty, fast money, cars, and ultimately…..True Freedom. Let’s take a look into a man’s journey and understanding of what makes a man a man.

My childhood was good. My mother and father stayed in the house along with my uncle and 3 sisters. My uncle was a mechanic and my father worked for the city. My mother worked in retail. I was a good student in school, ran track, played basketball and was very popular. I was never the “follower” type, very laid back and fun. My life took a turn when I lost the male role models/figures in my life all at once.

On August 1, 1991, I watched my uncle get gunned down – right in front of me. Around the same time, I lost my father to the streets (he got hooked on crack). I never thought about selling drugs or being in the streets even up to that point. I worked up until a point where I begged for more hours to help support my family (I was 16 at the time). Long story short, I turned to a life of drugs and hustling but never fully wanted to be in that lifestyle, so I was always planning or looking for an exit. If I wouldn’t have lost the male figures in my life, especially my uncle, I would have never sold drugs.

I ended up with an indictment and was sentenced to 147 months/12 years in Federal prison.

What I missed most while incarcerated was watching my kids grow. I missed creating memories that would last a lifetime. I missed my family and I missed my freedom. I missed being there when they needed me the most. One of the hardest things I had to deal with is hearing that my sister was dead. That was in 2006.

When I came home, I focused on the things that meant the most to me. My kids, family, and myself. I made sure that I had multiple plans. I made sure that I had put my pride aside and that I was humble.

I learned that I really hated the life that I had lived. When I reflected on certain things it made me sick to my stomach. A man had told me that when you are truly done with something that is not good for you, that it will make you sick when you mention or hear about it. I learned that I had so many talents and that I had been selfish. I learned that GOD had a big plan and purpose for me, I just had to prepare myself for it. I lived a life that moved at a fast pace and being incarcerated slowed me down and gave me a reality check. I overhauled myself MIND, BODY, and SOUL.

If I could go back in time and give the young me advice, what would I say? NOTHING! I am happy with the person I am today. No, it wasn’t easy but nothing in life is easy. My struggles are the blueprint for the ones who come after me to use so they don’t have to go through what I did. If I was to change one thing, I might not be sitting here telling this story. God only gives us as much as he thinks we can handle. Well God must feel like I can handle the weight of the world! That’s fine by me cause HE is leading me to victory. I have no regrets, I just wish I would have learned what I know now – quicker. God is not done so therefore I won’t mess with HIS plan.

I kept my hustling mentality but in a positive legal way. I knew what I needed to do for the sake of me and my family. I have maintained full-time employment with a decent salary and I am always striving for promotions. I'm not the best father, but I'm not the worst. I'm not where I want to be, but I'm not where I use to be. In just a little over 5 years I've accomplished more than others that didn't have the set- backs I've had. Want to know why? Because I stayed humble, never lost faith, prepared for everything and Thank God for everything. My whole life has been a fight and with God being my trainer I haven't lost yet. There's 3 things I've learned to overcome. My Pride, Haters, and The Devil. If you think I'm done and can't make it even further, then you really never knew me. I'm a SAGITTARIUS that means I'm stubborn. I'll show you what I can do when you say I can't. I'm not doing this cause I want to I'm doing this cause I have to. There's a difference between when I was 20 and now at 40. You Live, You Learn, You Grow!

Mark 8:36

For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? (KJV)

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