Still another five months to go now meant one more time going around cutting the entire Goulburn jail population. Every lice infested head meant getting closer to my Kelly, brother and sisters and mum and dad. Those last few months were spent on ‘the farm’ as ‘trusted’ planting thousands of pine trees near Young. The freedom to see greenery and flight of birds became a warm-up for a return to my home of Muswellbrook and its wooden bridge.
‘Brother is getting worse,’ mum wrote. ‘He can’t ride the quad-bike but is as cheerful as a button, never complains, always tells us he loves us.’ Dad now has to bath and toilet him, sleeps with him, and turns him over when needed, massage him to keep him as good as possible. ‘He asks after you, Frankie’. ‘You better come here soon son!’
I had vowed, the first thing I would do, when at home again, to swear on the bible I would never do crime again, take up being a barber instead, marry Kelly, have a family just like ours.
I caught the train back to Muswellbrook with my belongings, including bible and well fingered book of psalms inside my small suitcase that I carried when entering Long Bay a very long eighteen months ago.
Hi mum, dad, dear brother and sisters. I never lost or did not love you all, ever. Forgive me, please. Brother died two days later in bed next to dad…His big heart failed him.
I am 59 now, with my Kelly and children of my own. I am good with words but never learnt spelling….Because.