My story is about what happens when you have to do time in prison. I especially want to explain what doing that time means with your relationships with family and friends—and those that you think are your friends.
In prison we have a saying, “out of sight, out of mind”. You see, the first few years aren’t that bad because you will get lots of letters from family and some friends. Some of the letters are from friends who are curious about how long your sentence is or how you plan to handle your time.
Hopefully, you never have to do more than 2 or 3 years of time in prison, because, if you do, you will probably learn what I have learned about who your true friends are. During my ten years in prison, I have put fifty-four (54) people on my approved visitors list. Perhaps you would think that most of them have come to visit me along the way…
The truth is, only eight (8) people have visited me regularly. That’s not because I was bad company to visit or unfriendly—I was actually one of the nicest, and hardest-working members of my family. But, you see, it’s like we say, “out of sight, out of mind”. At first you begin to wonder, what did I do to them to make them forget me? At first, that thinking made me feel bad and upset. Eventually, I began to understand that I was really learning about who my true friends were.
In the process, I have learned about the one friend that has been there for me and for my family. He has opened my eyes and my way of thinking of others to teach me to forgive all those who have abandoned me all these years. You know Him and I know Him as Jesus, and He is my best friend for sure.
To all of my readers, I would like to pass on some very good advice. Don’t do what I did, which was to ignore Jesus before I came to prison. I didn’t give Him the time and respect that He deserved while I was running around in the streets. Give Him your time and respect now, before you make mistakes and end up like me. Don’t wait until you are sick in the hospital, in prison, or in some kind of desperate need. Make Jesus your friend now—He is the best friend that you will ever have!
I would like to say, “Thank You” to the eight (8) people who continue to care about me:
- Margarita Garcia (mother)
- Julio Bonilla (father)
- Anais Bonilla (daughter)
- Anthony A. Bonilla (son)
- Linda Bonilla (sister)
- Amaryllis Bonilla (sister)
- Alisha Bonilla (my baby niece)
- Steven Medina (my brother-in-law)
Thanks to all of them and also my best friend, my time in here is a bit better. Thanks to all of you who pray for my freedom!
You may write to Julio Bonilla at the following address:
Smart Communications/ PADOC
Julio Bonilla JW 1561
PO Box 33028
St Petersburg FL 33733