Amazing Grace

 

Death Blog

Texas United States of America

March 5th, 2011 5:37pm

Welcome to my nightmare… tales from a dead man

“The salvation of man is through love and in love”

Good evening to all and to all a good evening. Today has been one of the best days I’ve yet to have on Texas Death Row and I’m still walking onto clouds due to the events that have unfolded before me and I will try my best to put it all in these lines as they happened today. But first let me say a few other things and then I will launch off into what I am wanting to share with all the dedicated viewers of this Death Blog, which by the way let me thank each and every one of you for the supportive words and compassionate heartfelt energy I get from all of you out there in the land of the living.

Today I’ve been on death watch just over a week, and the initial shock of it all has worn off and I’m now able to get back to my trademark good humor and regain a sense of direction. There’s only three others here with me that are sharing the same fate as me so you can just imagine how peaceful and quiet this section is, and for me that is the best part about it, it enables me to spend time inside my own head without all the chaos and craziness of a regular section filled with foolish souls and disrespect.

The whole atmosphere of death watch is new to me, I’ve seen more kindness from the guards, more smiles, more compassionate looks that speak a million and two words then I ever have. That alone gives me that spark on the inside and I say this because it’s exactly how it is happening to me and I must put it out there because the world does view all the ones who live here, and even the ones who work here as heartless monsters… well it’s not like that at all, sure there’s still the hate filled souls in the white condemned clothing, just as there is a great number of grey clad prison guards, but that goes to show you from all of this we may learn that there are two races of men in the world, but only these two, the race of the decent man and the “race” of the indecent man. Both are found everywhere; they penetrate into all groups of society. Prison society included!

Now as for the events of the day, we were blessed with several very inspirational people today on this section of death. Earlier in the day a group of people drifted in and a few of the Texas officials and every one I saw was just as kind as if I were in the free world attending a local gathering. Then the most beautiful thing happened that brought tears to my eyes as well as the other condemned souls I’m around, and I’ll take that moment to my grave.

As you may well expect, we are deprived of a lot of things that most would take for granted, such as the beauty of a voice and a guitar… yes folks, this lady came in with this group of people with her gee-tar in hand and I instantly knew something great was about to happen. Being surrounded by nothing but concrete you can just imagine how the acoustics of this place are… sounds bounce off these walls like a small rubber ball would. So this lady who has now stood upon the stairs tells us she’d like to play and sing us a song and she hopes we don’t mind. HAHA! Man if she only knew I was feeling like a small kid about to see Mickey Mouse for the first time she’d be all smiles. So she started playing that there gee-tar and singing “Amazing Grace” with one of the most beautiful voices I’ve ever heard and instantly the tears started to flow down my face and I didn’t give a damn who saw them. This couldn’t really be happening, not here, not now and SURELY NOT on Texas Death Row. But oh it was and it was absolutely an awesome thing and left me speechless.

As all of this is happening, I have one of the Inspirational souls who is with this group at my cell door, as if we were drawn to one another and as I sit there with tears streaming down my face he nods his head and doesn’t have to say a word because we both know that this is a very beautiful moment for all of us. Then he looks at me and says; “Hey Mark, I have an execution date too”. At first I didn’t understand what he meant, then I looked at him and it hit me like a ton of bricks… this man standing before me has cancer and has just been told this… and I was right, he has been given a very short time to live. His strength, his courage and that look in his eyes gave me such a rush that if I could of exploded at that moment I’d of blew up for sure.

Then he starts to explain how his life had been changed many years ago and it happened inside the San Quentin prison back in the late 1970’s … and I was now seeing this in his face and eyes… this man was filled with love and happiness that only can come from Jesus being alive inside his heart and soul, and I could feel the positive vibes flowing through him into me, all the while this lady is still singing and playing her gee-tar.

See what I was saying at the start of this death blog, that I was having the best day ever, and I meant every word of it… this is a rare moment in history for all of us here waiting to die. I’m so grateful for all the ones who had a hand in this, for allowing us to feel this joy of life once again.

So this man who is at my cell hands the guard who is watching us a one page inspirational flyer and asks if he can give it to me, so the guard does his inspection and hands me the flyer… then we started talking again and he said a few more heartfelt things, when I suddenly notice a face on the flyer is of Charles Manson… hmmmm I think to myself, I know of him and even know of people who know him and so on and so on… then the group says it’s time to go and it’s over in a flash… all that’s left are the tears streaming down my face.

A short while later I read the flyer and am absolutely shocked at what I’m seeing. The man, the one with the cancerous date himself, is none  other but Mr. Dennis Rice and his story is as this. In 1969 he was working in Hollywood California, taking care of his four children. That year the Tate-Labianca murders rocked Los Angeles and the world. He being the rebel he was thought those crimes could set off a revolution in America and believe nothing short of the second coming of Christ Jesus, or a revolution. (Maybe both) were necessary to solve America’s problems. So he went and visited Manson in jail, and then he and his children went to live with the Manson family.

Charlie and the others were convicted of the murders and sentenced to die. In order to save them, they held up an army surplus store to obtain enough guns to break them out… that robbery failed and he spent the next seven years in prison and that’s where he found the “REAL” Jesus Christ. See www.manson2jesus.com.  Though he was new to the Manson family back then, Dennis became one of its most hard-core members. Today Dennis is a hard-core member of Jesus Christ and that was so inspiring to me and another reason my day has been so damn awesome.

That again shows you out there how beautiful life’s events can mold one’s life… and it was an honor to have been able to enjoy this day.

True American, Still very unbroken, Red, White & Blue

Mark Stroman

2011

 

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11 Responses to “Amazing Grace”

  1. i bet it was a good moment for u xoxox misty hugs to you my sweet friend

  2. Mark Dowd Says:

    Laura tipped me off about this blog Mark….wrote to you two days ago. Hope you saw Connie today…..books on the way and lots more….

    You are in a weird space and in a great spot to bear witness to people…

    Keep the Faith….

    Mark D.

  3. God bless you, Mark! May the Lord continue to bless and encourage you. The Lord is faithful, He loves you unconditionally and will never leave you, nor forsake you…..

  4. Hello Mark, I am so glad I found this blog today. It even makes me feel good to know how it made you feel. Amazing Grace always makes me cry and I have never heard it like you did. You sound so much calmer now. I am so glad you were able to experience this day! You have so many people who love and are praying for you and I sent a personal story to you about that which went out in the mail to you today (3-12-2011)You are truly a beautiful person!

  5. It still amazes me how I can laugh and feel absolute joy sitting in a prison face to face with someone that knows when they are going to die BUT seeing the look on your face and the depth of the feeling in your eyes as you spoke of this day made every bad thing about being there worth it Mark. To see you being the Mark I’ve always believed in and seeing you so at peace was absolutely wonderful. Thank you for sharing you with me Mark, thank you for being my friend til the end, thank you for being you.

  6. Gewitterfee Says:

    Amazing Grace is a fantastic song anyway….I once heard a beautiful version, I think it was performed by Morissey (but I´m not sure anymore)….
    And I have once heard the melody taken for a version of the Magnificat, that was in a church in a small village at the Cardigan Bay in Wales. I remember I was deeply touched by that. Music is a wonderful thing in this world and often says more than words.

    Oh, and another thing…
    I don´t quite agree with “there are only two races of men – the decent ones and the indecent ones”.
    Of course, these do exist – but in my experience, many people are more or less wonderful mixtures of good and less good points (…sounds just funny to me; I´m wondering if my old dictionary really gave me the correct translation :-/ ).

    Greetz from Europe!

  7. sunnyjay Says:

    hugs to you sweet man 🙂

  8. I agree with your comment, everyone has some good in them

  9. i totally agree with u gorpet

  10. SEAN FITZ Says:

    Think I am going to add Amazing Grace to my IPOD now… I will think of you Mark each time I hear.. keep Strong and stand tall my friend

  11. Legal action charity Reprieve (www.reprieve.org.uk) is reaching out to all supporters and friends of Mark Stroman. Please contact us immediately if you are willing to help us save his life emmanuelle.purdon@reprieve.org.uk.
    If you are based in Germany, your help could be particularly valuable. Thank you.

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