I wish I could’ve been something they could’ve been. -Delbert Burkett
Delbert Burkett is a convicted felon currently serving a 40-year sentence in a geriatric prison facility in Texas. Today’s Thought came as he was being interviewed for a documentary about a triple-murder his son Jason was convicted of being involved in. Jason got life in prison while the other man convicted, Michael Perry, was executed in 2010.
Delbert has been in and out of prison his entire adult life. He said he had a scholarship offer to play football at the University of Texas, but he was able to drink and drug his way out of that. Family memories you and I might take for granted he has enjoyed only sparingly.
Burkett also shared a story about how he and Jason and another son who’s a convicted felon shared a Thanksgiving meal in prison one year. His sons thought it was nice to spend the holiday together but Delbert Burkett realized the tragedy of his wasted life and those of his sons and said the experience made him feel like a failure and like crap.
While far from the focal point of the documentary, Burkett’s appearance was genuine and poignant, a man looking back on a wasted life, a man who blew his opportunity to make his time serve him and was, literally, spending his time on this planet serving time. And he’s not blaming anyone for this, either. He knows he is the reason he is a felon who fathered two other felons.
I wish I could’ve been something…
Tragic words if ever there were any. Words each of us should do everything we can to not ever have to utter.
It’s easy and it’s not. It’s easy because every day we have 24 hours – the only commodity each of is issued in equal measure – to make something good happen for ourselves. All we have to do is take advantage of them by getting the most of the talents we were issued at birth.
On the other hand, it isn’t that easy because the temptations that distract us are as numerous as they are constant.
The choice whether to make our time serve us or merely serve time while on this planet is ours. We can take advantage of this opportunity or we can – literally or figuratively – spend our time in prison.
The Thought for the Day runs regularly. Quotes are from Gaylon’s private stock.