The ELLA Foundation

ELLA Foundation Blog

16 Things To Learn From Unconditional Love...



When my son, Paris Lee, turned 13 years old, October 2006, I gave him a list titled 13 Things Loving You Has Taught Me.

This is what I gave him…

1. Live in the here and now. The past cannot be changed and the future is yours for the creating.

2. Live without limits but set boundries.

3. Love boldly yet carefullly.

4. Be mindful of others dreams and aspirations. Offer support and encouragement often..

5. Know your limits. Trust your instinct. Do not be afraid to draw lines in the sand.

6. Follow your yellow brick always knows where you want to be.

7. Stop & listen to the silence occasionally to remind yourself that nothing is as it seems.

8. Trust until given a reason not to; help until you are being taken advantage of.

9. Hold no regrets: life is too short and you are the sum of all your experiences, both good and bad.

10. Never be afraid to admit your mistakes or apologize for them. You will be a better man then most because of it.

11. Try not to let the actions of a few jade your opinion of all.

12. Good manners will take you farther then any amount of money or talent.

13. When all else fails remind yourself that this is your life and you have to live it the way you feel is best.


Four months later, he murdered his little sister, February 2007. The next five years were a living hell, not only because of what had happened, but also because I watched my son become, grow into, the man he is now. Whomever that is. 


When he turned 16, he was incarcerated in what is now the Texas Juvenile Justice Department, and I was not allowed to give him any sort of present. What I could do was write him a letter. So I resent him the original 13 lessons and added an additional three.


This is what I sent him…

3 More Things Loving You Has Taught Me...

  1. Always let love be your guide and light at the end of the tunnel.
  2.  As long as you keep breathing, you can survive anything. Even if you quit, you survive everything anyway.
  3. That no matter who you are, no matter what you have done, no matter what you may do, I always have and I always will love you to the stars and back.


It is my hope that by sharing them with you, you will be able to take them to heart and pass them along as you see fit. 




Topics: blog, Charity Lee, Motherhood, One For Ten, Paris Lee Bennett, anti-death penalty, capital punishment, Donations, essays of the incarcerated, prison writing, TDCJ, The ELLA Foundation, unconditional love, murdered child, grief, death anniversary, birthday of deceased loved one, healing from grief, My Son Was Arrested, How to Deal with The Police, Parenting, Parenting a child in prison, Prison, Starving for Justice, How to Cope in Prison, Helping Incarcerated Women, Becoming Miss Burton, Women and Children in Poverty