Author Joseph Henderson is being featured by Sipphop.com. Writing under his penname Jeremias Turner, Conversations Book Club President Cyrus A. Webb contributed to the article. See this link or the entire story below: http://www.sipphop.com/main.html?src=%2Findex2.html#3,0
Mississippi author helps us see why we don't want to live or die all alone. By Jeremias Turner
It's hard to tell someone who has lived through things you really can't imagine how they should react to them or how they should be able to rise above them. Now, I'm not saying that you have to experience everything out there in order to understand the consequences, but, for some, it helps to have someone they can relate to. When I first met Joseph Henderson, he seemed like a regular individual, the kind of man you would meet anywhere. Then, I read his memoir, I Don't Want to Die All Alone, and realized that his life and what he has gone through is anything but ordinary. He walks us through the not-so-rosy side of his experiences, like seeing his mother beaten by men who said they loved her, his own physical torment and even suicide attempts. No wonder he found it hard to trust, let alone get close enough, to love someone. "The more changes that came for the better, the more alone my life became," he writes. "The ones that were supposedly to remain loyal are gone. That's OK, I came into this world alone and, more than likely, I'll leave it alone." (p.252) Since it is the story of the life he lived, Henderson tells us about the misfortune that some of his own choices brought him as well. Yes, he admits that some of what he experienced was directly attributed to decisions he had made. Such was the case when he was shot. In reflecting back, he said this: "When a bullet grazed my head and missed, the first time getting shot at, there were thoughts that nothing could happen to me.
That moment after (actually) getting shot, my whole life was flashed before me hitting the ground. ... You don't think about kids, family or anything. You don't even care about waking up another day. You live the day like you're going to die that night." He even lost his brother during an act of senseless violence. All of this helped him to take stock of his life and begin to see the need for change. He had to learn how to value his own life before he could learn to value that of someone else. He had to learn to love himself before he could love anyone else. Henderson wanted more for himself. "The whole point is, kids don't give up on a future. ... I had always believed in God, but never thought there was a reason to serve him. I'm more ready now than ever if something bad happens to me. I am not the same person as yesterday, and tomorrow it will be different. I'm constantly looking for ways to enhance my life." When Sipphop hosted its first meeting at Koinonia Coffee in November 2008, Joseph was one of the first ones there. His commitment to a better life extends outself himself to those he meets. He sees the good taht Sipphop is doing already for the state, and he wants to be a part of the history being made. And that enhancement is the Henderson that I know today - a man who has learned that with hard work, nothing is impossible, and no one has to live (let alone die) in this world alone. Order your copy of "I Don't Want To Die All Alone" by visiting http://www.joseph-henderson.com.