Derrick and Tamika, the Love Story

broken-chain

Help free an innocent man. Time and time again we hear about people falsely incriminated, people that have been sent to prison by their peers. Many appeals have been denied even for the innocent. What do you do when you’re convicted and sentenced for a crime you did not commit? Who do you turn to when you have no finances and no connections? Do you serve the time in vain? Or do you fight back with prayer?

Derrick Lamont Brooks was born January 6, 1978. He is number eight of nine children from his mom; 2 of those are deceased. His dad past away when he was only 1 ½ years old.  By his father, there are older siblings he has never met. His mother remarried and his step father took him as his own. Derrick didn’t learn that his step father was not his biological father until he was 15 years old.

As a child, Derrick was a football star in Junior High and High school. Derrick and I met in December 1991 in gym class. I was in the 7th grade and he was in the 8th grade. In gym class, we had to learn a lot of old school dances. It was always boys pick the girls and he would pick me every day. After the third day I asked him, why do you keep choosing me? Why don’t you choose another girl? He replied because you’re going to be my girl.

At the time, I was not interested; I was talking to another boy. As time went on, we still remained friends but we never dated. He wasn’t the type of boy I liked. He was in to being hard on the street and trying to make a name for himself. Growing up, I have always had the desire to be married and have a family of my own and Derrick didn’t seem like the marrying type.

After high school, we hung out. However, he would use language I didn’t agree with. I wanted a church going boy. I was taught if he loves the Lord, he will love you. Derrick showed no interest in church. I would try to talk him into going to the gym with me. He would go to the gym with me but he only wanted to swim. So we were never mentally on the same level. And eventually we grew apart.

IMG_2299 - Tamika, Derrick and TamiaI thought I had met my Prince Charming somewhere else. So I stop hanging out with him. Two years later, in 2001, we saw each other again. I had just had my first child. He came over to my house to see her. Derrick picked her up out of her bassinet and said this should have been my baby. I just looked at him but didn’t respond. And that was the last time I seen him for years.

In 2009, my cousin told me to join Facebook back. When I understood how everything worked, I asked did anyone know where “Big D” / Big Derrick was. One person responded and said he was locked up and he’s never getting out. My heart went to my stomach. I had to find him. I needed to talk to him.

Two days later, I found him through a Google search. There were so many people with that same name; I thought I would never be able to find him. After I finally got in contract with him, he has changed my life in a very good way. He brings so much positive energy to me and my kids. I had been in a very unhealthy marriage for 10 years.

When we reconnected, I was going through a bad divorce and I just needed a friend to listen to me.  Derrick was exactly what I needed. We talked but he was really counseling me, giving me very wise advice about my situation, praying for me and giving me scriptures to read to comfort my heart. I wanted to start dating immediately just to feel a little love. I really believe he saved my life.

When I was going through my divorce he advised me to be quiet even when being provoked by my ex. He said let him deal with the divorce in his own way and I should not say anything because it gives the devil ammunition. He was concerned about my safety. So when my ex broke a lot of my things and tore up the house and my scooter, I never said a word.

Months when by, me and Derrick would write and talk on the phone until I was able to be on his visitation list. As soon as he told me I was on the list, two weeks later I went to my first visit. It was truly love at first sight. It was the first time I had seen him as a grown man. His spirit was so high. I felt the love.

When I told everybody I knew about him, I received so much negative energy from pretty much all my family and friends. But they saw the glow on my face and how happy on the inside and outside I was.  I explained many times I’m not happy; this is joy. There’s a difference. It’s something you have to experience for yourself to understand.

Derrick and I laid out all our cards. He told me what happened and how he ended up in prison. I told him I loved him and I’m Team Derrick and I will do everything in my power with God’s help to get him out. God does nothing by chance; we were placed back in each other’s life for a reason.

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. – 1 Corinthians 13:11-13

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