Dear Ezra and Lian,
I hope someday, someone will turn this story into an action movie. One day, I went to visit my friends at a camp in the jungle near Champhai. They were there helping young men go through the de-addiction process. In a poor place with few resources, this is how you get off of heroin or painkillers. You go “cold-turkey”. You just stop everything. Your friends will help you with intravenous fluids to prevent you from de-hydration. They will pray for you as go through the horrors of withdrawal symptoms. They will clean you up as you sweat, throw up and hallucinate. They will hold you as scream in agony for days and days and days. It’s amateur, but it’s all they have for the addicted.
My one friend told me about his friend from the area. His sister was a drug addict. She somehow had crossed the border into Burma and got herself imprisoned at a heroin processing camp. This is basically a prison where the drug lords use drug addicts to help package heroin for export around the world. There are fences and guards with machine guns. Not to keep the army or police out. No, they are all paid off to turn a blind eye. The guards keep the inmates from running away. Once you go in, the only way you will leave is as a dead person.
My friend’s friend, didn’t forget his sister. He found out where she was and he went to get her. I don’t know how he did it, but somehow he found this prison, got in and got his sister. He snuck her out of the camp and they ran for home. As she started to go through withdrawal he carried her the rest of the way.
I hope one day I get to meet this man and hear his story firsthand. It’s a miracle they survived. The drug lords in Burma are vicious and would think nothing of killing both of them. A story of courage like that is what real love is like. Risking one’s life to save another’s life.
I want you two to know, without a hint of exaggeration, I would do the same thing for you. If you ever end up in a similar situation, your Daddy is coming to get you. I wouldn’t care how it would happen, but I will not leave you to suffer your cruel fate. If every normal way of rescue was exhausted (legal, financial, etc.) I will put my love for you into action. No jungle is too thick, no mountain too high, no situation too dangerous, I’m on my way. Ezra, I already had to mentally and emotionally prepare that you been kidnapped. I had begun the preparations to rescue you. In the end, I didn’t need to do it. However, I had already set my mind to walk away from everything to come and get you no matter the danger. I’ve planned it once for Ezra. I would do it for real for both of you.
The strange thing is, all three of us have lived in a prison camp for a very long time. I have failed as your father by letting us live here for so long. If I truly love you, I can’t keep you here. We are leaving this prison now. Since you have lived in it all your lives, you have no idea that this isn’t normal. You are going to start experiencing true freedom.
Unfortunately, we can’t sneak out. I have tried and tried. I used every amount of my brain power to think of another way, but there isn’t one. We have to blow the doors off this prison and walk out. It’s dangerous to leave, but it’s more dangerous to stay. So we’re going. Now.
It is difficult to tell you kids this, but most of those in this prison with us, will stay behind. They don’t see this place as a prison, but as a palace. They think these walls protect them. They live a life of luxury. If you close your eyes to the suffering of others, it is very comfortable here. Many of them will be mad at your dad. Don’t worry. Maybe a few here and there will take this opportunity to escape. Hopefully, many will decide to blow holes in these prison walls and set the captives free. Whatever happens, today is the day of our liberation. You will grow up to be a free man and a free woman.
Hold my hands. Be brave. Let’s go.