After Prison, A Mom Finds Her Way Back Into Her Daughter's Life As a teenager, Kayla Wilson talked to her grandma about her mom's incarceration in 2006. Now an adult, she and her mom discuss those days and how the experience changed them.
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After Prison, A Mom Finds Her Way Back Into Her Daughter's Life

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After Prison, A Mom Finds Her Way Back Into Her Daughter's Life

After Prison, A Mom Finds Her Way Back Into Her Daughter's Life

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  • Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And that music means it is time for StoryCorps. Today, two conversations recorded 10 years apart. Recently, 25-year-old Kayla Wilson sat down with her mom at StoryCorps. We'll hear that interview in a bit, but first a conversation from 2006. Kayla was 15 at the time, and her mom was serving a three-year prison sentence on felony drug charges. Kayla talked to her grandmother Teri Lyn Coulter-Colclasure about her mom's drug addiction.

KAYLA WILSON: When I asked mom how she got started, she told me that after her papa died, she was just mad at the world and mad at God. And that's when she told one of her ex-boyfriends that she wanted to get high.

TERI LYN COULTER-COLCLASURE: How old was she when this happened?

WILSON: Fifteen, I think.

COULTER-COLCLASURE: You're right.

WILSON: Yes, ma'am. When she got busted she was at a house. And I think they were making making dope and it had spilled on my younger sister. And it was just so heartbreaking to understand that this is what's going on and this is how it's going to be. When I saw her in prison, it was horrible because you see her come out of the door in that white suit. And her hair was gone, and she loved her long hair and I just had to cry. And then having to say bye and holding on to her knowing you couldn't take her with you was the most horrible experience I've ever had.

COULTER-COLCLASURE: When your mom gets out of prison, what do you think your life is going to be like?

WILSON: I think I will have the ability to actually be a child for a little bit and not have to worry about being the mature responsible adult. I think that it'll really be nice.

(SOUNDBITE OF FABRIZIO PATERLINI SONG, "PROFUNDO BLU")

WENDY FOUNDS: My name is Wendy Founds. Today's date is December the 12, 2016, and I am here with my daughter.

WILSON: You remember the day you were released from prison and got to come home?

FOUNDS: I do (laughter). I remember how you smelled, it was vanilla. And I remember the relief of our lives get to really start from this point forward.

WILSON: I do remember specifically when you came home and you wanted to apologize. I think that was a defining moment for us because I got to tell you what I'd always wanted to tell you, which was that, you know, you can never make up for that time.

FOUNDS: I bawled for days after that conversation, but it helped me to be a better mom, and I'm still far from perfect. Did you ever wish that I was different?

WILSON: Yeah, for sure. I can remember, you know, writing in diaries how much I hated you because you chose drugs over me.

FOUNDS: Why did you decide to forgive me?

WILSON: When you finally decided to get clean, it was obvious you were sincere. And you're my mom and, you know, as my mom, I loved you. I wanted that relationship.

FOUNDS: Did that come too late?

WILSON: I don't think so. Sure would have been great to have growing up, but I'm happy you're here, and I'm happy where we're at today. And I think what we've got is awesome considering where we've been, so I'm excited to see what happens next.

(SOUNDBITE OF FABRIZIO PATERLINI SONG, "PROFUNDO BLU")

GREENE: That was Kayla Wilson with her mom Wendy Founds at StoryCorps. Kayla is now a high school teacher in Benton, Ark., and Wendy helps counsel other parents struggling with addiction. And their interview will be archived in the Library of Congress.

(SOUNDBITE OF FABRIZIO PATERLINI SONG, "PROFUNDO BLU")

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