Photo via: Lamarr Mainor
Last week, Lamarr Mainor received a birthday surprise of a lifetime – he reunited with his father after almost four decades, 37 years to be exact.
While serving 15 years at the San Quentin State prison in California, Mainor discovered his passion for helping at-risk youth, specifically those who, like him, grew up without a father. Mainor once had the opportunity to play college basketball, but one bad decision led to another. He got into trouble for the first time shortly after high school, and then the second time, he received an even longer sentence.
“It wasn’t easy. I remember thinking that I would never leave prison. They had sentenced a 25-year-old kid to a 19-year sentence,” said Mainor. “I just couldn’t process that. I had lost all the support of most of my friends and family. I remember feeling the hopelessness, and the emptiness, and I knew that I would not ever make it home if I didn’t make some real life-changing decisions.”
During his last nine years of his prison sentence, Mainor did just that. The Cleveland native mentored youth and even started his own non-profit organization called Brave C.A.T.S. (an acronym for children and their struggles) after being released.
Unfortunately, the loss of a close friend last December marked the beginning of more hard times for Mainor. In 2017, he had to leave his job due to health reasons. However, his ex-wife and girlfriend planned a special father-son reunion that, for Mainor, would turned into the “best birthday EVER.”
Watch the sweet moment below, but grab a tissue first.
Mainor shared the video on Facebook along with the caption: “1st..Thank you April Gonzales & Ladie Tee, for giving me the best birthday EVER! You two women brought me my daddy after 37 years! And thank you for all the b-day wishes. I tried to respond to everyone, but it seemed like all my friends gave me a wish at the same time this year. I’m so humbled & blessed today.”
It has not yet been disclosed why the two were separated for so long, but Mainor has since started a YouTube channel to answer further questions. Either way, we’re glad to see this father-son duo reunite.