James Foley’s Dramatic Final Letter Home: ‘I Feel You All Especially When I Pray’
On the “Free James Foley” Facebook page, run by executed American journalist James Foley‘s family, a letter was posted Sunday that is said to have been written by Foley himself.
The letter opens with a disclaimer from the person who posted it, stating that written correspondence Foley attempted to have with his family was confiscated by his captors, the Islamic terrorist group ISIS. The text of the letter, according to the disclaimer, was translated to the Foley family by way of a fellow hostage who had committed it to memory and translated it once he was freed.
“I know you are thinking of me and praying for me,” Foley says in the letter, which is addressed to his family and friends. “And I am so thankful. I feel you all especially when I pray. I pray for you to stay strong and to believe. I really feel I can touch you even in this darkness when I pray.”
The letter goes on to describe how Foley passes his time with his fellow prisoners. They used scraps found in their cells to play games and they also talked about movies and sports.
“Grammy, please take your medicine, take walks and keep dancing,” reads the end of the letter. “I plan to take you out to Margarita’s when I get home. Stay strong because I am going to need your help to reclaim my life.”
A YouTube video surfaced last week showing an ISIS member beheading Foley. In the video, titled “Letter to America,” ISIS terrorists force Foley to read a letter urging Americans to rise up against his “real killer, the U.S. government.” Foley also says in the video that the U.S. airstrikes against ISIS “hammered the final nail into [his] coffin.”
President Barack Obama recently authorized military airstrikes against the terrorist group in parts of Iraq.
Foley had been missing since November 22, 2012 when he disappeared in Syria.
“Dear Family and Friends,
I remember going to the Mall with Dad, a very long bike ride with Mom. I remember so many great family times that take me away from this prison. Dreams of family and friends take me away and happiness fills my heart.
I know you are thinking of me and praying for me. And I am so thankful. I feel you all especially when I pray. I pray for you to stay strong and to believe. I really feel I can touch you even in this darkness when I pray.
Eighteen of us have been held together in one cell, which has helped me. We have had each other to have endless long conversations about movies, trivia, sports. We have played games made up of scraps found in our cell…we have found ways to play checkers, Chess, and Risk… and have had tournaments of competition, spending some days preparing strategies for the next day’s game or lecture. The games and teaching each other have helped the time pass. They have been a huge help. We repeat stories and laugh to break the tension.
I have had weak and strong days. We are so grateful when anyone is freed; but of course, yearn for our own freedom. We try to encourage each other and share strength. We are being fed better now and daily. We have tea, occasional coffee. I have regained most of my weight lost last year.
I think a lot about my brothers and sister. I remember playing Werewolf in the dark with Michael and so many other adventures. I think of chasing Mattie and T around the kitchen counter. It makes me happy to think of them. If there is any money left in my bank account, I want it to go to Michael and Matthew. I am so proud of you, Michael and thankful to you for happy childhood memories and to you and Kristie for happy adult ones.
And big John, how I enjoyed visiting you and Cress in Germany. Thank you for welcoming me. I think a lot about RoRo and try to imagine what Jack is like. I hope he has RoRo’s personality!
And Mark… so proud of you too Bro. I think of you on the West coast and hope you are doing some snowboarding and camping, I especially remember us going to the Comedy Club in Boston together and our big hug after. The special moments keep me hopeful.
Katie, so very proud of you. You are the strongest and best of us all!! I think of you working so hard, helping people as a nurse. I am so glad we texted just before I was captured. I pray I can come to your wedding…. now I am sounding like Grammy!!
Grammy, please take your medicine, take walks and keep dancing. I plan to take you out to Margarita’s when I get home. Stay strong because I am going to need your help to reclaim my life.
[Image via Facebook/Alice Martins]
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