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James Foley wrote a letter to his family while in captivity and it's beautiful

“Dreams of family and friends take me away and happiness fills my heart.”

Image: Nicole Tung via Facebook

THE FAMILY OF journalist James Foley, who was beheaded by Islamic State militants after two years in captivity, have released a heartbreaking letter he wrote to them while he was imprisoned.

In a post on the Free James Foley Facebook page, they explain that all of the letters he wrote to his family were confiscated while he was imprisoned.

When the journalist found out that a fellow hostage was to be released, he asked him to commit a letter to memory and as soon as the hostage got out, he called the family and dictated the entire letter.

Foley spoke of how his happy memories with his family helped him to get through the tough times in prison. The letter carried a message for each member of the family, finishing with his grandmother, who he told to stay strong because he would need her when he got out.

Here is his beautiful letter in full:

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.

Jim

Read: To pay or not to pay? James Foley’s death underscores an agonising dilemma>

More: Read the chilling email IS militants sent to James Foley’s parents>

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