Looking Back by Fifi

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(The final of four new reflections from a Dutch women in a São Paulo prison.  We call her Fifi.  In this reflection, she keeps alive the memory of her son, Mikai who died within a week of his birth.  Please pray for the Fifi and her son Mikai.  Please also keep the incarcerated women in São Paulo’s prisons in your prayers.  Fifi has given her permission to share her reflection via this blog post although her name has been changed.)

Sometimes I am looking back to the worst moment (of my life) the death of my son and depression.  Then I start thinking; Wow, was I in my depression.

It is hard to lose your child and keep asking “Why?” and “Why me?”

I know now that he is healthy/happy and being taking care of.  Even if he is not here anymore, he is with me every moment of the day.  He is watching over me in my dreams, at work, everywhere I am.  One day I will be together with him and we will be a family again.

Him and God give me the power to get out of my depression.  I am thankful for that

Now I am only thinking about the nice moments we had together.  Today I am laughing and not crying.

Dear Mikai,

I am proud to be your mommy and to be called mommy (by you.)  Thank you Mikai, my beautiful son.  I love you!

Fifi

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Stairs to Heaven by Fifi

 

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(The third of four new reflections from a Dutch women in a São Paulo prison.  We call her Fifi.  In this reflection, she sends a short note to her son, Mikai who died within a week of his birth.  Please think about and pray for the Fifi and her son Mikai.  Please also keep the incarcerated women in São Paulo’s prisons in your thoughts and prayers.  Fifi has given her permission to share her reflection via this blog post although her name has been changed.)

Everyone goes one day to heaven.  Some sooner than the others.

Children are meant to survive their parents.  They are not meant to go first.  Unfortunately, the Lord sometimes has other plans for the children. They go up the stairs of heaven first; before the parents.

One day they will all be together again when the Lord wants it.  When that happens, the parents go up the stairs of heaven and the child is waiting behind the gate.

Dear Mikai,

One day I will have you in my arms again when the Lord wants it. I love you.

Fifi

Just to Scream by Fifi

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The Meeting of the Rivers near Manaus Brazil.

(I received four reflections from Fifi (a Dutch woman) this week so I will post them over the next several days.  This is the 9th in a series of refections by foreign women prisoners in Brazil and the fifth by Fifi.  In this reflection, Fifi SCREAMS and then feels a little calmer.  I hope by writing her reflections she feels a little calmer too.  Please think about and pray for the author “Fifi” and all the incarcerated women in São Paulo’s prisons.  Fifi has given her permission to share her reflection via this blog post although her name has been changed.)

Anger/aggression/sadness and frustration; where is it coming from?  I have no idea but sometimes I just don’t wanna feel it.

Just to feel nothing for a short while, feel complete peace.

Only me in a place and to scream all the feelings out, letting myself go for one time.

To cry/laugh/scream, to throw everything out.  And to be calm again and to go to a fresh place in the world.

Fifi

Life Behind Bars by Fifi

 

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(This is the 8th in a series of refections by women prisoners in Brazil and the fourth by Fifi.  In this reflection, Fifi shares her feelings on her life in the Brazilian Prison and how prison life has made her more thankful for the small things inlife.  Please think about and pray for the author “Fifi” and all the incarcerated women in São Paulo’s prisons.  Fifi has given her permission to share her reflection via this blog post although her name has been changed.  Additionally, I have made some small edits for readably and added my own words in parentheses.

If you are inspired to comment on Fifi’s reflections, please add a supportive note in the comment section below and I will ensure she gets your comment.)

In the night I am thinking about my life.  I miss Holland.

The freedom to do what you want and go where you want.  Here you can only leave your cell when there is prison yard time, when you go to work or if you have to transit somewhere (like the medical unit or administration offices.)

That is when you are thankful for your life at home and for the luxury (of home) compared to prison

Here you learn to live differently.  You are thankful (for the small things on the outside), what you have, to go shopping when you want, and eat what you want.

Prison has helped me to think of my life, what I will change, and what to be really thankful for.  But everything happens for a reason.

Obrigado for Walking the Way Together

IMG_4336Just a very short post to you to share my thanks to all who posted a comment for Fifi (Netherlands) and Dawn (Canada) last week on their refections and poems.  I was able to share your powerful words  with them over the weekend and they were both very grateful.

Fifi was especially surprised and pleased to read all the loving comments on her thoughts about depression; especially when I explained to her all the different countries that were represented in the comments.  She is still struggling with her own loneliness and depression while living in prison but your words and thoughts provide comfort to her and the other women prisoners she will share them with.

Fifi immediately gave me another reflection for me to share with you.  Its written in her native Dutch language so I need a couple of days to translate it first.  Please be patient with me.

We are walking this camino and mission together.

Obrigado and abraços!  Thanks and hugs from Brazil.

Tiago

 

Hard Outer Shells and a Delicious Seed

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Probably like you, I like nuts  A nut is encased in a hard outer shell but the seed inside is softer, edible and tasty.  Most of the nuts we enjoy have protein, healthy fats, important nutrients, and most importantly, energy.  (We especially like to eat Brazilian nuts.)

Like nuts, the prisoners we meet with in São Paulo’s prisons often have a hard outer shell that is difficult to crack open and peek inside  The opening process takes time and effort but in the end is well worth it.

One method to cracking open that hard exterior of prisoners is to encourage them to share their thoughts and feelings through writing.  If you have been following my blog for a while you know that some of the foreign women we meet have been sharing their reflections with you.  They are always so delighted when I visit and tell them about their posts on Tiago’s Mission Tales.

This week I will have especially good news for Fifi and Dawn who shared poems and reflections with you on this site.  Their writings were recently shared on another very popular blog called Inmate Blogger (https://inmateblogger.com).  Since then, the posts have received many more Likes and Comments which I will share with them when I next visit.

Inmate Blogger is “ready to become the worldwide leader in inmate blogging and is a collection of blogs written by inmates. It serves as a platform which allows them to share their individual stories, opinions, talents, and their inner thoughts. You can lock up a man (or woman), but you can’t lock up their mind. We support, understand, and believe that writing can be a great source of rehabilitation, growth, and healing.

I have enjoyed reading the powerful words from prisoners on Inmate Blogger and I encourage you to visit the website if you enjoy this type of writing, reflecting and sharing.

Like opening and removing the shell of a hard nut, the writing process for these men and women can reveal a softer and delicious seed inside.  The seeds are healthy and energy-filled for all of us and I would like to thank Inmate Blogger for sharing these seeds with a wider audience.

Abraçoes!  (Hugs)

Tiago

 

Depression by Fifi

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(This is the 7th in a series of refections by women prisoners in Brazil and the third by Fifi.  In this reflection, Fifi shares her feelings on depression and more importantly how she can help others with their own depression.  Please think about and pray for the author “Fifi” and all the depressed women in São Paulo’s prisons.  Fifi has given her permission to share her reflection via this blog post although her name has been changed.

If you are inspired to comment on Fifi’s reflections, please add a supportive note in the comment section below and I will ensure she gets your comment.  

What is depression?  I have no idea but I experience it with a lot of “ups and downs.”

One moment I am happy and the next moment angry…and sad.  There are many feelings of pressure on both my body and mind; sadness, anger, frustration, happiness, disappointment…all in my mind as well.

The only way to handle it is to find a way to stay calm and talk to somebody.  Other ways to stay calm are by writing and coloring.  Everyone has their own way. And a lot of people (in prison) don’t dare to come out of their depression, because there is no need.

Also, here you can come out from your depression, but it takes some time.  And once you are out of it, and you are your “old self” again, you can be proud of yourself.  And you must be stronger!

So I want to tell everyone who has the same depression, “Don’t be ashamed of yourself.  You are not alone.”

I wannna ask those people to write something about their depression and their experience so we can share together and (work) to achieve to be better in life.