Fifi was kind enough to draw a Christmas card for us!
(I received a new reflection from Fifi (a Dutch woman) this week. In this reflection, Fifi shares her Feelings and then feels a little stronger. I hope by writing her reflections she feel stronger 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.)
Wanna cry but can’t cry.
Wanna laugh. but can’t laugh.
Wanna scream but can’t scream.
Why? Why not!
It is the fighter in me who can’t be weak by letting all the emotions out.
Instead I will be very quiet and pull back…alone in my cell and not talking, just thinking.
But when I do cry, laugh, and scream then everything comes out.
What I do know is that everything you go through in life only makes you stronger.
Say Cheese! It’s the same expression Brazilians use when someone is about to take their picture…even though the phrase is in English. They all know the English word “Cheese” even if almost no one speaks English in Brazil.
So, when someone is about to take our picture in Brazil, I will yell “Say Queijo”, the Portuguese word for cheese. Everyone thinks for a second and begins to laugh.
Here are some pics of one of the Brazilian women’s prison we visit. (Their faces have been obscured in order to respect their privacy.)
In the pics you can see the courtyard where we meet and read the Gospel together and sing. We also normally give the “girls” rosaries and religious reading materials. There are usually several other missioners with me when we visit too.
Please take a minute to think about and pray for these women and their families.
Thanks for reading!
(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.
I am proud to be your mommy and to be called mommy (by you.) Thank you Mikai, my beautiful son. I love you!
(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.
One day I will have you in my arms again when the Lord wants it. I love you.
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.
(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.
Just 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.