What did James Foley tell his family in last letter written during ISIS captivity

Days after a heart-rending video was posted online showing the beheading of US journalist James Foley, his parents have released a letter written by him during the ISIS captivity.

By Supriya Jha | Last Updated: Aug 26, 2014, 09:35 AM IST

Zee Media Bureau/Supriya Jha

Washington: Days after a heart-rending video was posted online showing the beheading of US journalist James Foley, his parents have released a letter written by him during the ISIS captivity.

The letter, that is addressed to his "Family and Friends", by “Jim”, was made public by his parents on Sunday who posted it on the Facebook page `Find James Foley`, reports the Independent.

The report adds that even though all letters written by the journalist were snatched by the barbaric jihadists in Syria, but last June Foley “asked a fellow hostage, who was about to be released, to commit a letter to memory”.

Starting the letter with the mention of happy memories with his parents, James wrote how the thought of family times took him away from the prison and filled his heart with happiness.

James then goes on to describe his life in captivity, where he was kept with 17 others and spent time discussing movies, trivia, sports, etc, playing games and teaching each other.

Describing the yearning for freedom, James wrote how grateful they were when anyone was freed and how they encouraged each other and shared strength.

Talking about the food, he says the captives were being fed better now and that he had regained the weight lost last year.

“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,” reads the letter.

Foley then mentions his family members, brother and sisters and also his grandmother, whom he addresses as "Grammy".

He ends the letter on a very hopeful note, telling his grandmom to take medicine and stay strong, promising her to take her out when he gets home.

“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.”

Here is the full text of the letter as posted on the Facebook page dedicated to him,

"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