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Thanksgiving thoughts from Chowchilla

Thanksgiving is coming soon! From my cell window I can see the mist of the morning dew on the golden and red falling leaves. This is a time of family love. Love isn't love until you give it away.

Family is love!
Family love is Patience
Family love is Kindness
Family love is Generosity
Family love is Gentleness
Family love is Enduring
Family love is Belief
Family love is Hope
Family love is Dreams
Family love is Life.

I have seen the tears of inmates glittering under the sunrays. The tears of joy, of gratefulness, when the inmates know that they are "coming home" to their families, after months, years, 10 years, 20 years, 25 years... away... so far away from home... far away from family love.

I have felt the hearts of Faith, the dreams of Hope by holding and reading the Bible, by praying for God's forgiveness. I have heard the voices of prayers like the sound of soft rain calling for God's love, for God's guidance.

I am a Vietnamese American woman, I was a CEO, I have tasted the meaning of success, of achievements, of wealth... and now I am in Chowchilla Correctional Center, a place with so many silent crying voices for the lights of love and words of Hope.

I have gazed at people, the face of broken hearts--just on their new path, new season of life that they have to go through. This is also a journey of my tranquility pathway. Some of life's changes are welcome, others break our heart. What is there that make me feel "Peace" and "Tranquility" from my struggled soul? The recognition of God's love, God's wisdom... not my wisdom any more.

From God's love I am the woman who holds tears longing for "freedom" my own freedom. The freedom of my life that I have traded for "sorrow" and "forgiveness."

I am holding on to faith for hope and grace. From the love of God, I have the courage to live the way I know and the way I should. "Love bears all things, believes all things, hope all things, endures all things." 1 Cor 13:7

Prayers to you all, please pray for me.

Ms. Phuong Ian H., CCWF, Chowchilla CA

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