By Pat Bliss
I have pretty well kept you all up to date what has been going on in Felix’s life inside prison. You are aware of his move to Virginia DOC in March 2016. But I want you to know how well he is doing, and bring some insight into Deafness.
My last visit was on December 2nd. We communicated by writing back and forth on paper. It takes longer but it does work. I think it is a lot harder on Felix, as it is not something he does every day. Sometimes he signs to himself, the words I write down for better understanding.
Felix says, “Deaf people are different from hearing. We see to hear.” He went on to say “The more the person talks the worse it gets, because I don’t think… process thought… like hearing people. Need small sentences. Lets me process. I can’t go to next thought without completing my first thought.”
I am guilty of writing too much or asking several questions in a email which will normally go unanswered. Now Felix made it clearer to me why that is. Too much to process at one time. Felix told me that is why he emails me a lot. Looking back I do see where each email is generally on one subject. But for a deaf person who has not had any formal Deaf education, he has taught himself how to communicate verbally and in written word in order to survive. That is quite an accomplishment.
Felix cannot say enough how much he enjoys and loves being where in Va. He loves his job in the Silk Screen Plant. I asked what he was working on now. He said “I just finished another program. Improved on the last one. Fixed two computers and did a drawing on another computer for a customer, DOJJ*. What I did was draw the customer’s request in the file. I did it to show the boss I could draw on the computer.” He drew me a picture of their logo that is an emblem for DOJJ shirts.
We talked about faith and how people see it when one truly lives it. He said “my faith is I believe I am where God wants me to be now. And I am so happy, never in my life so happy.”
There is a new year coming and it will be interesting to see what it holds. What I find comforting is that Felix is in a safe environment, happier than he has ever been even though he still experiences some frustrations at times – but this is prison life. His attorney and I are constantly working on forthcoming Parole or Clemency hearings.
Merry Christmas from Felix and myself. May you all have a wonderful time with family and friends over the holiday season.
In gratitude to you all, Pat Bliss.
PS: Felix Garcia #1805390 / C4-129-B
Powhatan Correctional Center
3600 Woods Way
State Farm, VA 23160-0002
If writing, only 3 8.5×11″ pages allowed including a copy of the envelope as 1 page.
A card will be copied both sides, that is considered 2 pages + envelope = 3. White envelopes only.
*Department of Juvenile Justice
Pat Bliss is a retired paralegal in criminal law. She continues to do legal work for indigent prisoner cases showing innocence. She is a Certified Community Chaplain, Certified as a volunteer for CISM (Crises Intervention Stress Management) and involved in community events.