Staying Human

Posted: May 7, 2013 in Family, Parenting, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

For almost ten years, I have come face to face with the image of Gina DeJesus, her face, and that of Amanda Berry peered at me in grocery stores, post offices, drug stores and on telephone poles. My heart broke over her families pain. I never foresaw the Michelle Knight aspect, she was written off as an adult who ran away to start a new life.

I teared up watching interviews with the mothers, holding out hope that their daughters were alive,  fearing they would experience an awful truth down the road. We invested in these girls, their names, and faces were indelibly etched in our minds. Each lead held us on the edge of our seat, years later, hoping for an answer, or at the worst, some closure for the families. One of the mothers died before ever learning her daughter’s fate, with  a broken heart, we mourned as a community.

Shock, disbelief, joy,  horror and more joy filled our minds today when the three girls, now women, were found alive in a house, mere miles from their childhood homes. Thanks to Amanda’s phone call and the bravery of  at least two men and caring neighbors with a phone, the girls were freed.

We don’t know why they didn’t reach out sooner, or maybe we do. They were beat down, brainwashed and fearing for not only their own life, but that of their family, and a six year old child. But this embodiment of evil, this man named Ariel didn’t win! Amanda took action, others responded with help and they are all safe tonight. Facing a long road of healing and reintegration into society.

I will no longer see Gina and Amanda in my grocery store, for they are where they belong, in the arms of their family. My heart goes out to Michele who was an unknown, watching tv and wondering if anyone would look for her again. A lesson learned here, a run away may not always be a run away. All three girls need to be shielded. They need to stay off the TV, out of the papers and out of view of public eyes. Their despair, terror, pain and details of the ordeal belongs to them. They will only grow past it with time, understanding and support.

They don’t owe us an interview, a tv blurb, photos or a quote in the newspaper. Details are nice, we all want answers, a way to make a change, but not at the expense of victims, or in this case, brave survivors. They don’t owe us anything, we owe them privacy and a shot at a normal life.

It is up to us to convict the degenerative slime that stole their life. It is up to us to give the girls, or young women the room to learn how to live in society and bond with family. They don’t owe us a darn thing! Our reward is knowing they are safe and home. The reward is the cheers of neighbors and friends gathered to watch them return to their home. The reward is the face of their parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, grandparents and friends. We can’t return their stolen years, but we can make sure their time left is theirs, and theirs alone. They need to learn how to feel comfortable without shackles, locked doors and boarded up windows.  Life for them now is foreign and far from what they were initially taught. It will take time, patience and guidance. They need to relearn how to choose the food they eat and not just eat what was handed to them. They need to learn when to take a shower, sleep, go outside or make a call. All things taken from them. This man didn’t steal just their bodies, he stole their minds. Let’s back away and let them relearn how to live and connect with family. This is the one small thing we can do to make a difference!



  1. These young ladies finding their way home this week is a true blessing. Now it’s time for them and your community to heal. I hope the sickly gets life in solitary confidment. Let him feel the suffering he inflicted.

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