Today I am thankful for “happy endings”. Who isn’t, really? But I am especially thankful and focused on this sentiment after reading “A Stolen Life” by Jaycee Dugard. I picked it up the the other evening and finished it the next afternoon. I had already seen the Dateline NBC special were Diane Sawyer interviewed Jaycee after she was found and reunited with her family, and I was horrified at the bits she spoke about regarding the abuse she suffered for eighteen years. However, I felt literally sick to my stomach and not myself as I read in detail the things that man (whose name, in my opinion, is not even worth speaking aloud) did to her.
Jaycee Dugard was born the same year as me. Any reference to time line or years in her book made me stop and consider what I was doing at that time; what was I complaining about when I was an eleven year old girl? I know she was naked and handcuffed, locked in a tiny room with towels covering the windows. What was I dealing with at age fourteen? I’m sure the typical cattiness of girls in middle school and the typical awkward fourteen-year-old-girl-stuff. She, on the other hand, was giving birth to her first (NOT ONLY) child conceived by her perverted, pedophile, rapist, abductor.
I don’t know why it works out that some people go through such horrific things in life and some of us seem to breeze through life. I wouldn’t really put myself in the “breezing through” category, but I certainly haven’t had to face anything that damaging and traumatic in my life. I am blessed to have had the life I’ve had with my seemingly minor hiccups scattered throughout the years. At the same time, perhaps it’s best not to compare the suffering of one with the suffering of another. Still, I am left very inspired and moved by the attitude of Jaycee Dugard as she reflects on her eighteen years of captivity.
I feel so happy for her and her daughters that they get a second chance at a normal, healthy and beautiful life. They are young enough that they have many years to replace the bad memories with beautiful ones.
I said earlier that I don’t understand why some people suffer so much and others of us don’t. But one thing I have learned throughout my own painful moments is that beauty always manages to find it’s way out of the darkness. I have this tattooed on my right arm to remind me. It comes from Isaiah 61:3: