Tag Archives: death of a child

Criminals-R-Us

We were in Florida during December 2008 and the biggest story on the news was the disappearance and murder of the 3-year-old Caylee Antony.

Her mother Casey was eventually arrested and tried for the murder, but acquitted, apparently due to a lack of evidence. The jurors made known that they did not believe her innocent, but that there was not enough proof to find her guilty and to sentence her. How sad is that?

But for a suspected guilty person to walk free? Hats off to Antony’s lawyers. For those of you who are not aware of the case: Casey Antony’s parents, George and Cindy kept asking Casey where Caylee was. Then George found out that their vehicle (which Casey used) had been impounded. When he collected it, he found that the car smelt of a dead body.

Casey Antony never actually reported her child missing, her mother, Cindy Antony finally phoned and made Casey tell the 911 operator that her child had been missing for 31 days. Cindy told the operator that the car Casey had used smelt like a dead body. A strand of Caylee’s hair was found in the trunk of the car, showing that she had already died. When the body was found, she had duct tape on her skull. Antony first blamed the disappearance on a fictitious baby-sitter, but in court the defence said that Caylee drowned in the pool and that George had molested Casey. They presented no evidence to prove this. Before Caylee’s body was found, Casey was seen partying it up around town, hardly the actions of a distressed, grieving mother many felt.

Antony came across as a hard-core, non-emotional woman who invoked very little sympathy.

And why the surprise because the justice system failed? It does so on a daily basis. We cannot rely on any system to protect us because it is man-made and it will fail us. Just sad that it does so, so often.

In any event, I am not writing this to comment on Casey Antony’s guilt or innocence, I think the evidence speaks for itself. What amazed me was how ready the public was to stone her to death, a public which are all guilty of their own crimes, like I am. I am not justifying Antony, my opinion is that she belongs in jail and considering that she is not, she should be monitored around-the-clock. On the other hand, she was young and foolish, like all of us and perhaps she made a mistake. We don’t know what happened. Therefore, should we not give her the benefit of the doubt? Justice failed but perhaps Casey learnt a very expensive lesson. Her crime might look bigger than the ones we commit, but we do commit crimes. Whether we lie, steal, lust after another man’s wife, or hate. All of it could lead to any of us committing a crime.

There but by the grace of God go I.

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I wish I had my Grandparents with me for longer

I adored my paternal Grandparents.  They were wise and loving people who gave their best to their six children, and grandchildren to come.

My father was 29 when he died of thrombosis, and it almost killed them.  He was their favourite.  My grandparents lived about an hour’s drive away but not long after, when I was about 7, they were posted from the Transvaal to the Cape.  From then on until they died, I saw them only once a year.

When they moved they wanted my mom and brother and I to go with them.  But my mom decided that it would be best for her to try making it on her own.  The only thing she accepted from him was money for a gravestone, which we visited once.

When I was a child, and reasoned as a child, I deeply loved them.  Initially, we would drive the 14 hours to visit them but when we got older, we went by train.  My grandmother would read Dr. Suess’ books to us.  She acted it out till we held our stomachs laughing.  The only time I ever saw her angry was when we, with my two cousins, made a game of jumping from a bedroom window into her daisy bushes.  Her garden was her pride and joy.

When I was a teenager, and knew everything, I loved them still.  But I did not have much time to spend with them then.  I had parties to go to, friends to hang out with and boys to meet.

They never reproached me, or asked me why.  They quietly accepted it with all the love they had for my dad.  Their love was not the gushy, kissy kind.  It was a love that brought me my favourite breakfast in bed every morning.  It was a love that wrote to me often, exhorting and teaching me.  It was a love
that wore out its knees for me in prayer.

When I became an adult, and thought like an adult, I wanted to spend time with them because I loved them deeply.  I caused them joy when I chose my God, or rather, when He chose me.  I was 23 when he died.

I had my grandmother for another 14 years before she too left me.

Ouma, I want to be like you.  I want the kindness, patience, forbearance, joy, peace, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, laughter and love
that made you so beautiful.  I want to be able to give of myself as unsparingly as you did.  Thank you for your letters and books.  For the phone  conversations, I wish there were more.  Thank you for your faith.

Oupa, thank you for the arm of protection you folded around us when we were a little family adrift, you owed us naught.  Thank you for providing for me so that I had a good start in life.  Thank you for your wisdom in allowing me to make mistakes.

I so look forward to the day that I shall be with you once more.