Is forgiveness the key?

I’m writing this as a scheduled post as I am out selling and I won’t be able to find the time to do the subject justice.

Ironically, that’s what it’s about – justice.

I have just seen the most distressing item on the News.  The killer of Millie Dowler has been sentenced today and her parents and sister made heart-rending statements.  They all declared that it was as though THEY had been on trial while the ‘human rights’ of the accused had been respected on all levels.

I feel close to this on two levels.  Firstly, Millies body was finally found not far from where I live.  It was a shock, especially as the initial investigation was carried out in areas that I knew well from my childhood.  Secondly, I understood the family feelings very well as we had experienced something similar.

My mother has always been a kind and  gentle person, always putting the other person first and offering hospitality to many waifs and strays.  Unfortunately this backfired when, at the age of 80, she was attacked and assaulted by a young man.  I won’t go into all the details, but suffice it to say that he imprisoned mum for many hours and did atrocious things to her.  Fortunately she was finally rescued when he fell asleep and she was able to raise the alarm.  He was still in the house when the police arrived.

The court case was horrific.  Not only did she have to relive the entire occurrence, the accused took great delight in making the situation worse.  Through the entire proceedings she was made to look as though she had encouraged his ‘advances’ and that she had been complicit in the dreadful acts that were committed.  Bear in mind that she was now 80+ and he was in his early 30s.  His defence counsel asked the most dreadful questions and made many statements which were totally untrue.  I can imagine that this is the sort of trauma that Mr and Mrs Dowler have also had to endure, and my heart goes out to them.  The worst part of all was discovering that he had done it all before – but this couldn’t be mentioned during the trial in case it harmed his defence!

Fortunately my mother was able to forgive and put the incident behind her.  I can assure you that this was no easy thing to do.  The police and witness support team could not believe that she was able to do it.  She knew that she had to get on with life – and there was no point in destroying her life as a result of someone else’s actions.  A few years later she was diagnosed with breast cancer and had to have a mastectomy.  She faced this in the same manner.

Tomorrow she will be 93.  Last February we were told that she probably only had another couple of weeks to live.  She’s extremely frail, and living on ‘borrowed’ time, but her spirit is still strong.  It isn’t her time yet, and she will continue to love and be loved by all her family.  We’ll all be there to celebrate tomorrow, even though she won’t be strong enough to even cut the cake.  She loves her Lord, and is an example to follow.

My hope and prayer is that eventually the Dowler family will be able to put this behind them and start to live again – that way Millie will live on.

17 thoughts on “Is forgiveness the key?

  1. I’m so sorry that your mother had to go through such a terrible ordeal. I hope she has a peaceful, yet joyous, birthday surrounded by loved ones.

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  2. Your Mum sounds like a remarkable woman and I am so sorry she went through this awful ordeal, but also glad she was able to carry on with her life and not let it destroy her. I have been incensed listening to the Millie Dowler case that the family have to go through this evisceration in defence of the perpetrator.
    I wish your Mum a very Happy Birthday!

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  3. Oh Sass I want to wish your mom a lovely day tomorrow. My boyfriend will also be celebrating his birthday so we will eat a cake for her.

    She sounds like a strong lady. xx

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  4. What an amazing woman your mother is. The fact that she has continued to give to others throughout her life is testament to her strength. Wishing you a lovely day of togetherness and celebration of her 93rd birthday. So glad you shared the story of her kind spirit!

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  5. Hi Myfanwy, Such a sad tale, unfortunately too often recurring around this world. The Dowlers and others are very badly treated in these cases.
    Having briefly met your mum years ago… probably at a show…. I was so sorry to hear about this.
    Her stoicism in the face of all this is amazing, although I am constantly surprised at the strength of that in the elderly.
    She is quite right about forgiveness, if you don’t forgive and move on, the only person who suffers is oneself. I am glad the Lord has helped her to do that.
    Wish her a Happy Birthday for tomorrow.
    Dorothy

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  6. Your mother is an amazing woman and shows the healing power of forgiveness. If we hold hate and anger towards those who hurt us – we give them power to continue hurting us! Blessings to her and your family!

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  7. Happy Birthday to you Mum – may whatever time remains be peaceful and filled with the love she rightly deserves from others. All the best,

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  8. This is such a touching post. I’m so sorry that your mum (and you, and the rest of your family) have had to deal with such an awful experience, I can’t even imagine what you must have gone through. Forgiving and moving on with life without bitterness is something that very few people would be able to achieve in this circumstance. What a tribute to your mum’s characte, soul and strength, she’s obviously an amazing person. I wish her a very happy birthday! xx

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  9. This was a very moving post that touched upon several areas … What a terrible event. At work, I quite often met women …little old ladies in their 80’s, from former Yugoslavia, who had been raped. I cried. I’d promised myself not to allow the job to affect me, but of course I failed.
    I don’t know about the Dowler case. Where I come from, you often have the impression that they’re trying to protect the crooks more than the general public.

    Hope your Mum had a wonderful birthday. I couldn’t forgive … I don’t even know how I could move on at all..

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  10. What a terrible ordeal for your Mum to have been through: it sickens me that our adversarial legal system means that victims can be treated like criminals. Forgiveness is not easy, but to forgive is not the same as to forget. A lovely tribute to your mum, and I hope she had a wonderful birthday 🙂

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  11. I’m sorry to hear this.:( I understand your side, we children dosen’t want anybody harmed our Mother. And I feel thesame thing! few months ago a drunk guy went to the shop of my Mom and harmed/slap her/left damage to my mom shop. The man went to prison for few days after my mom forgive him cuz he was drunk.
    The man is lucky cuz I’m here in miles away from my mom, but in my mind once I get home I will screw that man who hurt my loving man.

    Your mom is awesome and such a huge heart. I wish her a good recovery God Bless to her.:)

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