The story of Jaycee Dugard, who was kidnapped at 11 years old by Phillip Garrido and his wife Nancy Garrido and held captive for 18 years, is a heartbreaker for sure. However, today the only thing that matters is that Jaycee and her two daughters by Garrido survived their terrible ordeal. They survived the unthinkable, and today they can officially close the book on the sorrow, as much as any victim can, and celebrate the gifts of their strength and endurance because their kidnappers have been sentenced.
Phillip Garrido, 60 got 431 years to life while his wife and accomplice Nancy got 36 years to life. May they rot in there.
To mark the end of this terrifying journey, Jaycee Dugard issued her first public statement since she was found in a secret compound behind Garrido's home almost two years ago. Her mother, Terry Probyn, read the statement today at the Garrido hearing. Here is an excerpt from the transcript:
I chose not to be here today because I refuse to waste another second of my life in your presence. Everything you ever did to me was wrong and I hope one day you will see that. I hated every second of every day for 18 years. You stole my life and that of my family.
Basically what you did was you took a human being and turned them into a chattel, a piece of furniture, to be used by you at your whim. You reinvented slavery, that's what you did.
To Nancy specifically, Dugard said what she did to her was "evil." "There is no God in the universe that would condone your actions."
Dugard shared that she is doing well now and then told Phillip Garrido, "You do not matter anymore."
That final statement from Dugard sums up the bright light of hope that shines out from inside this whole tragic ordeal -- because in the end, it doesn't matter what the Garridos did to Dugard. It does not matter that she couldn't escape and break free. It doesn't matter anymore. All that matters now is she is free today and that she and her daughters are safe and back with their family, living a happier life that they couldn't have imagined a few years ago.
It is just a shame that in all those hours, minutes, and seconds of those 18 horrible years that Jaycee was held hostage and, no doubt, worried sick, for her own and her daughters' fates, we couldn't slip in and simply whisper in her ear: Just survive. That is all you need to do. Someday soon, none of this will matter.
Dugard has written a memoir called A Stolen Life, which will be out next month.
Are you going to read Jaycee Dugard's book?
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