We all know what Casey Anthony sacrificed, at least in our minds. As closing arguments in the Casey Anthony Murder Trial continue this afternoon, many of us with children reached our own conclusions long ago, as we heard every unbelievable detail of a woman who was too young and too messed up to be a mother making choices that most of us find unfathomable. Prosecutor Jeff Ashton said in his closing arguments today:
"The evidence in this case proves beyond any reasonable doubt that Caylee Anthony decided on June 16 that something had to be sacrificed ... She died because her mother decided the life she wanted was more important."
A mother who willingly traded her child for her own life. Now juxtapose Casey to the other "mother" featured prominently in this trial -- Casey's own mother, Cindy -- and the whole tragic mess becomes even more confounding.
For all her screwed up priorities, naivete, or whatever else you want to call it for defending her daughter, Cindy Anthony is the only positive example of a mother in this trial.
Cindy Anthony may not believe her daughter is innocent of the crime, and yet she's defended her. She's testified for the defense, possibly even committed perjury for her. Meanwhile, her father, a retired cop, has been working for the prosecution. Not that I blame him -- his daughter has not only accused him of sexually abusing her but of also helping to help cover up Caylee's story that Caylee drowned in the family's pool -- none of which there is any evidence for. He loved that little girl more than life itself, and tried to take his own over it. He wants justice for that little girl, like everyone else.
Cindy Anthony has somehow found a way to look past that. Despite all the lies, all the changing versions, all the false accusations, and the ultimate death of her granddaughter in the most cruel of ways -- she still believes her daughter should be spared the ultimate fate. She's willing to risk everything -- her sense of justice, ethics, reputation, morality, her marriage (because how on earth could that survive after something like this) -- all for her daughter. Her daughter, who was once an innocent little girl, just like her granddaughter Caylee. Her daughter, who in some confused way is still innocent. Her daughter who is still and always will be her daughter.
Our daughters are really just images of ourselves perfected. When I think of my own daughter, not much older than Caylee when she died, there are very few things I could imagine her doing now or in the future that would alter her image in my eyes. Because there would always be an explanation that could rationalize it, some outside force beyond any control that made the mistake, not the inherent nature of the child herself. That is what we as mother's do. Most of us.
We might look at Cindy Anthony as clueless, conniving, immoral, or whatever other way you might label her based on what she's done through the trial, but on some very distant theoretical level I get it. And I can't say for certain that I would not do exactly the same thing in her shoes.
If only Casey Anthony had learned from that example and had been capable of being even half the mother her own is.
Is Cindy Anthony a good mom?
Image via Getty