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July 17, 2011



by Andrea O'Connell

The clock in an Orlando jail struck midnight and the bars opened and out she walked with her freedom fighter, Jose Baez.

She is free. Casey Anthony, according to the laws of this wonderful country, can now walk into freedom unburdened by the fear of retribution or hate or those who would do her harm.

It is beneath us as citizens to spew hate at a free American citizen.  We are better than this.

It was a few minutes after midnight, exactly three years from her initial arrest, and Casey Anthony took long and quick strides behind Jose and into an awaiting car and toward freedom.

I watched how she walked as she left the jail.  As I watched the replay of her release from jail, I thought to myself, this is the first time Casey Anthony has been able to walk without chains and handcuffs!

Seeing her dart out of jail behind Jose, I noticed that her arms were not keeping time with her strides as she walked.  It was if her arms were stuck to her sides.  And then, I realized, she has not been able to walk like that in three years!  No wonder she seemed awkward.

Leaving the Jail Behind. Photo Credit: Red Huber, Orlando Sentinel

You can see in this picture just how odd her posture is as she walks.

It’s as if she’s not sure how to walk, and is placing her arms behind her body to be handcuffed.

This is not the same nimble girl we saw in so many trial-pictures.

Besides that, look at the guy in the uniform with the big gun!

Who did he think he might have to shoot with that gun?

Casey was found not guilty – how bizarre it is that her first taste of freedom happened with guns all around, helicopters in the air, law enforcement on horseback, the general public screaming, “MURDERER,” and the paparazzi click, click, clicking away, dressing the dark, hot night with continuous bursts of light.

Freedom is something I take for granted. I hardly think about it.  Tonight I am thinking about it and realize how grateful I am for my freedom.

How do we define freedom when we are already free?  I guess, the only way for me to define freedom, really, is to define what it is not.

Not being free is to not have keys to the bars on your door.

Esoterically speaking you could say that freedom means being alive.  Aside from that, three years in jail is the absence of freedom.

If my windows and walls were made of bars, I would not be…:

  • going to Target
  • taking a bike ride
  • getting a new car
  • eating toast with guava jelly
  • having a beer
  • wearing a hat
  • eating ice cream with chocolate sauce that becomes like a hard chocolate shell, then heaping whip cream on top of that
  • kissing my dog making loud smooch-smooch sounds
  • tasting warm chocolate chip cookies fresh from the oven
  • falling asleep on the couch
  • chatting with neighbors and their kids
  • laughing when my dog yelps and moves his feet in the air during a bad dream
  • eating eggs with grits for dinner
  • eating chocolate for breakfast
  • playing dominoes
  • eating blueberries one by one
  • taking pictures of butterflies
  • playing solitaire on the computer
  • extra pickles on a hot pastrami & cheese sandwich
  • seeing a ballet
  • getting a tweet
  • meeting friends for lunch
  • going thrift-shopping
  • eating Filet Mignon medium rare
  • wearing a new outfit
  • eating a baked potato – loaded
  • loving the smell of fresh bed sheets
  • yawning because someone else did
  • hearing children laugh
  • blogging
  • painting my toenails black
  • paying bills and having money left over
  • getting a goody-bag from mom
  • reading Shakespeare
  • going to the theatre with friends
  • Googling
  • looking at old pictures
  • wearing pearl earrings with matching pearl necklace
  • having seven pairs of flip-flops
  • putting a banana, with strawberries, and blueberries and ice in a blender and then drinking it
  • watching a movie in the middle of the day and not worrying about things I should be doing or need to be doing
  • listening to James Taylor
  • watching my dog eat a treat
  • going to “Butterfly World”
  • enjoying a cold diet Dr. Pepper when it really quenches my thirst
  • finding a lost earring
  • having thai food
  • Seeing Degas paintings up close
  • getting a new Netflix movie in the mail
  • seeing a rainbow
  • falling asleep outdoors
  • brushing my teeth when ever I want to
  • voting

I could keep this list going.

I am so grateful for the little things.

11 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jul 18 2011

    Most excellant, Andrea! And for some reason, I have an incredible craving for eggs over easy, crispy applewood bacon, rye toast, raspberry jam and a tall glass of cold milk! If I could find my owner (downside of being a cat lover) I’d scoop Patchabelle up & give her a big hug, and, naturally, a scratch behind the ears!

    • Jul 18 2011

      Hi RahRah! Oh, I am a slave to my cat, too. But, he’s a ragdoll, too, and always wants to be in my lap…. sometimes I have to scoot him away…

  2. Cynthia
    Jul 18 2011

    I so enjoy your writing and point of view and this case helped me discover you. You have great way of talking about this case and bringing it into our lives in the most normal way. I look forward to reading whatever you write about.

    • Jul 18 2011

      Hi Cynthia, Thank you for your kind words! I’m so glad you discovered this blog and look forward to chatting with you, too! 🙂

  3. Jul 18 2011

    I agree with what you said…..
    Freedom means being alive to enjoy everything LIFE has to offer……
    Caylee’s JAIL was the back of Casey’s trunk, mouth and nose duct-taped
    shut……triple bagged and tossed in the swamp to rot like yesterday’s garbage.

    How sad it is now……that this innocent child will never experience any of the wonderful things you listed here.

    However Caylee will never get the chance to do all you listed

    • Hilde
      Jul 18 2011

      so true Christine, Caylee was the Reason we wanted Justice.
      She is the One like so many other Children never will experience Freedom to live their Lives.
      I do however feel Comfort in knowing there will be Justice for All those precious Children who’s Life was taken away in such a horrible Way.
      In the End we All have to account for our Actions and Casey Anthony is no Exception.

      • Jul 18 2011

        Hi Hilde.. big hugs… and thank you for your excellent comments, as always……

    • Jul 18 2011

      Hi Christine, It’s incredibly sad that Caylee will not know any of these pleasures. It is unbelievably sad….and every day, there are more children victims of stupid adults….but the way Caylee died was especially heinous.

  4. Jul 18 2011

    Today I have to focus on my life, and I’d really rather not! I’m in the middle of a mid-life crisis. My nest is empty. My heart, my baby girl, is out there, spreading her wings, and soaring, way too high, as far as I am concerned, lol. The safety net is standing by. So, anyway, I created this garden out of despair, depression, desperation, frustration, being laid off, finding the love of my life again to losing him again, a 3rd time. Oh, I digress. This morning I stubbed my toe on a rock in the garden and wanted to tell Casey, “if that was YOUR rock, sorry!”

    • Jul 18 2011

      Oh nooooo, RahRah, I’m sorry your heart is breaking….the reality of the empty nest is not easy. It’s lovely you love her enough to let her go…and you know she’ll be back, if not physically, she’ll be calling mom all the time! I did – still do!

  5. Jul 18 2011

    Another thing that brought a smile (no pain was involved with this one!) was this link:


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