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December 28, 2011

looking back

by Andrea O'Connell
English: Casey Anthony has been booked into th...

Image via Wikipedia

2011 is coming to an end.  The year has flown by.  Every year don’t we all say, “My, this year has really flown by?!”  And the years do go by pretty quickly, especially as we age.

Time seemed to crawl when I was young.  Was it like that for you, too?

This year flew, though it seemed to stand still, too, at times.

I wrote a blog post every single day in 2011.  To date, I have 608 posts. This one will make 609.

I never thought I’d actually write something every day for an entire year, but I did.  In fact, I wrote a post every day in December 2010 so this is month 13 of my Post-a-day challenge.

It was pretty easy, really.   The Casey Anthony saga gave me so much material!  There were the lawyers on the defense team – how bizarre they were.  The defense attorney’s gave me a lot of colorful content.  And, the Anthony family, Cindy and George and their antics, provided all kinds of fanciful copy as well.

I was very critical of the Anthony defense team, especially Jose Baez, because he deserved it. His courtroom antics were gross and demeaned the legal profession, at least in my opinion.  However, as far as George and Cindy Anthony go – I was too hard on them, at times.  Most bloggers were.

The mainstream media helped sensationalize the situation, as did the overflow of documentation made possible by Florida’s Sunshine law.  Still, bloggers had a field day with the Anthony’s.  I did too.

I am sorry I jumped on the bandwagon and made hay out of the George and Cindy stories – the discovery that was released in the case.  I feel badly, looking back at the last three years of this case, that I judged and criticized them too often, as I know I did.

I think, in hindsight, that I forgot they were real people.  They are hardly perfect and as capable of making stupid mistakes as I am.  I think that comes from being human.

I have never lived under a microscope, I have never had a daughter or a granddaughter, I have never known anyone who either committed or was a victim of murder, not to mention a murder as heinous as Caylee’s was.

During the trial, I felt sorry for both Anthony’s.  In hindsight I realize they only ever wanted to do the right thing for a daughter they doted on.  As despicable as her acts were, the Anthony’s loved her.  She is their daughter.  She destroyed them and they allowed it to happen because they thought that was love.  They thought they were loving and perfect parents.  I think all parents believe they are.

I did some research and reading about how parents – whose children were murderers, behaved and learned that the Anthony’s were not so unusual after all.

Some parents will protect their children no matter what the cost.  Even the most law-abiding people will convince themselves their son/daughter couldn’t possibly be guilty, despite solid evidence that says otherwise. Parents will usually ride a ship called denial across the Nile river for the rest of their lives, if that’s what it takes to maintain their sanity and their love for their child.

It’s easy to believe I’d be different from the Anthony’s, but until I’ve walked in their shoes, how can I know?

Having seen George brought to his knees by his own daughter during the trial makes me feel badly that I judged him.  Watching Cindy Anthony literally crumble on the stand as she relived the pain of loosing both her daughter and Caylee, makes me feel very badly to have judged her at all.

Weren’t the Anthony’s just ordinary people who were thrown into an extraordinary Orlando firestorm?    I think so.

All the crazy proselytizing Cindy did in the media to make Casey into a saint and a good mother helped to make the Anthony’s seem all the more dysfunctional.   Little did they know they were inadvertently putting themselves in front of their own daughter’s version of a firing squad.

The video tapes we saw of the Anthony’s were of them at their most vulnerable.   George and Cindy Anthony seemed to take a wrong turn and make the wrong decision constantly, and we saw it unfold, moment to moment.

I’d like to think I would have acted totally differently in every regard.  But then again, I’ve never been in the lion’s den for three years, let alone three minutes.

The Anthony’s were living their lives as best they could.

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