Sunday, July 10, 2011
Just eleven when abducted by a known meth-addicted sex offender, Jaycee Dugard endured eighteen years of deepest horror. By thirteen she was pregnant. At fourteen, without medical care, she gave birth to what would be the first of her two daughters by this monster of a man. She had but a fifth grader's education, and yet, in an environment Diane Sawyer properly calls "degranged," Jaycee homeschooled her little girls—teaching them what she knew, protecting them from a brand of evil that seems, frankly, impossible.
Our own troubles are no troubles when we read of stories like Jaycee's, now being published by Simon & Schuster as a A Stolen Life. Her kidnapping haunted me years ago, when it first made headlines, and her rescue deeply played into my imagination as I wrote about Sophie's struggle to break free in You Are My Only. I have spent some of this early morning watching the video clips from Diane Sawyer's two-hour interview with Jaycee, which will air this evening, and I have been so deeply moved by the beauty of this young woman. Jaycee Dugard is a survivor, she says, and not a victim. She looks for what is good. She is a mother raising girls of whom she is deeply, rightly protective.
Dignity and grace. Dugard newly defines these words.