When coming to terms with the short lives and early deaths of our sons it helped that their problems were almost certainly genetic.

Even if they weren’t, no-one had caused their brain disorders and there was no-one to find fault with or blame for them.

It would have been harder had their profound disabilities been the result of a deliberate act or even an accident. Then we would have had to forgive the person responsible.

It would have been harder still if one of us had been responsible because then we would have had to forgive ourselves.

Whaleoil writes movingly about how difficult that is, showing we are often far harder on ourselves than on others.

As for forgiveness, I think Catherine Ponder has a point when she says:

When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free.

However, that is much easier in theory than practice and who could blame anyone who was the victim of an act of evil if they couldn’t forgive the perpetrator?

Apropos of that I am in awe at the generosity of spirit shown by the family of the wee girl who was attacked so viciously in Turangi.

This afternoon, the girl’s family announced they had donated $20,000 to go toward buying equipment for a new children’s’ playground in Turangi, paediatric surgical instruments and items for the Waikids Ward 26 at Waikato Hospital and support for ECPAT Child Alert NZ Ltd and Victim Support Hamilton.

“We were amazed at New Zealanders’ generosity. We in no way blame the Turangi community for what happened and so we wanted to give something tangible back,” the girls’ parents said in a statement released on their behalf by Waikato District Health Board. . .

. . . One day we want to return to New Zealand with our family – we want our son and daughter to see what a beautiful country this is and realise how much love, care and attention your country gave us.

It would have been understandable had the family been put off the whole country and its people and wanted to keep as far away from here as possible.

The compassion and open-heartedness they’ve shown by this gesture auger well for their daughter’s healing in which a loving and supportive family will play a very important part.


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