Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Heart of the Matter

I heard an interview with Carmina Salcido yesterday on the radio. If you didn't live in the Bay Area 20 years ago, you might not know her story. If you did live here then, there's no way you don't know it.

In a day of pure horror, her father, Ramon Salcido, killed and killed and killed. But he didn't kill just anyone. No, he killed Carmina's mother. He killed Carmina's grandmother. He killed Carmina's two young aunts. He killed a man at the winery where he worked. And he sliced the throats of Carmina and her two sisters. And then he dumped their bodies at the dump. The three girls were 1 and 3 and 4 years old.

Miraculously, she survived. And her miraculous story didn't end the day she survived. It continues today. It will continue for the rest of her life.

She's written a book about her life. I've not read the book, but I'll be buying it today and devouring it because I have to know one thing. I have to know how she has been able to forgive her father.

Forgiveness on that scale is incomprehensible to me. How could she be so at peace to be able to do that? What strength does she have to be able to forgive this man? How can she forgive a man who has yet to accept responsibility for the act? A man who talks of how hard it has been for him since "he lost his family"? A man who has chastised her for not respecting her father, citing Bible passages to support his assertion that such disrespect means she will surely burn in hell?

I cried listening to her interview yesterday. I cried to be a part of a world where a person such as Carmina Salcido can exist. I want to remember Carmina when I bemoan that the world includes people such as Ramon. I want to remember Carmina when I stew about perceived wrongs done against me. And I want to remember Carmina just to remember Carmina.


cjm said...

Geez, I have no idea how someone gets to forgiveness after that either. Will surely be an interesting read.

Ann Imig said...

Cripes. What a story. The resilience of people who survive such trauma can be so inspiring.

Thanks for stopping by my blog.

mayberry said...

Amazing. Just that photo of her on the cover gives me the chills.

Sian said...

There is no way I could read something like that. I just would not be able to hold the book for shaking with rage.
Forgiveness like that escapes me completely.

D... said...

Wow. I have not heard of Carmina. What an amazing woman. I have no idea how one forgives after that. I just don't think I could.

Maggie May said...

I watched her 20-20 story last week and bawled my eyes out. THat kind of evil is something I know exists, and felt in my childhood. THat madness.

I will read her book too.

Leslie said...

Reading your post reminded me of the story. I can't believe it's been over 20 years. I hadn't heard that she has written a book. I'll have to check it out.

I remember... because your can never forget such a tragic and chilling event.

Carmina Salcido said...

Hello there, Its Carmina Salcido I just wanted to say... that I never forgave the acts of Ramon or what he did or who he was / continues to be, but rather forgavehis soul or spirit the thing that will continue to live after he's dead. He is a sick man physcopath and thats a sickness that we have yet to find a cure for, and if he cant control that sickness then its time to send him to the next life so he wont hurt himself or anybody else. That is my veiwpoint on this. I hope it helps put a little more understanding on the forgivness issue.
Peace, Love and Joy always,


I mentioned to Eldest the other night that I had a fairly wide open day Friday. Writer that he is, he wondered if I would perhaps like a wri...