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.