The three brave, resilient, and upbeat women who were held as prisoners and abused in a Cleveland home for a decade have made a YouTube video. They wanted to say “thank you.”
The intention alone is humbling and inspiring: These women feel gratitude after what they have been through? Yes, gratitude — for the good wishes and prayers offered in Cleveland and throughout the world.
Gratitude to the professionals who have volunteered to give them counseling and legal help. Gratitude for the $1 million in donations that have come from a compassionate American public.
Amanda Berry, 27, said: “I want everyone to know how happy I am to be home, with my family, my friends.”
Gina DeJesus, 23, spoke quietly: “I would say thank-you for the support.”
Michelle Knight, 32, said: “I will not let the situation define who I am. I will define the situation. I don’t want to be consumed by hatred.”
Not to be consumed by what was done to them — the women are united in that sentiment. That can’t be easy. But what a lesson for the rest of us, who can be easily angered and pulled into resentments over much less.
These three were captured as very young women. All were allegedly tortured and raped. Ms. Berry bore a child and Ms. Knight lost another — she says she was punched in the belly until she miscarried.
Yet they refuse to be bitter or defined by all this. The only thing more incredible than the story of what these women went through is the story of the healing they have begun.
These three heroic women endured. And now, we see three strong, healthy-looking people. They have overcome.