Saturday, August 16, 2008

What Is the Very Worst Thing That Could Happen to a Mother?

Today I spoke to Elsa Newman’s mother. This ninety-five-year-old woman (that’s right! I did write 95, and so she is.) lives on her own in a small apartment in the state of Florida. She cooks her own meals, does her own housekeeping, virtually everything one would expect a woman of 95 to need help with—she does it herself.

We-ell...OK…she has help one half day a week. But that isn’t for housework or things of that nature.

No…you see, Mrs. Newman had an accident with her car back when she was only 90, and she decided it was time for her to stop driving. So a woman comes once a week to take her shopping.

Her mind is as clear as the proverbial bell. She can carry her end of a conversation and more. I’m awfully glad of that, because I’m a poor stick for telephone conversations.

I mostly do all right with Elsa, because Elsa always has so many important things to tell me that I have little to do but take notes, tell her what I’ve been up to on the blogs and break in to ask the occasional question about something crucial that I didn't catch.

Elsa’s mother has the same talent, and I’m grateful. You know what they say about learning more with your mouth shut than you do with it open? Let me tell you about a couple of things I learned today, while I was busy keeping my mouth shut and a cell phone glued to my ear.

One of the first things I learned is that Rose Newman is only 4’ 8” tall. Now that was a surprise. I somehow thought it must take a giant of a woman to bear the struggle and stress and pain that life has offered her.

She had a son who died when he was 10 and a half years old. I’ve always thought that the worst thing that could happen to a mother was to lose a child in death. My mother lost a child—my younger sister—in a car accident, and I always knew that life was a bit out of kilter for Mother after that. Nothing was quite right. There was supposed to be another daughter in her world, and that other daughter was not there.

I said to Mrs. Newman that I had always thought that losing a child was the very worst thing that could happen to a parent. I wonder if my statement took her aback, because she paused for just a moment, thoughtful, and then answered, “You know, that was what I always thought, too. But this is worse.”

It’s worse to have a daughter in prison, knowing that your daughter does not belong there.

It’s worse having a daughter who was convicted by isolated “snippets” flowing from the mouth of Prosecutor Katherine Winfree—when the context would have shown your daughter innocent rather than guilty.

It's worse knowing you will possibly never again set yours eyes on that unjustly imprisoned daughter.

It’s worse not being able to see or talk to two of your grandsons, and knowing that you will probably never see or talk to them again.

It’s worse knowing that those two grandsons have been suffering for years—the boy who was 6 or 7 when it started is now 16—from the vilest sexual abuse imaginable.

It’s worse knowing those two grandsons disclosed their abuse and were ignored or called liars.

It’s worse knowing your daughter was accused of coaching the boys to disclose sexual abuse, accused despite the determined opinion of medical professions and specialists who declared that there was no way those children were being coached.

It’s worse knowing that the very justice system which her daughter so trusted turned on Elsa in every way it could: Elsa’s former attorney testifying against her—and lying on the stand; Sandra Ashley testifying against her—and lying on the stand; Arlen Slobodow testifying against her—and lying on the stand. Well, I mean you expect a sociopath to lie, but what’s up with the other two?

It’s worse knowing that Que Edwina Wallace, member of a police department that should have been helping her grandsons, instead interrogated them so fiercely and at such length that after six hours, they could take no more of her harrassment—and Herbie recanted, while Lars, far younger, just pooped in his underwear from not being allowed to use a restroom.

It’s worse knowing that Dr. Jill Scharff, who was the boys’ treating psychiatrist, now refuses to release the records of their treatment, citing doctor-patient privilege, when it is that very refusal that allows the torment to continue.

It’s worse knowing that those two precious grandsons also will live the rest of their lives under the shadow of abuse at the hands of their father, Arlen Slobodow, and only G-d knows what their lives will be as a result.

Yes…taken all together, I can begin to understand why Rose Newman would feel that this horrible situation is worse, even, than the loss of a child. And if anyone would know, Mrs. Newman would.

G-d help you, Rose. And G-d help all of us who are now fighting this battle to gain publicity for Elsa and your grandsons, her sons.

G-d grant us that this post and these blogs and whatever the publicity and new attorneys can accomplish have not come too late.

G-d grant that you may see the day when Elsa walks out of Maryland Correctional Institution for Women--free and vindicated.

And may G-d deal with the guilty according to Divine Wisdom.

Amen. So mote it be.

1 comment:

herbert slobodow said...

letter to mom, not her hired typer

Mom, thats it, final straw, when i confront you on the phone about this, you ignore me and scream at me.

Im pretty sure all you do is write these in prison in order to try to justify the way you treated me mom. Making me lie about my own father is a pretty fucked up thing to do.

Having your best friend shoot my dad is manipulating your own friends and attempting to kill an innocent man for your own greed.

You wanted to be rich, you wanted his money, his house, his children, and then... his life.

God stepped in, and in pure luck, she missed a sleeping man, and hit his leg, he managed to fight her off with a shot leg.

And what do you do then?
you turn on your best friend and say its her fault.
Then you have your mom steal from her grandchildren, because she doesnt want to spend her millions of dollers on her own daughter.

I got that money back in my collage account, lol another fail for you.

So what do you do, isolated in your cell?
You hire some one to lie about my dad me and the trial just to prove your innocence.

Your not my fucking mother, just a nasty place i crawled out of, thats all you are to me now mom.

And real jews dont mention gods name