Justice 4 ALL Madeleine McCann Family
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Tori Stafford.

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Tori Stafford.

Post by vee8 on Wed Jul 29, 2009 5:39 am

Heartbreaking.

http://www.lfpress.ca/newsstand/News/Columnists/Cornies_Larry/2009/07/25/10256786-sun.html

On a forlorn street in Woodstock this week, the cursive script of a handmade note bore a heartbroken mother's plea.

"Please respect my families wishes today and give us peace and time to assess everything that is happening," it said. "I will contact the media if I wish to speak to anyone. Please do not knock on the door."

Tara McDonald's poignant supplication marked the end of what had been an extraordinarily public campaign to get back her missing daughter, Victoria Stafford. It was a crusade conducted beneath the glare of TV lights, under the scrutiny of thousands of townsfolk and through the whispers of a thousand cynics. And now it was all over, but the burial.

One hundred and two days elapsed between the Wednesday afternoon Tori disappeared from Fyfe Avenue in Woodstock in the company of a mysterious woman and the Sunday morning that her remains were found along a dirt lane off a concession road east of Mount Forest. One hundred and two days of anguish that will now be the prelude to a lifetime of grief.

If we were to be honest, many of us would admit to at least a little doubt, suspicion or incredulity over the near-daily public appearances by McDonald and, less frequently, by Tori's father, Rodney Stafford.

We wondered about the failure of their marriage. We conjectured about McDonald's past and her relationship with her current partner. We were fascinated by the tale of a secret trip to Toronto. We mused about the motivation of anyone for abducting an eight-year-old girl, sometimes breathing the question as to whether Tori's parents could somehow be involved.

We speculated about the relationship between McDonald and the woman eventually charged in connection with Tori's death. We watched the occasional spurt of tension between McDonald and Stafford. And eventually, we even became bored of a woman's blunt and repetitious plea for help -- and the manufactured optimism that is the only oxygen distraught parents have left.

Obvious as it sounds, no one knows parental grief or loss like grieving parents. They'll circulate petitions or press for legislative change. They'll undertake cross-country runs to raise awareness or establish memorial scholarships -- anything that will impart some meaning, thin and fragile though it might seem, to such personal devastation. Emotions run the gamut among anger, resignation and hellish deep sadness.

In many cases, communities rally, offer support and then move on. Woodstock and Southwestern Ontario rallied too, but moving on is more difficult this time because the glib sound bites of "accidents happen" or "that's life" or "she was an inspiration to us" don't fit.

We tend to fear what we do not understand. And we do not understand why someone would abduct a child on her way home from school. We don't understand what pleasure is rendered or what curiosity satisfied by the theft of a trusting Grade 3 pupil's future. We don't understand what motivates the criminal misdeeds, injury or violence that ends in her death. And we don't understand what appears to be a cowardly attempt to forever hide her fate from her parents by concealing her body in a field more than 100 kilometres from her home.

We pass tougher laws, boost minimum sentences and create missing-child alert systems, but in the end we know that the most broken of minds will sometimes find the wherewithal to defeat our most noble efforts.

And so we fear. Or if not fear, we live in a state of disquiet about the absence of a precious little girl.

A public memorial for Tori was held June 6; her funeral, after the police and the scientists have exhausted their search of her body for every miniscule clue, will be a private family affair.

We're not invited. Nor should we expect to be.

But as they try to rise from the bottomless depth of parental grief, it seems right that we should encircle McDonald and Stafford now --in solidarity, in sorrow and in abject apology.
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Re: Tori Stafford.

Post by dianeh on Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:43 am

Yes, truly heartbreaking. Poor little Tori, to have suffered for no reason, and her poor parents who will continue to suffer for the rest of their lives.

I like to remember that little children like Tori were loved, and dearly loved for the time that they were here on this earth, and they knew that they were loved, and were happy. She brightened the lives of those that knew and loved her.
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Re: Tori Stafford.

Post by Guest on Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:52 am

I couldn't add to that Diane.

Only it is a sad reflection of our society that adds pain to parents of missing children.

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Re: Tori Stafford.

Post by jean on Wed Jul 29, 2009 10:16 am

How very sad. We must all pray that this isn't what has happened to Madeleine. As long as there is hope we must hold onto that feeling no matter how long it takes. My family and I have just returned from a holiday in Athens, and there is still hope. In the airport there was a poster of Madeleine, together with other missing children. I have a luggage type label of Madeleine attached to my bag, so whereever I go people notice it and asked me about her. So her disappearance is still in their memory. Let's strive to keep it there.

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Re: Tori Stafford.

Post by Pedro Silva on Wed Jul 29, 2009 10:53 pm

Yes, let´s continue to strive our sweet Madeleine in people´s minds, because it increases the chances of finding her. Yes, I quote: "As long there is hope we must hold onto that feeling no matter how long it takes", Until no evidence otherwise, given by those who are now in charge of the investigation, we should, we must remember sweet Madeleine as a living, real, finding little girl, we all should, must look for a real living little girl, until evidence otherwise.

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Re: Tori Stafford.

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