Today, September 9th, is my Mother’s birthday.
My Mother lost her life two years ago due to the abuse she was facing. But I want you all to know how grateful I am to all friends around the world who have shown love, compassion and humanity during the years when she was still alive. I am very grateful to all of you who were part of the Mission to help my Mother and to all of you who had integrity enough to not change your standpoint when some people tried to put doubt in your mind and making it uncomfortable for you to stand up against elder abuse. I am also very grateful to all of you who had civil courage enough to report the abuse, speak up about it and help creating a world where abuse is not accepted. Nothing can be more honorable and there is nothing that is more valuable for the world today. I am proud of having friends like you.
I know that it was uncomfortable for many of you to stand up against the abusers. It has been uncomfortable for me too. But it is not hard for anyone with an honest heart to see who they are. Those who in some way are involved in the abuse will of course deny that abuse occur instead of reporting it. They will discredit people reporting abuse to save themselves. And they will try to discredit posts like this one. As in this case at Levinsgården in Gäddede they proved all this by discrediting people who stood up against elder abuse instead of honoring them, by setting up visiting restrictions to prohibit insight instead of inviting people, by diminishing all the work that was being done instead of being involved against abuse themselves. However, to deny that the abuse of my Mother didn’t happen is nothing to be proud of. And to discredit any part of this Mission says a lot about those people.
When me and my Mother were being discredited and facing made-up accusations spread out in the village (a method often used in order to redirect attention and make someone look untrustworthy as part of denying abuse) a friend who visited my Mother brought it back to the facts with five simple words: “I have seen this too”. These five words made a huge difference for me and my Mother. Instead of looking the other way and by that supporting abuse you can also make a huge difference for someone with these very powerful five words: “I have seen this too”.
I am thankful to everyone who visited my Mother and who treated her like a human. I am thankful to everyone who had a heart big enough to care for her, show her love and defend her when she couldn’t defend herself. And I am thankful to everyone around the world who supported this Mission in words and in actions. You did more than I can mention here. You have all made a huge difference.
Today is my Mother’s birthday. My Mother was a person who was always there for others in need. But when she was in need herself, then no one that she had helped was there for her. Instead many of you were there for her. Friends like you make a difference in the world, just like my Mother did. I would like to ask you to make this day a special day. A day of love, compassion, integrity and civil courage, which summarizes this whole Mission. A day where we stand up against abuse and where we defend those who can’t defend themselves and let them feel that they are human. And if it feels difficult, just remember that the discomfort that you may feel standing up for someone is nothing compared to the suffering of that person being abused, not being able to escape her abusers. Sometimes just five simple and powerful words can make a huge difference, “I have seen this too”.
So, let’s make this a day when we celebrate my Mother and what she stood for. She was a person who found a reason to help others in need instead of putting herself first. If we want to make a difference in the world, then we can all learn from my Mother, because there is a big difference between those who find reasons to help others and those who search for reasons not to help.
Happy Birthday Mom!!!!
You are the best!