After the traumatic events in Littleton, Colorado, in the spring of 1999, the impact of the single word “Yes” reverberated around the globe sending shockwaves throughout the Christian and secular communities. When asked if she believed in God, Cassie Bernall said “Yes” and died. In doing so, she was elevated to the status of martyr, a status her mother Misty believes overshadows the truth of her daughter’s life.
On April 20 at Columbine High School, two troubled young men lashed out at a world they felt hated them and thus destroyed the lives of unsuspecting families. As Misty Bernall recounts the long wait for Cassie to come home and the discovery that she would never hold her daughter again, she also remembers a different Cassie. A Cassie who hung out with a group of kids who dabbled in Satanic worship and contemplated killing the Bernalls to free Cassie from their “control.”
Misty makes no excuses for her daughter nor does she place the blame solely on the other kids, but the Bernalls were willing to do anything to save her from herself. They turned her letters over to the police who said these were the worst letters written by a juvenile that they had seen in more than ten years. The parents of the other girl involved, called “Mona” to protect her identity, were upset at having their daily routing interrupted for a “phase” the girls were going through. Then Misty and her husband Brad went one step further: they left behind their dream house and Misty quit work to concentrate on Cassie. By saving her life at this time, they gave Cassie the opportunity to renew her bond to Christ to serve Him in Littleton.
The untrained voices of Misty, Brad and Chris provide a strength to this rendition that a trained voice would have lacked. The loss echoing in their voices does not hide their love for their daughter/sister/friend, nor does it hide their pride in her strength and devotion to her calling. A highly emotional tale suitable for all collections, but not recommended as listening while in the car.
Melanie C. Duncan
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