Yesterday morning I cried on the drive into work. Waking to such terrible news filled me with an overwhelming sadness. I can only imagine the agony a parent most feel at the loss of a child but for someone to take them in such a barbaric way must be like pure torture. It’s a depressing fact but terrorism is part of our lives. For a long time ISIS have dominated the headlines. Stories of pain and suffering fill our newspapers. While each one is just as harrowing as the next, this time it feels different. When it happens on your doorstep, that’s when terrorism gets personal.
When I came home from work on Tuesday we did bath time as normal. Before bed we laid together, just for a couple of minutes. Anyone who has small children will tell you how sacred those few minutes are. It’s not often that they sit still long enough for you to appreciate them but it was almost like he knew. Like he could sense that Mommy just needed a some time to cherish him. It was at that moment I said it…
Mommy will never let anyone hurt you
As parents it’s our responsibility to protect our children but are we making promises that we can’t keep? How is it possible to keep them safe when their growing up in a world where terrorism is rife? In a world where 22 year old men strap bombs to their chests with the sole intention of ruining lives. In a world where spending time with their friends could have the same consequences as fighting a war.
Here I am making promises to keep my child safe when less than 40 miles away people are desperately searching for their loved ones!
So where do we go from here? How do we safeguard our children?
Should we be wrapping them in cotton wool? Will keeping them at arm’s length protect them from the harsh dangers of the modern world.
When I look at Rory, he is still a very small child. At 15 months his innocence means he has no concerns or worries. Unfortunately for parents with older children this is not the case. I know a time will come when he’ll ask questions and I’ll have to try to find words which are suitable for someone so young and impressionable. I’ll have to explain to the small boy who I have grown and nurtured, that there are terrible people in this world. People who do bad things and hurt undeserving victims. How do you even begin to explain that to such a susceptible mind?
And what about the questions?
With the suffering comes the questions.
Why did it happen? What was the purpose? Why those people? What did they achieve? Will it happen again? How do we stop it happening again? How do we carry on?
These are questions which will more than likely remain unanswered. Questions which those left behind will no doubt ask for the rest of their lives.
So tonight as you go home to your families, as you’re making dinner and your kissing them goodnight spare a thought for the 22 families who aren’t so fortunate.