Since the horrific terror attack on Manchester on Monday night I’ve shed a lot of tears. Tears for those lives lost , tears for the families with a part of them now gone, tears for those hurt and injured, tears for those who walked away without physical injury but who have lifetime of mental scars.
I’ve been moved to tears by acts of kindness and stories that highlight the very best of people.
I’ve shed tears feeling a city coming together, standing strong, uncowed, unbeaten. When Tony Walsh read his poem, as spoken about here, at the vigil on Tuesday night I felt that poem in my soul I’m sure of it.
I’ve heard the lines we tell one another. I’ve said them myself. The strong lines.
“we must carry as on normal ”
” we can’t let them affect our daily lives”
“If we live in fear then the terrorists win”
I am scared though. I am fearful. I’m terrified.
My elder 3 children are teenagers. They want be out doing their own thing. I have to let them. Sending independent, good people out into the world? Well that’s the parenting goal isn’t it?
Most anything my youngest at 9 considers a treat is in Manchester city centre. Her birthday was a couple of weeks ago and for her birthday treat she really wanted to go to the CBBC tour at media city then then go to a ‘posh’ restaurant! You have to book a the tour quite far in advance so this weekend we were due to go.
I’ve wrestled internally with it. Should I still take her? One half of my brain saying “you must go – you can’t live in fear”. The other half very much shouting “but WHAT IF ….??” Could I let her down and age appropriately discuss my fears? Probably not. I’m mummy. I’m the one who reassures worries. I’m meant to calm her fears, that’s what she expects from me.
So do I brave it out? Head off to the city centre, try to feel strong and defiant. That “What if??” though, it’s loud and it’s chilling.
Thankfully the decision was taken out of my hands and I received an email to say tours were cancelled.
The relief was immense.
I know we cannot give in to cowardly, vicious bullies. I know that.
When cowardly, vicious bullies though have no qualms in targetting families, in murdering children…
Yes, I’m scared.
I’m scared my boys might head off to a football match one day and be targeted.
I’m scared my teen girl may go to a concert with her pals and not come back.
I’m scared small girl could be out with daddy one day and become some evil, less than human’s victim.
I’m scared small girl and I could head out on one of our jaunts and leave the elder 3 motherless.
I know we’re still in the midst of grief and shock right now. I know we’re still hearing about these poor people killed, hearing their stories, seeing their faces. So very close to home it could have been any one of us. Feeling guilty for daring to feel heartbroken knowing the friends and families of those murdered, those injured are the ones going through a torturous hell.
Days, weeks, months will pass. This shall never be forgotten but I’d imagine I’ll be back strolling through Manchester, taking the kids to sporting events, having one of my solo theatre dates. These times will come back around I know. Because love is stronger than hurt. Kindness is the antidote to fear.
Manchester. You rock. Your strength of character and awesome people are inspirational.
For now though-for today, for tomorrow. I am scared, and for that I am sorry.