has got to be another way
does killing someone else’s children solve anything?
in Beslan was forced to choose between leaving with
her infant or staying to die with both that infant and her 9-year-old
daughter. She left with the infant, and her 9-year-old was found
after the tragedy with a bullet in her neck.
In Canada, every elementary, middle, and high school flew their flag at half-mast
to honor the memory of the innocent lives lost. Here, there are many who don’t
even know that it took place.
Of course, I see my daughters.
For me, sitting here, the choice is simple: we all survive, or
we all perish. The thought of my child spending her final moments
alone and full of terror is unbearable. Yet, this is exactly what
mothers in many parts of the world are forced to endure. A choice
as heinous as that of deciding which of your children lives leaves
no room for anyone to judge. What would you do?
I think about Beslan every night and every day since it happened. Children's
lifeless bodies carried out by their parents. Many naked, many beheaded, many
without limbs. I think, what kind of heartless bastards would do such a thing?
My blood turns to ice and I want someone to “get them.” I want
to look the perpetrators in the eye and rage, “don’t you see we
want the same thing? Don't we all want our children to grow up in a world without
fear, with a home to call their own, abundant food and water? How does killing
someone else’s children solve anything?”
Yet, I imagine the lifetime
of desperation that it must take to commit such acts. A lifetime
of witnessing scenes like Beslan, with no hope for rescue or relief.
Mothers giving birth to children amidst the rubble of war and poverty.
And death. This blood of ice that I feel, this nausea and dry mouth
at the horror in Russia, is an everyday experience in some parts
of the world.
And there are the “leaders.” Whether
wielding Uzis, machine guns, or home-made bombs. Promising liberty,
revolution... relief... hope. And the young people sign up. Young
women too, choosing death over giving birth. What have they got
I sit here in my comfortable home, my daughters both asleep in their beds— safe
for now. And, I have the privilege of being horrified by the events in Beslan.
Still, I think, surely the utter disregard for precious life, the annihilation
of the defenseless, must be a crime against anyone’s God...?
And somewhere in the world, this very moment, are men— leaders— planning
to kill more children to advance their own agendas. In the name of profits,
in the name of God, in the name of “liberty.”
I think of other mothers— Barbara Bush, Laura Bush, Hillary Clinton.
Where is the vehement, screaming resistance to bombing other mothers’ homes?
Other mothers’ children? And the fury, the wrath, once these orders have
been given? How do they stand next to their husbands while they give the okay
to protect “our way of life” as opposed to life itself?
Otherwise, I imagine most of the world's mothers are too busy nurturing and
sustaining life to research how to create bombs, or develop weapons of mass
destruction. I want to hold my children to my chest and keep them there; keep
them from walking out into the increasing madness of this world. Yet, I don't
want fear to paralyze them. I want them to fight; fight to love, fight to create.
Perhaps I’m naive, but this mother wants her children to keep searching
for another way. There has got to be another way
mmo : October 2004