The news this morning about a terrorist attack in our home city, Manchester is breaking my heart. For the victims. For their families.
And for you. For you, your friends and your generation.
I fear that these incidents are only going to happen more and more as you get older and it makes me so sick to think that I cannot protect you from the barbaric individuals who do things like this.
As you grow up, you may think that it makes more sense and is safer to just ‘stay in and not do anything’.
As your mother, who loves you so much it hurts, I have this message for you. ‘Do not do that. Go out…. and do EVERYTHING.’
Do everything you want to do.
Go everywhere you want to go.
See everyone you want to see.
Go to that party at the club, go to school and university, go travelling and get on that plane, ride on the underground and go to that sports match, go on that holiday and see those sights, go to that shopping centre, go to that concert, go see that movie, go eat at that restaurant…
Yoy may think that is a strange thing for me to want you to do.
But my reason is this:
All your life, my job… is to protect you. Protect you from monsters. Most of those monsters, I can keep away from you, scare off, reassure you have gone away and won’t come back.
But not these monsters.
These monsters do horrible things all over the world. These monsters I cannot always protect you from.
And as a parent, that is the hardest thing in the world for me to come to terms with and admit to you.
But if I cannot fight these monsters for you, I’m sure as hell gonna teach you how to do that yourself.
By. Just. Living. Your. Life.
They don’t want you to do that.
They don’t win if you do that.
So do it.
Never be afraid to enjoy yourself and live your life to the fullest.
I cannot guarantee that one day, you may not come face to face with their horrors and destruction. I cannot guarantee that you may not know someone who is killed in a terrorism related incident, or god forbid, are hurt yourself in their bid to injure and kill people.
But remember this…
They cannot kill strength.
They cannot kill determination.
They cannot kill love.
And your generation are going to be the strongest yet. You are going to be the most determined to beat this.
And you are going to have the most love to give because we will teach you that you mustn’t be afraid of these monsters. No matter how scary they seem.
Remember that in every story, there are goodies and baddies?
Look for the goodies, my darling.
Look at those who, like last nights attack in Manchester, are helping others.
Look for the doctors, the nurses, paramedics, hospital staff, emergency services who are at the scene and working to save and protect people.
Look for the hotel staff, taxi drivers, bus drivers… all offering to help at no cost.
Look for the passers by who are looking after each other and hugging strangers.
Look for the parents and families who have lost their children to this tragedy, speaking out to show solidarity and unity instead of hatred and revenge.
Look for the strength.
I will not always be there to protect you from the cowards in this world who pray on the innocent and defenceless but I will teach you to find reassurance in the courage, unity and bravery you see.
I will teach you to be brave yourself.
We will teach you, our children, not to be afraid and to live harder, happier and stronger than any of us ever did.
We will hold your hands and lead you through all of this.
We will show you the heroes always beat the villains.
* I cannot take credit for this post, all credit goes to whoever originally wrote this letter, I just felt inspired. *