I woke up this morning to the devastating news of a terror attack just a few miles away from where myself and my family had been sleeping soundly. A large-scale attack on innocent people with extremely grave consequences: 22 fatalities and scores of wounded, a third of whom are children. And that is so far.
I woke up this morning to the terrifying reality that is the world into which I am bringing my children. I needed to explain to them over their Cheerios and Weetabix that today had brought some very sad news in town, about one baddie versus a lot of goodies, about many people going to heaven together and about why and how such evil can possibly exist. I woke up this morning not well versed to have this conversation, unsure of myself and unprepared.
But as I spoke the words, in a language I hoped they would understand, I wasn’t really present. I was already consumed with how and when I would have to broach Part Two of the terrible story that was unfolding before their very innocent eyes. The part where it was revealed that this was not an isolated incident and where they might see and hear of such depraved, wicked actions and real-life evil monsters and terrifying scenes playing out over and over again in their precious lifetimes. The part where it would all sadly become the norm.
But then I woke up this morning. I woke up to the fact that this is not normal and this can never be normal. I read of homeless men cradling the dying, of the emergency services “falling as if from heaven”, of wounded women ushering other people’s children to safety. I read of queues to give blood, of hotels giving shelter, of cafes offering food, of taxi drivers turning their meters off. I read of countless more acts of selflessness, kindness, unity and love. And I realised that our city and our nation will never allow this to become normal. We will never allow ourselves to be dulled into submission, defeated by cowardly acts of terror.
This is not normal and never will be.
I woke up this morning and for that, I am truly thankful.
My thoughts and prayers go out to all those who have been affected by last night’s atrocity.