Monday 13 March 2017


This week I didn't know where my child was for a couple of hours. Her bus broke down coming home from camp and our communications were awry. I went into a panic. My blood pressure felt sky high and my voice was very shrill. She was located safe with staff, thank God. 


I remember I have always been like that. If the children disappeared in a department store while I was at the checkout, for example. I would get critical looks, and once, a comment, while frantically calling them. I presumed those people never had children. There is a saying: "child of my body", and it feels exactly like that. 


“Through the blur, I wondered if I was alone or if other parents felt the same way I did - that everything involving our children was painful in some way. The emotions, whether they were joy, sorrow, love or pride, were so deep and sharp that in the end they left you raw, exposed and yes, in pain. The human heart was not designed to beat outside the human body and yet, each child represented just that - a parent's heart bared, beating forever outside its chest.”
― Debra Ginsberg


Imagine, then, what it must be like for immigrant parents, if the Trump administration in the US goes ahead and separates parents and minor children from each other, the parents to go into detention. I thought of Sophie's Choice when I heard about it, and apparently so did others (see link at bottom of this post.)

Quote from the movie:

SS officer: [to Sophie] You're so beautiful. I'd like to get you in bed. Are you a Polack? You! Are you also one of those filthy communists? 
[walks away]
Sophie: I am a Pole! I was born in Cracow! I am not a Jew. Neither are my children! They're not Jews. They are racially pure. I am a Christian. I am a devout Catholic.
[the officer comes back]
SS officer: You are not a communist? You are a believer? 
Sophie: Yes sir, I believe in Christ. 
SS officer: You believe in Christ the redeemer? 
Sophie: Yes. 
SS officer: [looks at Sophie's children] Did He not say... "Suffer the children, come unto me?" 
[Sophie remains silent]
SS officer: You may keep one of your children. 
Sophie: I beg your pardon? 
SS officer: You may keep one of your children. The other must go away. 
Sophie: You mean, I have to choose? 
SS officer: You are a Polack, not a Yid. That gives you a privilege, a choice.

 Sophie: I can't choose. I can't choose! 
SS officer: Be quiet. 
Sophie: I can't choose! 
SS officer: Make a choice. Or I'll send both of them over there. Make a choice. 
Sophie: Don't make me choose! I can't! 
SS officer: Shut up! Enough! I'll send them both over there! I told you to shut up! Make a choice! 
Sophie:  I can't choose! Please! I can't choose! 
SS officer: [to an officer] Take BOTH children away! 
[Sophie clings on to her son while the Nazis take her screaming and crying daughter away from her]
Sophie: Take my little girl! Take my baby!

From IMBd site.


It is a very difficult issue. When children have been detained in camps as part of the Australian Immigration process, there have been constant cries to release them to the community. Then there are crimes being committed here by a few immigrant adolescent children who have come from war torn countries. 


 “Sometimes when you pick up your child you can feel the map of your own bones beneath your hands, or smell the scent of your skin in the nape of his neck. This is the most extraordinary thing about motherhood - finding a piece of yourself separate and apart that all the same you could not live without.” 
― Jodi Picoult


I believe this issue of refugees is only going to get worse as the effects of global warming affect more people on the planet. 


Whatever happens, there must be empathy. 

“It's not our job to toughen our children up to face a cruel and heartless world. It's our job to raise children who will make the world a little less cruel and heartless.”
― L R Knost

What are your thoughts, in the comments below?


Fizzfan said...

I think most would agree the loss of a child to be THE most devastating imaginable. Many more people go through this than we perhaps realise and when one of my closest friends did, she found great comfort within groups of similar parents suffering the same tragedy in our local area as she was able to relate to them and vice versa.
The refugee crisis is overwhelming. Said to be at an all time high. We all go about our daily lives and forget how very lucky we are to have shelter and food and warmth and love. If you focus on it for more than a minute it just gets more and more impossible to know what to say because the problem is just too huge. Those poor people have been stripped completely of all dignity and comfort. The solution? Impossible, until human beings collectively decide to stop fighting.
War! What is it good for? Absolutely Nothing! Say it again.....
And yet they rage on and on and on.
Who doesn't know those lyrics and who doesn't agree with them?! Sadly I guess not everyone. It's a very troubled world we live in.

Running on empty said...

I just had a petition come across my emails asking for the mayor of Calais to cancel the ban on charities there feeding the refugees, since the refugee camp was disbanded.

Fizzfan said...

I think this is a very difficult subject because most would agree on a human level that we want to help. Conversely, if all the war torn areas of the world were welcomed and housed and fed and found jobs and/or used our benefit systems paid for by resident tax payers, how long would that be sustainable and indeed when would that initial welcome turn to resentment.
In an ideal world these poor souls wouldn't need to flee their homes and countries but just how much help can we just keep giving?
I read an article once written by a former aid worker in Africa who ended up opposing the aid we send because he saw the corruption it fed and the dependency on it, and reflected that almost like a disabled person, the more help you give, the less self sufficient they become.
I guess there is a delicate balance that has to be monitored and maintained that is both helpful yet mindful of a catastrophic tipping point.