Saturday started ordinarily enough. My four-year old and I woke up early, we had some cuddles and tickles and then went about our usual pre-breakfast rituals: I went into my study to catch up on friends’ Facebook updates and the weekend newspapers; she went into the living room to draw princesses (this is done mostly on paper, but sometimes spills over onto the sofa, depending on how inspiration strikes).
After my daughter was done drawing her princess du jour (red hair, pink face, yellow dress, no name), I was asked to contribute “a big red heart” to the masterpiece, right next to the princess. She came back with the finished drawing a few minutes later – she’d coloured the heart hot pink, but also surrounded it with an unidentifiable black and blue blob: “I drew it around the heart, see? To protect it”. Which made my own heart long for that black and blue blanket, because this was no ordinary Saturday morning; I’d rushed to my computer that morning not to check out my friends’ latest baby photos, but to understand why the first message of the day on our (still very active) EMBA WhatsApp group was “Is anybody in Paris? Hope everyone is safe”. For Romanians, this was two weeks after an accidental (but equally tragic) fire in a Bucharest night club, whose initial death toll has been rising heartbreakingly every day as the severely wounded (mostly youngsters, kids as young as 15) keep losing the fight. And this is just the stuff that’s been happening close to home, in places where I or close friends could easily have been ourselves. Later that day, I found out that Beirut had also hit by attacks on Thursday; I read about the young Lebanese father who threw himself on one of the suicide bombers, saving many lives but giving his own in exchange.
I don’t know what to do with my heart in times like these. My brain is going at a hundred miles a minute, planning, ruminating, pushing me into activity – and my heart is just…stunned. Stuck. As my head tries to make sense of the facts and understand if there’s anything I can do to help, my heart guiltily wraps up in my daughter’s black and blue blanket, knowing full well that so many others need their hearts protected so much more than I do. So if you find yourself in need of a love blanket for your heart these days, you can share ours – here it is.
Cover photo copyright: dolgachov / 123RF Stock Photo