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Tuesday
May232017

Do You Remember?

Many of us are parents. While our children were young, some of us may have put a lot of thought into organizing a really good surprise for them. There is nothing more magical than this; both for the parents and the children who are surprised. In my case it was my two older daughters, who were HUGE Hilary Duff fans. They listened to her music and watched her TV show religiously. I used to get that warm feeling inside just watching them enjoy the show, and associate it with some of their own childhood experiences. It was the age of innocence. They were pre-teens, who looked at everything with the giddy, colourful wonderment of life. The last bastion of childhood before the teen years kick in.
And wonder of wonders, Hillary Duff planned a concert tour, and Montreal was on her schedule! My plans for a big surprise had hatched. Both daughters were swimming for the Pointe-Claire swim team at the time, and were training five days per week. That was my only means to get them out of the house on the day of the concert. Their younger sister was too young for concerts at the time. Needless to say, my girls were not impressed that they had “an additional” swim practice that week, but reluctantly got in the car for the ride to the pool. I had purchased some Hilary Duff t-shirts and had placed them in gift bags. While we we in the car, I gave them the bags, claiming I had a surprise for them and they had to guess what it was. They were excited to get the t-shirts, and actually thought that was the surprise. Imagine their faces when they were told they weren't going to swim practice, but going to the Hilary Duff concert instead.
While this is a very long lead into what I have to say, it's important to get into the mindset of the parents who were attending the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester last night. They too may have planned a big surprise for their pre-teen or teen children. Many parents would have attended themselves, either to live the excitement with their children, or to accompany a child that may have been too young to attend the show with a friend. Either way, I bet it was as delightful for the parents as it was for their kids. Imagine the horror, after such a breathtaking night, that an explosion, set off by a twenty-three year old man, could steal all that magic away, in a flash, leaving chaos and destruction in its wake. That innocence, only minutes before full of giddiness and wonderment, taken away with shrapnel and the last breath of life.
As they took the suspect away in the ambulance, knapsack in tow and a sadistic smile on his face, one has to wonder why? Why target innocent young people? Why destroy youth; many of whom do not even understand the reasons why this type of atrocity happens? It's cowardly. It's premeditated murder, organized by people just entering adulthood themselves. Youth recruited by a sick and pathetic individual who is so brainwashed with his/her so-called beliefs, that reality has been clouded by the evil fog that has blinded them, and robbed them of common sense and integrity. In its place is an entitled sense of revenge and so-called honour for themselves and their families. Do the terrorists that planned this feel any sense of remorse for their actions?
Probably not. And that is what angers me the most. My empathy for the families that lost loved ones in Manchester runs deep. Parents are robbed of ever checking in on their children before they go to bed, feeling guilty of not being able to protect them, and they will never have the joy of planning a surprise again. There will be no high school graduations, no weddings and no grandchildren. Their lives have been frozen in time, and , for awhile anyways, void of purpose. They will be grieving when they shouldn't be, and will be as full of questions as many of us are today.
It takes a community to raise a child. I still believe this is true, and although I grew up with others informing me when I was doing something wrong, people shy away from this today. We need to open those doors again, and help one another. Parents need to be aware of what their children are doing, and who they're hanging around with. They need to have family time; even if it's a quick dinner, where discussions can be had. Government needs to do their part as well; but they can't do it all. They need to call a spade a spade, and call these acts of terrorism. They need to work with other countries and learn from the unfortunate experiences they have witnessed. They need to set an example for our citizens, for others to follow, and for these discussions to start in the home, at school, in places of worship.
It needs to be a collaborative effort. We cannot be afraid. We need to talk, when the anger subsides. We need to have proper security to ensure the safety of our citizens. And the perpetrators need to be punished.

Many of us are parents. While our children were young, some of us may have put a lot of thought into organizing a really good surprise for them. There is nothing more magical than this; both for the parents and the children who are surprised. In my case it was my two older daughters, who were HUGE Hilary Duff fans. They listened to her music and watched her TV show religiously. I used to get that warm feeling inside just watching them enjoy the show, and associate it with some of their own childhood experiences. It was the age of innocence. They were pre-teens, who looked at everything with the giddy, colourful wonderment of life. The last bastion of childhood before the teen years kick in.
And wonder of wonders, Hillary Duff planned a concert tour, and Montreal was on her schedule! My plans for a big surprise had hatched. Both daughters were swimming for the Pointe-Claire swim team at the time, and were training five days per week. That was my only means to get them out of the house on the day of the concert. Their younger sister was too young for concerts at the time. Needless to say, my girls were not impressed that they had “an additional” swim practice that week, but reluctantly got in the car for the ride to the pool. I had purchased some Hilary Duff t-shirts and had placed them in gift bags. While we we in the car, I gave them the bags, claiming I had a surprise for them and they had to guess what it was. They were excited to get the t-shirts, and actually thought that was the surprise. Imagine their faces when they were told they weren't going to swim practice, but going to the Hilary Duff concert instead.
While this is a very long lead into what I have to say, it's important to get into the mindset of the parents who were attending the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester last night. They too may have planned a big surprise for their pre-teen or teen children. Many parents would have attended themselves, either to live the excitement with their children, or to accompany a child that may have been too young to attend the show with a friend. Either way, I bet it was as delightful for the parents as it was for their kids. Imagine the horror, after such a breathtaking night, that an explosion, set off by a twenty-three year old man, could steal all that magic away, in a flash, leaving chaos and destruction in its wake. That innocence, only minutes before full of giddiness and wonderment, taken away with shrapnel and the last breath of life.
As they took the suspect away in the ambulance, knapsack in tow and a sadistic smile on his face, one has to wonder why? Why target innocent young people? Why destroy youth; many of whom do not even understand the reasons why this type of atrocity happens? It's cowardly. It's premeditated murder, organized by people just entering adulthood themselves. Youth recruited by a sick and pathetic individual who is so brainwashed with his/her so-called beliefs, that reality has been clouded by the evil fog that has blinded them, and robbed them of common sense and integrity. In its place is an entitled sense of revenge and so-called honour for themselves and their families. Do the terrorists that planned this feel any sense of remorse for their actions?
Probably not. And that is what angers me the most. My empathy for the families that lost loved ones in Manchester runs deep. Parents are robbed of ever checking in on their children before they go to bed, feeling guilty of not being able to protect them, and they will never have the joy of planning a surprise again. There will be no high school graduations, no weddings and no grandchildren. Their lives have been frozen in time, and , for awhile anyways, void of purpose. They will be grieving when they shouldn't be, and will be as full of questions as many of us are today.
It takes a community to raise a child. I still believe this is true, and although I grew up with others informing me when I was doing something wrong, people shy away from this today. We need to open those doors again, and help one another. Parents need to be aware of what their children are doing, and who they're hanging around with. They need to have family time; even if it's a quick dinner, where discussions can be had. Government needs to do their part as well; but they can't do it all. They need to call a spade a spade, and call these acts of terrorism. They need to work with other countries and learn from the unfortunate experiences they have witnessed. They need to set an example for our citizens, for others to follow, and for these discussions to start in the home, at school, in places of worship.
It needs to be a collaborative effort. We cannot be afraid. We need to talk, when the anger subsides. We need to have proper security to ensure the safety of our citizens. And the perpetrators need to be punished.

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