It is horrible to wake up in the middle of the night and not have a child in bed in the other room, to check on.
It is horrible because the room is still there, the bed is still there but the child isn’t. And never will be. The uniform, the shoes, the bag, the books, the toothbrush and the gel bottle. The gadgets and the posters on the wall. Every single lifeless, wordly thing is still there but the eyes full of life and the voice full of laughter isn’t…
And never will be.
It is horrible.
Think of this every time you wake up in the middle of the night and go to your children’s room to find it messy. Think of this every time they forget to shut the cupboard door, leave the lights on, don’t put their socks in the washing, bring back unfinished lunch, refuse to eat breakfast, don’t pack their bags and wave a distracted goodbye when leaving for school. Think of all those parents who would trade their entire life for that messy room and the unwashed socks. For one more wave of that hand and for one more bright twinkle in those eyes when asking for lunch money.
Think of them. And countless others. Who have, and will continue to sacrifice for this black hole of an evil we are stuck in. We keep saying we will never forget but we do. I want to write motivational things of moving on and not giving up. Of not getting stuck in the vicious circle of revenge and bitterness. But I can’t. My sermon will sound meaningless and selfish to the mother who’s up right now thinking of how she sent her son to school on this wretched day. What she had packed in that lunch box. She will never know if he ate it or gave it to a friend.To the father who had to change his daily route to work because he doesn’t have a son to drop to school anymore. To the sibling who doesn’t have a play mate anymore.
Let them mourn and cry today. Let them be weak and human. Let them question God without us telling them how blessed they are to have had a martyr for a son. Let them remember their children in peace. It is our job to take on this battle now and be strong. They’ve done their share by living all these days watching our children go to school…and come back safe.
The question is do we have the courage to send a child to school and not have him come back? Our sermons of strength, patience and patriotism are justified only if we have that courage. Because if we don’t, we have no right to preach strength and patience.
Let them remeber their child in peace today. It’s the least we can do. Let us be grateful for what we have. It’s the least we can do.
Let’s just stop arguing over religion. It’s the least we can do.
To the APS Peshawar martyrs, survivors, the teachers and parents. I am sorry. I wish I could do more. I hope my life proves worthy of your priceless sacrifice. I wish I could lessen your pain somehow.
But I can’t.
I can only pray for you, your wounded hearts and tired souls.
I am forever indebted.