Hope in Yellow
Illustration by www.IdeasWithMaya.com
Yesterday my family received the ultimate gift that any family could wish for: my sister/cousin (we were raised together) gave birth to a healthy and beautiful little boy angel. She lives in Brazil so my day could be described as a roller-coaster of emotions: pure bliss, total anxiety, excitement, nostalgia, heartache… you name it and it was there, bubbling in my internal cauldron. All day long. My salvation? Technology. For shortening the distance, for doing what in a decade ago would be unimaginable. Live, from Rio de Janeiro to Florida, my adored nephew was introduced to his family abroad. Simply wonderful.
As I was continuously on Facebook and Whatsapp starving for more details, pictures, anything that could alleviate my longing for the baby, my heart sank in disbelief when I found a headline about the tragedy in Nice, France. Again? No, not again, please. Not today, not ever, but especially not today.
Did I spend the day celebrating life meanwhile across the ocean people were just drowning in grief, in loss, in chaos? The calamity made me think again what kind of life is ahead of us and, worse, what kind of world is ahead of my two children and now, my nephew. And all the children of the world.
Most recently the Orlando shooting caused the same effect on me. Every time a tragedy of such proportions happens, I feel that my soul is momentarily snatched from me and I am just an empty vessel. Still breathing but lifeless. Certainly I am not the only one.
I have a self-preservation tactic that helps me cope with the suffering. I don’t feed on this kind of news. I refuse to imprint in each and every cell of my body the fear and disorientation that the responsible for these atrocities want to accomplish. I don’t keep the tv on all day long. I select what I read online, I learn the facts but, most importantly, I avoid images. I say no to photos and videos because once I see them, they will, naturally, live inside me forever. They will be engraved in my mind making my heart race, my whole body feeling a perpetual torment… If I am weak by fear, how can I still feel hope? I am not advocating ignorance, just caution in registering the facts. I don’t want to know all the personal details of victims or how did they look like. Or see the pain of their loved ones. I prefer redirect my attention to the recovery, to the rebuilt of the dismantled lives, including mine, even though I know we will not be the same again. Lingering on the suffering break all of us. That’s how I handle the situation. The creation of this personal filter was a decision made a while ago. Fear is contagious and I need to be fearless to keep going, with my chin up.
In other words, I will not let what happened in France cast a shadow over the so much expected arrival of our new family member. I feel for the victims, for their families and friends; and yes, I am deeply shocked and heartbroken by that coward atrocity. I feel vulnerable, lost, I don’t know what I can do about it. But the memory that I chose to retain of July 14, 2016 is a happy one. It’s of that pure, immaculate baby boy all dressed in pastel yellow in the hospital nursery, sleeping peacefully with his pouty lips. He represents all the magnificence of life, all the hope that is necessary to survive. Exactly the opposite that took place in France and it’s happening right now in different parts of the world. Fear should not and will not prevail. We are resilient. Love, kindness and compassion exist, out there and inside us. More than ever we are in need of miracles and a newborn is the best evidence that they do happen.