Whether it was a quick detour to get to a client meeting or routinely driving through to work, the majestic mood of Martin Place always took my breath away.
There’s the beautifully restored GPO clock tower with its chime echoing through the quadrangle that also carries the angelic acoustics of many a talented busker.
For a crappy corporate working day, Martin Place and its city buzz would always make me stop in my tracks to be grateful; how fortunate it was to feel so safe in a bustling, spectacular city.
I bumped into my heavily pregnant friend at the gym on Wednesday morning.
Admiring her gorgeous, growing bump, it was a nice change after the past couple days of horrific events.
Asking how she was feeling, her usual bubbly face suddenly dropped to a quivering frown. Fighting through her tears was the confession on how the Martin Place siege had emotionally hit her hard.
“I just started to freak out last night,” she cried.
“How am I going to bring a child into this world where there is so much evil and wrong?”
My dear friend had succumbed to pregnancy hormonal surges and what I like to call, “Mama Bear mode”
Oblivious to my gym sweat, I hugged her tight and whispered, “Welcome to the emotional roller coaster of motherhood.”
What happened in Martin Place on Monday morning is an extremely sad reflection to the senseless violence, hate and anger that can exist in our world.
This horrible incident – along many others – never fails to make me doubt if I’m cut out for this parenting gig.
Sure, I can feed them and care for them.
But this innate responsibility to protect; the obligation I precariously have in raising confident, strong, resilient children?
It feels impossible.
Most of all, how can I assure them that they’re safe and secure in this world when we are infested by so much sorrow and pain?
We can’t shield our kids forever.
But there’s nothing stopping me to also talk about compassion, humanity and love.
While our beloved Martin Place was a place of unexplainable horror, it also quickly became a makeshift shrine, with a continuing outpour of flower tributes and cards for the victims’ families, friends and loved ones.
That in instances like these, I can show my children that love is actually tangible.
One day when they want to know what makes Sydney – their home – so special and rock solid, I can proudly tell them of a time where we put aside our differences – race, religion, creed – and let those flowers represent how we stand side by side in times of adversity.
I want to teach them to experience beyond feelings of defiance or revenge.
That instead, they’re instilled with the knowledge that love trumps hate.
As a parent, not only does that gives me hope for my children but also for this world.
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