Thursday, March 31, 2016

The only tears I shed


I didn't cry for several days. I held it together when the people were held on the boat.  I held it together through the cold, dirty, desperate conditions.  I held it together through meeting the man who fled his home after his parents were killed and his home destroyed by a bomb during the Russian airstrikes.  I held it together when I helped the grandma and her young granddaughter who had been hit by a taxi.

I held it together and I smiled, and waved, and laughed and played, because these kids need a moment of freedom from the stress of their parents, from their fear and their entrapment, their fates...

But the night I accompanied my beautiful friend Nawara as she answered the desperate plea from her fellow countryfolk; no, the borders will not open; no, we do not know what will become of you; no, we don't know how this will end.

I didn't need to speak the language to feel their souls being crushed, their hopes being shattered to within moments of its life...I cried then.  I did my best to hold it in, I did my best to smile for them and hold them in the place of dignity that they so deserve...but once we walked away the tears began to flow.  Nawara's eyes watered as she confessed her feeling of helplessness, and how this reminded her of the Syria she once knew, but was now gone forever.  Their eyes and faces with their solemn, utter disappointment haunt me, the vastness of the unknowable swallowing them whole in an instant.  No, we don't know when your children will live under a real roof once again.  No, we don't know if they will try to send you back...

That night, I cried my eyes out.