A Mother's Journey

I know this has nothing to do with Pilates but everything to do with being a mother.

My daughter spent the last month in Ecuador as part of an organisation called International Student Volunteers.The run up to the time she left was spent wondering if she should go, would she enjoy it, saying yes then saying no. A normal range of emotions for any 20 year old on her first trip to an unknown country.

Melanie has travelled all her young life. She has often accompanied me on my trips and has been backward and forward to Malaysia since she was a few months old to visit her Nana. So she is no stranger to planes and jetlag and time differences. Only this time she didn’t know anyone.

But I wanted her to believe that life is there for the taking, that every experience was a chance to grow, a peek into anMy role in all of this was to keep encouraging her to just do it. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, you don’t know until you try……all of the cliches I could think of. But a small part of me was scared. She would be far  away from family. What if she got sick, ran out of money, the organisation was a scam? All normal emotions for a mother sending her daughter into the unknown.

So Melanie jumped off bridges, climbed rock faces, walked on glaciers, milked cows, planted trees, dug sewers, ate guinea pig and cow stomach, got sick and took good care of herself. Made some wonderful new friends and came home brimming with stories and excitement.other life, another way of living, to know something other than herself, to go beyond her comfort level. I had to believe myself, that she would be alright, that there were good people out there who would take care of this precious being for me, as I would take care of someone’s else’s child if I had to. I had to believe that as human beings, as mothers, we are all connected and that ultimately there is good in this world.

But on the journey to the airport to finally pick her up after this adventure, I had to listen to the breaking news from Norway. At first something that I understood- a bombing of a building. Ok, I could handle that atrocity because by now we are all desensitised when it comes to terror. My heart felt sick as I could only envision the horror in the aftermath.

But as I journeyed on, the full details of the horror began to emerge and it took everything I had to continue driving, my stomach churning, my eyes tearing, my world rocking on its axis. This time the concious target were the children. This time the evil had gone too far and lined up these innocent, trusting young people and systematically executed them without an ounce of remorse. Destroying lives in a split second, Destroying trust and belief. Destroying the future for those who witnessed the terror.

To see the pictures of my lovely daughter and her smiling face and know the goodness that she encountered and to compare that with the picture of some of those children in Norway and the fear etched into their faces, is unbearable.

I have to believe that there is more good than evil in this world. I HAVE to believe that for my children. I have to trust that out of this can come something better. I have to have blind faith in the future in order for my children to go forward.

My daughter came home.

Please keep the people of Norway in your thoughts and prayers today and everyday to come.


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