I am writing this in bed today, not well enough to get up and like everyone else I am watching the news showing the horror of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
My heart breaks for the people of Ukraine, who are now living through a reality many of us can’t imagine. Last weekend, they were making plans for this weekend coming, they were arranging to meet up with friends, have dinner with family, maybe take the kids to the park, and now there are tanks on their streets.
Like everyone else, I feel helpless, powerless in the face of such brutality, to be able to offer real help.
All I can think about is what about the people like me? What about the people who are disabled or housebound or too sick to travel, to evacuate, to leave their homes?
What about the people having treatment for cancer, or surgery or have dementia or are dying?
What about the people sick with Covid or Long Covid?
What about the women who are heavily pregnant or in labour?
What about the families with new-borns?
Or those that just don’t have cars?
Or don’t have any money?
Or don’t have family to flee to?
If it was you, sitting there watching the Russian army getting closer to your hometown, hearing bombing in your city, what would you pack? What would you leave? How would you know when you’d be able to get home again? What about the cat? Or the dog? Or the goldfish? What about the groceries you’d bought for dinner tomorrow night?
What about those precious things, the little things we all have, that wouldn’t mean much to anyone else but mean something to us – the grubby yellow fluffy duck that has sat in the crib of each of my babies, the picture of my husband when we first met, my favourite book. How would you decide what to take and what to leave?
And what about the people like me?
In all the terrible images of the invasion, of all conflicts, sometimes it is the images we don’t see that are the most poignant. The people we don’t see, people making ridiculous decisions just like we’d do, wondering if they should leave their homes or wait, wrapping their kids up warm, phoning to reassure their mum.
And what about the ones that know they can’t leave?
That’s all I can think of today.