On this day, Sunday February 26th at 13.15, my funny, sparkling, red haired granddaughter, Eve, shared the tears of another seven year old. A little girl in a far off land, with curly blond hair above wide, scared blue eyes, suddenly removed from her beloved toys and her safe known world.
Her new world was now a space on a cold, tiled, floor of an office basement, surrounded by bags her Mum had quickly filled before they fled from their smoke filled home into a rubble strewn street. A street where beautiful blossom trees erupted into life each Spring was now enveloped in grey debris pierced by glistening shards of broken glass and twisted metal.
She clutched her Barbie doll tightly to her wet cheeks. Barbie continued to smile back at her, unknowing, unfeeling, only a lump of plastic. But, to this child, her doll was the most precious thing in her now fragmented life, along with her mismatched socks and cosy red woolly hat. Barbie had always been there for her, a trusted friend, listening to her secrets but never telling. She had to look after Barbie.
As this frightened little child cuddled into her anxious looking Mum and older brother my granddaughter snuggled into me, tears welling in her eyes before starting to trickle down her nose.
“ Oh Grandma. She’s just like me. I’ve got that Barbie too. But why have they got to live there now? Grandma – why ?”
As I held Eve tighter I couldn’t answer. My own cheeks were also wet with tears for all the little lost children whose lives had been so abruptly blown apart.
A little hand clutched mine. “ But Grandma – why ?”