darknessI was shaken awake at 1am this morning by The Teenager.

He had watched hours of rolling news of the atrocity in Manchester and couldn’t bear to be alone any longer.

We sat together downstairs, watching the tv, discussing what we were witnessing, both of us crying.

His father is from Manchester and it is a city he has frequently visited to catch up with his grandparents. He has friends there and they meet up to go to football matches, restaurants, shopping. He is due to travel there on Saturday to watch a concert at Old Trafford.

He was adamant his plans wouldn’t change and mentioned he has grown up with terrorism. It is a topic we have had to return to over and over, as I’m sure it is with other parents. We were still living in London when Hammersmith Bridge was bombed in 2000. The day the Towers fell, I left work early, picked him up from nursery and held him tight, watching the news in horror as the Manhattan I had lived in and loved seemed to disintegrate before my eyes.

When 7/7 happened, he began to have nightmares. He travelled through to London every month to see his father and had been doing so since he was four. He loved travelling on the Underground. Now he was six and it took months to work through his fears and he often woke screaming in the early hours.

Together we watched the events in Paris in 2015. There were more discussions. How were we to respond to this roll call of tragedy? We were helpless bystanders and could do nothing.

And now Manchester, an attack deliberately aimed at young people. People like The Teenager. I never like to write meaningless tweets or posts, but my heart is truly breaking for all the parents affected by this.

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8 thoughts on “Manchester

  1. Annie says:

    Just devastating … beyond belief. Have no affiliation with Manchester but my heart breaks for those families? Can’t stop thinking about them and it has really knocked my teenagers for six. They are so sad ?X

    • stumbling in flats says:

      It is truly awful and so hard to take in. The Teenager has been watching the news all day and is just devastated. I’ve had it on in work and still feel numb.

  2. David says:

    Hi, It’s truly horrendous what happened in Manchester.
    Vicki and moved from Isle of Wight in August 1974to work as trainee management couple there was 6 couples in a pub restaurant opposite Liverpool street Tube station.
    While there we had many bomb scares 2 or 3 times a week, we had to make sure everyone was out of the building each time, 1 suspect package was found, a construction worker left a box of 6″ nails under a stool.
    You just have to get on with everyday life.
    People ask me isn’t skiing dangerous, are you afraid of getting hurt, my reply is it can be as dangerous when you leave your front door.
    It’s no good thinking of what might or could happen, I believe it is fate, go out and enjoy life.

    I hope the teenagers concert still goes ahead, my 1st concert was on the I.O.W in 1970 fantastic time, I’ve been to many since.

    Hope your boots are ok, take care both of you. xx David

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Thank you 🙂 He is absolutely determined to go to every single concert and festival he’s planned for this summer and although I would rather wrap him up in cotton wool and keep him at home, I know that is impossible.
      I’m breaking in my boots, may take a while 🙁

  3. Natalie Simpson says:

    So shook up by this. I lived in Manchester for a year and now currently live about 40 minutes away, still have friends and family living there now. I was in the affected area just 24 hours before, never would’ve believed anything like that would happen. My heart goes out to the victims and their families.

    • stumbling in flats says:

      It really is beyond belief. The only small ray of light has been the spirit of everyone who helped out, especially the people who looked after the kids until their parents could find them.

  4. Joan (Wales) says:

    I don’t have any connection to Manchester nor have I even been there, but I feel heartbroken for the people who are affected by this atrocity. They (the murderers) are targeting the most vulnerable of our society to get the most reaction. It is so senseless and devastating.
    Your son has been unfortunate to have been close to other atrocities and from such a young age. He sounds like a level-headed young man.
    RIP to all, excluding the bomber.

    • stumbling in flats says:

      He is definitely level-headed, I just worry as he’s still watching rolling news. This attack seems to have really affected him, perhaps because of his ties to Manchester, or maybe as it was an attack against people of his generation, I don’t know. It’s just all so hideous and unfathomable.

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