A prayer for the mothers and children of Aleppo

When my own crying is done and my donations have been pledged, I can only pray.

Syrian refugees in Gaziantep, Turkey, September 2015. Kafeinkolik | Shutterstock

Like most of us, I suspect, I sometimes mute the news coming out of Syria. When I recall the image of that sweet boy, five-year-old Omran Daqneesh, sitting in the back of an ambulance in Aleppo, his very existence colored by ash and blood and his soundtrack so much chaotic noise, I feel wounded and overwhelmed. I feel, like many parents, a desire to reach out to him and all of the faceless, nameless Syrian children like him, who did not make the viral rounds on social media, and provide comfort. I want to hug him and brush him off and cry tears onto his cheek and shh, shh, shh him if he trembles.

Likewise, I want to grasp hands with Syrian mothers, to become that body of parents who know the value of human life because they are responsible for so much of it, the collective moms and dads of so many children. We are a seething band of sisters and brothers who are incensed by this violence and war. We want to protect our collective children; we want to put ourselves between them and danger.

And then I realize that I’m behind a computer screen. I can’t touch these people. I can and do donate to causes that help them in their unimaginable plight, but I can’t be with them. When my own crying is done and my donations have been pledged, I can only pray.

MORE TO READ: 4 ways you can help in Aleppo

Yesterday morning I listened to news reports on the radio about this most recent ceasefire and evacuation in eastern Aleppo. I imagined the special silence from the sounds of siege. No gunfire, no bombing. I imagined other silences that many mothers understand. Today they are between silences, as the ceasefire has come to a halt, and they have been bounced from evacuation back to war. But I want to honor that silence, so today, like yesterday, I pray for those Syrian mothers and children, as well as myself:


Nicole Leigh Shaw
Nicole Leigh Shaw

Nicole Leigh Shaw, a former newspaper journalist, has been moving through all the metamorphic stages of the modern writer, except “tortured novelist.” Soon she’ll emerge as a butterfly or a vlogger. She writes for ScaryMommy.com, Momtastic.com and others, and has contributed to five anthologies, including the New York Times’ bestseller “I Just Want to Pee Alone.” She has four kids, two dogs and one husband.

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