It is twenty years since Dunblane.
Today, I will not be doing my 30 day challenge.
Instead, I will be lighting a candle.
I will be holding my children extra close.
13th March 1996
It started out as a normal day. I woke up. Then, I went to school. I worried about what the boy I liked thought of me. I had the usual teenage concerns.
It was a normal day. Mundane. Nothing out of the ordinary.
I sat in Computing Studies. I was bored. Daydreaming, I gazed out of the window.
I thought how strange it was to hear such commotion.
Police Cars. Ambulances. Sirens.
A woman enters the classroom. She whispers in my teacher’s ear, then they step outside. My classmates and I look at each other, wondering what is happening.
The teacher comes back in, visibly upset.
Something horrible has happened at the primary school down the road, in nearby Dunblane. Some children and teachers had been injured.
It is lunchtime.
We all feeling shaky and unsure. We wonder if anyone we know has been injured. Most people in my class know some children that go to Dunblane Primary. I go to a friend’s house and we turn on the news. I will never forget it, distraught parents screaming and crying outside a school I have walked past hundreds of times.
For a long time afterwards, things were different. No-one could believe what had happened in Dunblane. It was all so surreal. Everyone was in shock; we were horrified.
I am not gong to mention HIS name. The person who caused this tragedy. He wanted fame; I am not going to give him that.
Nor does anyone need me to tell them what happened that day; there is no need to go through the horrific details.
What happened that day changed gun laws in Britain after a powerful Snowdrop petition by friends of the bereaved families.
13th March 2016
I am a mother now. My boys are the centre of my universe. They are everything to me. The thought of what happened that day sends a shiver down my spine. The idea that something so horrific might happen to a child sends a shiver down my spine. A five-year-old, who’s life has barely begun, suffering like that. So unfair. So young. With so much to offer, but that potential so cruelly taken away from them.
How could a parent continue after something like that happened? The pain. The sorrow. The sadness and loss. The inhumanity of it.
How could HE do something like that?
I will never understand it.
That day will always haunt me. Still to this day I feel cold chills whenever I see ambulances go past with sirens’ blaring. Automatically, I worry that they might be going in the direction of a loved one. When they are, I panic.
As a mum, I am thankful for the change to the gun laws. Thanks to those who stood strong as a result of this tragedy, their fight and determination has meant a better world for my children.
Today it is the 20th anniversary of those tragic events.
I will be lighting a candle in their memory.
I will be giving my children an extra hug, holding them tight.
Shedding a tear as I hold them close.
I will remember.