Tuesday, May 5, 2009

When you are still small... (warning: baby/toddler-video)

...the whole world is a playground. And everything in it is just waiting to be discovered!

The backyard is a jungle, the tall grass a place to hide while stalking the neighbour's cat. Until she comes too close and you remember she's no mere cat, she's a huge tiger! And you are her hunter. Or, maybe, her prey...?

The stairs are a mountain, covered in ice and snow. The attic its summit. You dream about climbing it, right up into the clouds! There you are, look, you're holding a flag! What do you see from up there? And more importantly: how will you ever get back down...?

Or something as simple as a hammock. For mum and dad, it's a place to relax. To read a book. To forget about work for a while. Not for you. No. When you are still small, that same hammock is a great big ship sailing on an unexplored ocean. You are it's captain, steering it towards unknown worlds and sunken treasures!

Oh, to be that small again...

Friday, May 1, 2009

Desperate and dead

How desperate does a person have to be to drive his car full speed into a crowd of people? A crowd of people celebrating Queensday. Wearing orange, waving flags, laughing. Trying to catch a glimpse of the Royal Family, nodding and waving from the relative safety of an open bus... A crowd of HAPPY people, bringing their CHILDREN along to celebrate and watch a yearly event that's become a valued tradition in the Netherlands.

Fathers with children on their shoulders. Mothers with babies in their arms.

How desperate does a person have to be, to do something like that?

Suddenly, in the span of mere seconds, our country went from orange to black. In those few seconds, in which some man decided his life and the lives of 5 others (so far) he didn't even know were worth nothing at all, this whole country fell quiet. From partying to mourning in the blink of an eye.

This country, where the Queen regularly walks amongst her people, where politicians cycle their bikes to work, suddenly has to decide whether those things will have to become a thing of the past.

And while the country tries to wrap it's head around what has happened, the friends and family of those people standing in the way of this one desperate man will have to deal with the fact that their loved ones are in hospital fighting for their lives. Or will have to arrange the funeral of their husband, wife, mother, father, daughter, son, friend. All those people were partying, celebrating, having fun. And within seconds, their whole lives changed. Or ended.

Because of this one man. Who got off easy. Who died in hospital last night. Who will never be able to explain WHY he did what he did. Who will never be able to answer questions. Or be put to justice.

This man who was not only desperate, but kind of stupid as well... After all, what was he thinking trying to stop a BUS with his tiny Suzuki Swift?!? Did he really think he could hurt anyone other than those innocent bystanders when he drove his car into them trying to get to the Queen? Did he??

I am against the death-penalty. Not only because I don't believe that other people should get to decide when a person's life should be terminated, but also because in some cases, death is the EASY WAY OUT.

If I think about the fact that it could just as easily have been ME standing in that crowd, watching a car head full speed into MY children, knocking them 6 feet into the air and dropping them head first onto the pavement, broken, wounded, dead, all I can think is: I hope he SUFFERED!!

HE got off easy... No matter how his life might have sucked, no matter how desperate he was, he had no RIGHT to decide the lives of those 5 other people were worth wasting!

My heart aches for the family and friends of the victims. And for the children who were there with their parents, celebrating Queensday, waving their little flags, trying to see the Royal Family, and who instead will now forever have those terrible images burnt into their retinas...