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Crisis 1999
Opinions Archive 1999
Monday, May 31, 1999.

I'm nothing but a mother

If someone told me 20 years ago that the world would be as it is today, I believe I would think twice about having children. Day to day air raids and listening of the airplanes, detonations, fear and stress strengthen my belief that this world is not for children, and not only for children.

I believe that sounds, completely undiscernible in normal life, will cause us to shiver with fear expecting yet another explosion long after this madness (if we live to see that day) is over. This war scares the hell out of me, but I'm scared even more of what is to come afterwards, I'm scared of the darkness, especially the darkness in minds of those who lead this war and in hearts of those who will survive.

For twenty years or so I've been struggling alone to give my children as much as I can and I am, maybe unmodest, but proud of them. I've always believed that I could overcome anything, that every problem had a solution, that a child's tear is the biggest burden and a smile the biggest reward. I'm enraged because I'm helpless to change or affect anything to stop this misery.

I've tried to teach them that every improvement in life deserves a persistent. struggle. I took them to all protest, day by day, regardless of the weather, believing that our presence alone would contribute.

Protests in March 1991, when my daughters were in the seventh and in the first grade of elementary school, when, with there eyes wide open, they witnessed all no matter how puzzling it was to them back then. Especially, when they saw army tanks on the streets of their hometown. The summer 1992 came with the protests against the war we were told our country is not in. Then through the well known inflation, embargo and a 3 DM salary (price of the bread was app. dinars), we came to 1996 and 1997 when we participated in the famous protest walks hoping something will change for the better. On that protest, as well as the students' they took me.

I thought them, in those days, to see and learn about the world they're leaving in, gave them courage when needed and lived to, after everything, have bombs falling on our heads. It is hard to admit defeat, maybe even harder to explain my fears to them and to myself.

I made my wishes come true (to some extent), I have the children I wanted, I watched them grow, was a part of their lives and now with deep anxiety I'm thinking about their future. I may be a pessimist, but I'm scared that tomorrow I won't be able to help, to feed them, provide them healthy food, water, air, a healthy surroundings they'll bring their children to.

Bad times have come. Times in which I think where to hide my children, to keep them away form any harm, although it hurts to think we must part. I'm trying to persuade them it is best for then to leave that I will stay as a safe harbor when they want to come back. Anyone who is a parent knows how hard is to say these things to your children. Through all these years of fighting for a better future I believed there's hope they'll be here with me when it comes. Today, that hope is gone, and if a better future does come along I know they'll come back because the most important address is the one written in our hearts.

Mira, age 50, architect

Source: Free Serbia

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