By now, much of the world has seen the world’s saddest photo:

This precious little person was named Aylan Kurdi, a 3 year old refugee fleeing war-torn Syria with his father, mother and 5 year old brother. They were crossing a 13 mile stretch of the Aegean Sea when their boat capsized. Aylan, his mother and brother died and their bodies washed ashore. The father survived. In an interview the father said, “My wife is my world and I have nothing, by God. I don’t even think of getting married again or having more kids. … I am choking, I cannot breathe. They died in my arms.

Every human on this planet should be outraged at the situation that brought tiny Aylan to his terrible death. He was just a boy. A baby, really. And when his mother and father slipped those little shoes on those little feet on that fateful day, I know they hoped those little feet would eventually walk on safe ground.

Here’s the thing: if I was Aylan’s mother, I would have done the same thing. Of course I would take my precious babies away from a fucking WAR ZONE, away from a home with no opportunity for a decent life, away from death and destruction and disease. If my reasonable options were exhausted (the family applied to legal migration to Canada and were denied), I would pay a smuggler every last fucking cent I had to board a rickety boat destined ANYWHERE else.

As a mother, it is hard to look at this picture and not think of my own children. My Vivian is also 3 years old, just like Aylan. Was he as chatty and social as she is? Did Aylan love playing outside with his neighbors as much as Vivian does? Was he so excited to get those new little shoes in the same way Vivian is when I treat her to a new pair? He was just a little boy. Just like Vivian is my little girl.

And so tonight I will pray. For Aylan. For his brother. For his father. And especially for his mother. She died knowing her sons never made it to a safe place. She gave her last breath for her family, and in that way #IAmAylansMother because I would do the same thing, too.

Want to help Syria’s refugees? Plenty of charities are taking direct action, but one I like is Doctors Without Borders. Click here for info on how you can help: http://www.msf.org.uk/node/28331#What is MSF doing to help?


Did you like this? Share it:

Written by

More posts by:

1 Comment for this entry

  1. Sheila says:

    So sad. I watch DW news on PBS at 10 pm. (Chicago time) because of family living in Europe and also because DW news has more news coverage than the main broadcast networks in the States, This story was featured last night and has kept me awake most of the rest of the night! The fathers anguish, the aunt’s revelations of talking to the scared mother the day before they departed, the up close video of the bombed out buildings, the revelling IS pigs who are proud of selling women and girls into slavery and ravaging what they can’t kill. I too would have done the same to get out of that hell-hole in Syria. You cannot placate the devastation in body, mind and spirit ….this is real. So sad.

Leave a comment