Not until August 4th, 2020 did I realize how important it is to be an active listener. The explosion hurt me both physically and emotionally. One minute after the explosion, I woke up, got up on my feet, and went to check to see if I had any big wounds that needed to be treated. Luckily, and sarcastically, I merely had ae huge pump on the left side of my head which looked exactly like those bruises you see in an episode of Tom and Jerry, the cartoon.
The first idea that struck my mind after I had found that I didn’t lose any body part is to call my parents and tell them I am fine, ridiculously thinking that the explosion has occurred on the street where I was, which turned out to be not the case. I had never imagined that the blast was so strong and that its magnitude destroyed the city miles far from the initial explosion, that is the port. I also realized that I had no time to tell people that I am in pain, I thought there are others who needed to be heard.
I started walking the street straight toward my parents’ house. On the way there, I found three children (1.5-year-old girl, 3-year-old boy and another who looked like maybe years old) along with a lady and their nanny. They were trembling and terrified, the ladies were in another world, shocked and drifting off. I felt like I had a mission, I looked at them as if I were looking my kids there, at that moment as they were looking for me. Luckily, my kids weren’t at the house, they were safe, somewhere far away from the explosion
I ran toward the kids, two of them could speak, and as they were sobbing they asked me:“Si je peux appeler leur mamam”, meaning if I can call their mom. I honestly had the most devastating moment and busted in tears. I carried them outside the art gallery, Tannit, where they were, which apparently, they lived above. I then asked them to wait as I promised to be back. I walked through the rubble wanting to find the mother and help her, thinking that she must have been wounded. On the way in, I see a man running outside and screaming: “We need the red cross there. is a lady – with his hand gesture showing the sign of slit throat. I couldn’t move anymore. I felt I wanted to adopt these kids at that moment and tell them I can be your mommy, and I am sorry. I went outside and I told on of them: “You are a strong boy, superhero, superman and you will be fine… Don’t cry my baby, mommy will be back”.
He stopped crying for a couple of minutes which was enough to calm him down and the rest of the siblings.
I am not saying that was right, I know I lied to them. I mean I heard the guy saying that she was decapitated. I lied to a little boy because I could feel his pain and fear. A couple of more minutes later, a car came and took them, and I kept walking.
I contemplated about all of that after the explosion. I thought to myself that I should have listened better to those kids. I decided to become more of an active listener because I realized how much we all need to be heard. I have probably told my part of the story from the explosion like 30 times and I still feel I need to be heard. Pain takes time to leave us alone, especially sorrow and trauma or any type of sadness whether is caused by loss, abuse or whatever reason.
I am telling you this story so I can be heard and to also express that I want to listen better. I want to listen more and be this light in all the shadows of yours.
To those kids that I don’t know them, I wish I could have listened more to you.