During the night of 13 to 14 February 70 years ago today, Dresden was bombed by the Allies. Several hundred thousand bombs were dropped on a city in two 15 minute night waves of bombing and further waves the following day. 25,000 people died. Most of the mothers in a maternity hospital died, most of their babies survived because they had been evacuated earlier. The bombing caused a huge fire storm in the city and was not aimed to destroy a particular military target, it was a blanket bombing, in the spirit of what they called a few years later ‘shock and awe’.

The Allies demonstrated their power, the Nazis used it as a demonstration of the evilness of the enemy.

The news today of the commemorations made me think of what is going on today in the Middle East, in Western Ukraine, and in North West Africa.

There are people being maimed and killed in the most horrific way every second of the day. They are people with plans for their future. And then life hijacked their plans and Unknown1their lives. One minute they thought they were in charge of their destiny. Next. It all goes up in smoke.

“Illusion of control’ is what psychologists call the illness some people have, i.e. they believe they are in charge.

When I was thinking about how to illustrate is, I couldn’t think of a better images…

IMG_0283Today, Pádraig had a visit from three really good friends from Dublin. The first friends from Dublin visiting Pádraig in the new apartment! And they brought, well, Gummibärchen!

And – I almost forgot the best thing to tell you: yesterday, his (relatively) ‘small’ physio took Pádraig, sat him up on the side of the bed, feet on the floor, lifted him up and got him to ‘stand-up’ — no lifter, no nothing, just some great support from the physio. Over weeks had we asked whether that was possible and had always been told that Pádraig was too tall to make the standup trick work without mechanical support.

They never got it, even after 14 months and more of Pádraig’s birthday coming in: there are no limits to what is possible, nothing that prevents anyone from trying, and Pádraig, well Pádraig never took ‘no’ for an answer. He knew that he couldn’t control life, but that he could always make the very best out of an even very difficult situations bestellt. And he was under no illusion about the difficulty in doing this…