I haven’t said anything really about what happened to Jo Cox, but it’s prayed on my mind a lot.
I went to school with her, and I work in Birstall.
Just half an hour before she was attacked, I had driven up that very street three times looking for a parking space. It crossed my mind many times that I should pop in, see if she remembers me, and tell how impressive it was to see all she had achieved. I hadn’t seen her since school, until recently when she had become an MP. I berated myself a little thinking what I could have possibly achieved with a bit more effort, okay, a lot more effort having been at school together.
We used to chat sometimes at lunchtime. A beautiful young girl she was, always wore long flowing skirts as I recall. I can’t remember what we ever chatted about, it was a long time ago, but I just wish I’d taken that chance to pop into her office and say “Hi”. I wish I’d done it that day, and I wish I’d been able to do something about what happened. I imagine a lot of people do.
As today is her funeral, it’s tragic to think what happened. It appears she had so much compassion, she was always posting photos on Twitter of where she had been locally. She went to my daughter’s school one day, and she came home so excited, saying how nice she was, how she told her she went to a school nearby. I understand she did school visits often. That is really quite lovely.
I wish I had something profound to say, there seems to be sadness in every other thing we see or read about these days, but the one thing that has struck me, is just how far reaching her life was. There were messages of sympathy from around the world, from royalty, presidents and prime ministers; it’s not often you see such an outpouring of emotion for anyone, let alone for a politician, certainly not something I’ve witnessed before. I’d like to think it was because she was so very different to many politicians we see these days. She came from a small town, a normal school, and did so much more before she took up a life in politics. That young girl I remember truly soared, and done more than I imagine she ever thought possible.
I’m just desperately sorry that this happened, and filled with sorrow that her children will grow up without their mother. I hope that she is at peace, and that her legacy stays fresh in the memory for many years to come. I’m sure it will. I sincerely hope it doesn’t sound in any way pretentious or condescending, but I’m proud of you. Take care lass.