Last week sunrise had risen pink and the bellbirds were making music as I skipped out the door.
I was in a rush as seems to be our morning ritual. Quinn raced up to the school bus and I was taking Beau to school. We have to open/close gate due to our new horny pup that tries to escape to his girlfriend whenever he can. Beau got out to open the gate. I had some Himalaya chants playing in the car. When I drove through the gate there was a loud crunching noise. I stopped clear of the gate and turned around not seeing Beau in my rear vision.
I pulled the hand brake on and had this heart through the floor thought, ‘Where is he?’ I opened my car door and yelled that deep, guttural mumma howl, ‘Beau!’..no answer…again more urgently ‘Bowie?!”. By this stage I am standing out of the car and the adrenaline has taken over my body, I could hardly walk as I have visions of his crushed bloody skull. It was the most raw, shattering realisation that my life could be irrevocable changed forever.
Then as I get to the rear of the car, his little face appears and he sees me and says ‘Mum what’s wrong?’ and I crumble into his sweet, perfect arms. Tears erupt down my cheeks as I stutter that I thought he was hurt and he gently strokes my hair. He thought he was in trouble so he had kept quiet. His car door wasn’t latched properly and had hit the side of the gate.
The neighbour calls out, ‘Are you alright?’ and all I can do is wave her away as I collapse into the back seat. Holding him in my arms and soothing myself I tell him that I love him so much and that I am alright, I just got a very big scare. It takes ten minutes until I can drive the car.
As I roll the scene over in my mind posthumously, I feel a huge heart swell for parents who have lost children. How inexplicably precious life is. This seems to be something people understand the older they live touched by stories of loss and chance. How lives can be changed in the ‘blink of an eye’. That maybe I should be more present, and this is a constant work in progress. That in slowing down and becoming more mindful, I would have noticed his car door was ajar. That my music was properly too loud.
But for all the ‘what if’s’ I am fortunate enough to have them fade in my memory because this story has a happy ending.
I didn’t share this to be morbid but to be awake to the thin veil that keeps our lives in place and infinite compassion and strength goes out to those when it doesn’t.