Monday January 4th 2011 wasn’t really just any old Monday. It was the first Monday of the new year, the day we all dragged ourselves back to work after an over indulgent Christmas. The morning was dark and damp, and Mr G and I were tired as we had spent the weekend in London, as part of his Christmas present, watching football and having a romantic weekend away.
We had been married 6 months, and were hoping that we might be blessed with a mini-G anytime soon. We were trying to focus elsewhere, the house, having fun, but deep down we couldn’t wait for it to happen.
As we so often do in the excitement of a fresh new year beginning, that morning Mr G was full of ideas of getting fit and saving money, so he insisted on cycling to the station. ‘You’re mad’ I bantered with him, it was grotty out there. But, off he went, who was I to argue with his new year enthusiasm.
I dragged my tired butt in to the office, and whilst sitting drinking my third coffee of the day, sharing stories of Christmas cheer, I heard my phone vibrating. It was around ten to nine, an odd time to get a call. I saw on the screen it was my Dad, and my thoughts immediately went to my 80 year old Nan. I thought the worst.
I immediately heard in Dads voice something wasn’t right, but his words were not what I expected. It wasn’t Nan. It was my husband; he’d been in an accident on the way to the station and wasn’t at work drinking his third coffee, he was in hospital.
I could describe here how that felt, but I’m sure you can imagine, or recall bad news you may have had, it hits you like a tonne of bricks and everything around you suddenly stands still.
Dad insisted on coming to get me, and I insisted to get there myself, as the hospital was between home and work, so we could meet there in half the time. Dad tried to assure me he was Ok, but inside I was worrying that was a lie to get me to the hospital without totally freaking out.
Some say he was lucky. He wasn’t wearing a helmet and had collided with a Transit van. That same week a similar accident occurred locally and the cyclist was killed. He wasn’t lucky to be in that place, at that moment for sure, but the fact he sustained no injuries to his head seemed a miracle. His backpack took the force onto his torso, and his hip, leg and wrist were patched up with a pretty amazing surgeon that afternoon.
After an emotional, draining, but ultimately thankful day, I returned home alone, late that night. I had declined the multiple offers of a place to stay – I needed to let go in private.
Our ‘page a day’ calendar stood on the kitchen worktop, and the insightful message caught my eye.
‘To be wronged is nothing unless you continue to remember it’.
We didn’t tear that page off until Mr G was home, after a stay in hospital and a number of weeks being cared for at his parents whilst I was at work. Even then, I couldn’t throw it away, I kept it in a little box by my bedside. It felt like it was saying something to me, which I have always interpreted as this:
Bad things do happen. They will happen to me, and they will happen to you. In the eye of the storm, and the immediate aftermath, you will never feel closer to your loved ones, grateful for what you have, and in awe of the miracle of life. But as time goes by, we let those thoughts drift, and they are replaced with fickle conundrums, wanting more than you need and losing sight of what is important. Remember the bad times, because they will make you treasure the good.
We even had this inscribed on the back of the iPad, randomly, because I worried we might all spend too much time glued to it and neglect each other.
Life goes on, but who knows what is round the corner, so live for the now, laugh, love and be happy x