When I was 21 years old my darling big brother was shot at point blank range in the head and lived to tell more tall tales. A pair of beautiful strangers helped him survive the attack and paid for his medicine and his travel. Not long after that my mother’s car was stolen after I’d borrowed it. The police found it later that night and when I went to the police station to collect it the young female cop said to me, “You don’t seem that stressed that the car is damaged.” I said to her, “It’s just a car, it can be fixed, my family and I don’t worry about inanimate objects any more.” I’m really lucky that I received a life lesson when I was young about what is important. A car is replaceable, people aren’t. Too often we worry about our stuff or how much we should spend to insure that stuff and it ain’t worth replacing. When I talk to the parents of kids who have survived terrible accidents or multiple operations or horrible illnesses they all tell me that they tend not to worry about the trivial stuff like the latest electricity bill any more. No one is going to read a list of the emails you replied to quickly at your funeral. If your child can’t go to preschool take the day off work, your report can wait. You may never have a day with just you and your four year old again, enjoy the precious moments reading a book in bed or doing a finger painting or talking about snot. Kiss people, hug them, tell them you love them, visit them with a bunch of motley flowers from your garden, don’t wait, just go, even if you can’t afford a present or don’t think you have time.
“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough” – Meister Eckhart
11 years ago today I was hanging out the washing at 7.45 in the morning, by eight I was in hospital. By 9.30 a specialist turned up the volume on my drip, and an hour later she broke my waters.
“In pain, give me drugs now,” I howled as they ramped up the oxytocin. This labour was a harsh, hot, fast hell.
In a few hours my second beautiful princess was born, a little blue. After a four-hour whoa-to-go rushed induced labour, my five year old had the little sister she’d ordered. She rushed into the room as I sat in a pool of blood on the bed. When the midwife handed my baby back to me after clearing her airways, her big sister held her like she was a doll and looked at me with cocker spaniel eyes. Of course the nurse took photos. I had blood on my hands, a bird’s nest hairdo and wore an old bra. I look like a dopey possum in our happy family shots. Happy birthday beautiful girl.