I think about this ALOT.
I know we use the term loosely for ‘good’ people, or well behaved kids, or a helpful neighbour, but that’s not what I’m talking about here. I mean someone who slips in and out of your consciousness with such little fanfare that you’re left wondering if they really did exist in the first place.
I’ll tell you a story. (You knew this was coming, right?)
Middle kid again.
Let me clarify though…I do have other kids. Lots of them, haha! (Well it feels like it sometimes!). You’ll get to know them too, in good time. No one’s immune around here, and there are PLENTY of stories to tell. Be afraid boys, everyone gets a turn :)
On this particular day, middle kid and his big bro are at the skate park just down the road. It's just your normal stock standard weekend, until the phone call.
I’m grinding it out on the treadmill, in one of my many, many attempts to feel like I'm keeping it all together. I remember fitness was quite an indulgence for me then. One of the last things on a very long list of ‘what you do when you want to appear like you’re doing ok’. I was probably on a metaphoric treadmill too….for all the same reasons.
Anyhow, the call. Big bro, ever calm but this time there’s an edge. He sounds breathless. There’s been an accident. He’s already called the ambulance. Come quickly.
Truth be known, I’m not a panicker, so I turn the treadmill off, grab a jacket and the little bro, and we head to the skate park.
I have three boys. I’ve weathered a few storms. We’ve had our fair share of scrapes, breaks and bruises, so I assume this is another little blip on our radar and we’ll be heading home a bit later with some Panadol, some epic photos, and a mango smoothie to share.
I’m met with a sickening scene that’s forever etched in my memory. There’s a crowd. I can hear an ambulance approaching. Lights and sirens. Fear and chaos. I have to almost step outside of myself as I’m met by my eldest boy, and his face tells me I’m gonna need to dig deep.
But here’s where we experience something pretty amazing. It takes me back to the beginning of this blog. Have you ever actually seen an angel?
We still don’t know, but to us this dude might well have been.
He was enormous. Statuesque. Bald, muscular, and dark skinned. Ridiculously tall. And he just appeared out of nowhere. We didn’t see him come, and we didn’t see him leave, but we SAW him.
Everyone saw him.
He was softly spoken, but I can’t remember who he spoke too. Maybe he didn’t even speak…I have no idea. But with his actions he spoke volumes.
I always flip around when my mind goes back to this moment. Did it actually happen? Did I dream it in the heat of the trauma?
No…I was present. Calm. Clear.
It did happen. I know it did. My kids were there, and they saw it too. Their friends saw it. The paramedics saw it. We talked about it in the ambulance.
So if I backtrack a bit here…this is the situation. My kid is really badly injured, on a stretcher on the ground at the bottom of the 12ft skate park bowl, and the Paramedic crews have a massive dilemma. They can't get him out. They can't physically lift him high enough, and they don’t have the privilege of time to be able to troubleshoot. Local SES have been called, but they’re taking too long. There’s a definite air of urgency, although these amazing people are the absolute masters of calm.
And imagine this. Statue dude appears. Skips down into the bowl like he’s stepping off his front porch to greet the postie. Tells the paramedics he can easily lift the stretcher above his head on his own if someone can jump up and grab it at ground level. And within a few seconds it’s done. Clockwork, safe, smooth and a little bit surreal.
And when the job’s done, he’s gone.
From here, the story is long. It spans years, and I draw on this experience SO much as I navigate the peaks and potholes of daily life. The resilience of my kids. (All of them.) The amazingness of the human spirit. The reality that EVERYONE goes through stuff. The power of simple kindness. The importance of just doing the unexpected. The amazingness of being on the recieving end of a gesture from a real life angel.
And gosh. Who knows.
Definitely not me.