Ewan and I have had a week of immense trauma. A lifetime of pain squeezed into 5 short days. With bad news coming from all areas of our lives.
Just when we thought the week couldn’t bring us anything else we were placed in the right place at the right time for a stranger…again.
Some of you will remember that roughly this time last year Ewan and I witnessed a woman getting hit by a car. We are both first aiders and responded to the scene. I lay with the woman in the middle of a duel carriageway, surrounded by her blood. It was a pivotal point in my life and my healing – me living with a terminal condition, holding space for an otherwise healthy woman fighting for her life.
Last night we were traveling back from Aberdeen. It was the early hours of the morning and a thick fog had filled the road.
I’d fallen asleep while Ewan drove and was woken suddenly to him shouting ‘oh fuck’.
I opened my sleepy eyes to the scene of a smashed car facing us in the middle of the road in front. It’s headlights blurred by the poor weather conditions.
I pulled on my shoes (stilettos!) and ran towards the car, not knowing what I’d find.
As I ran I was simultaneously asking other people that had stopped behind us to stay back. That fierce lioness energy I’d discovered last time had returned.
As I ran I was taking in the scene. The car facing the wrong way. The debris and gravel on the road. The smashed vehicle.
The fog was so thick I couldn’t see the driver until I was right at the car.
It all happened in slow motion.
The relief I felt to find the driver, not only alive but, uninjured was palpable.
Here sat a young boy, clearly very shaken, trying to call his parents to let them know what had happened.
Let that sink in for a moment – the poor shaken young man was still sat in a smashed vehicle, in the middle of a duel carriageway and the first thing he thought to do…before even removing himself from danger…was to call those he loves and who love him.
What a beautiful message from the universe about life and love.
Understandably in shock, he wasn’t able to speak to his parents and so he handed me his phone. I spoke to his mum, calming and reassuring her and giving her directions to where we were.
She arrived at the same time as the emergency services.
Here is what I learnt last night…
When we were leaving Aberdeen we were held up by our dog Ozzy for a few minutes. He had started crying and we’d had to stop at the side of the road for him to pee.
I was admittedly a little frustrated as he had been out at the start of our journey only 15 minutes before and, exhausted, I was desperate to get home.
Had he not stopped, however, the fate of that young boy could have been very different…
The boy was sat in his vehicle at risk of the next car hitting him…visibility was so poor, an approaching car would have had no hope of seeing him. However, we were driving our campervan and were going slowly. We had time to stop.
Behind us was a truck. When the truck driver saw us stop and me run from the car he stopped in the middle of the duel carriageway. This meant that all other traffic was stopped and the boy was removed from danger.
When I spoke to his mum she advised that he has autism. This is a condition I am very familiar with through my own family and through working with children. I could handle the boy’s needs with compassion and understanding suitable to how his beautiful brain works.
I was also reminded of what a beautiful team Ewan and I are. Without words, I ran into the danger while Ewan called the emergency services. While I dealt with the trauma, Ewan managed the scene around us…the traffic, the other people.
Once the situation was stable he brought me jackets to keep me warm and then he assessed the vehicle…turning off the engine and lights.
Our skill sets are so different and so complimentary. He thinks of things I wouldn’t and vice versa. The way we work together through all of life’s traumas is a silent dance with each of us doing what the other cannot.
Reflecting on this I see the deep beauty in what we do together each and every day.
Above all my reflection is, once again, how beautiful and precious and fleeting life is.
This story could have been very different had little Ozzy not needed a pee.
This story could have been very different were it not for a million other seemingly tiny events.
Every day we live in this dance. When we can’t find our keys, when we get stuck at a red light, or when we go straight through a green one, when your kids won’t put on their shoes, when you wake up early…
Every time our schedule is altered by even just a few seconds, we never know what is being put right into our life, and we never know what is being taken from our path.
If we’d been on our journey 60 seconds earlier we would have missed this happening. The boy’s story would have been very different. If we’d been on our journey 30 seconds earlier the boy’s car would have hit our van as it spun. All of our stories would have been very different.
Instead, what happened was the most ideal – no injuries, just a broken car.
The next time you are frustrated because you are running late, take a moment to pause and reflect on the beauty that this could be bringing into your life.
Above all, take a moment to surrender to your life, to go with it in good times as well as in bad and to know that each moment is fleeting.
And if you do nothing else, love fiercely, because this all ends.xx