Its been a crazy old week and the good thing about life is that regardless of highs or lows, its always about maintaining a healthy balance and finding a silver lining in everything.
I have a 23-year-old son who knows about balance – he is always literally teetering on the edge of exhilaration,looking for his next adrenaline rush and metaphorically walking the tight wire. Behind the scenes, and to those who know him well, there is a slightly introverted, kind caring little prick who is full of grace and humility thanks to the village that has helped raise him. (Dont tell him I said that.)
The balance wasn’t go good on Sunday night though when the boy child headed into downtown Wanaka on his flash iron horse in pursuit of a pie with a couple of other friends. As he was ever so slowly navigating a narrow, metre high wall on his mountain bike, it all turned to shit and he went over the front, faceplanting onto a concrete curb and bitumen carpark. The result wasn’t pretty, and I think he realised as he was picking his two front teeth off the bitumen that he may have fucked up somewhat!Luckily the quick acting friends that were with him at the time administered first aid as they waited on the ambulance to arrive that would transport him to Dunstan hospital.
It was a little after midnight when I got the text from him saying he had buggered up on his bike and needed a couple of stitches so was on his way to the hospital. I immediately replied asking if I could ring? His answer was “best not, I can’t talk and they are trying to organise a helicopter to fly me to Dunedin”. I flipped into first response mode , slightly panicked and said “get the ambulance officer to call me”. He quickly replied “Chill mother!" and I couldnt help but smile and admire his composure. The officer did phone and reassured me that he was alive and breathing, his pain levels were under control , and he would indeed be making his way to Dunedin for repair as soon as possible.
I didn’t sleep – mothers are a bit like that when their children are hurting regardless of the age, and at first light I got on the road south to meet him at the hospital. The weather was still marginal and as a result the chopper had only managed to make it to the hospital about an hour before I arrived. On the way down I phoned his dad. We haven’t talked for over five years (often splitting the asset portfolio does that to you), and asked him if he would come to the hospital? His son had downplayed his injuries when notifying him and he was unaware of the impending surgery.
Some hours later he arrived in ED to be beside his son and myself as we waited for CAT scans and other tests to be completed. In that moment ,I forgot about the bitterness of the past and was relieved a little knowing that there was another person in the room who would understand exactly how I was feeling. You see the common denominator was our love for our son. It was easier that I thought it would be. There was no awkward silences and there was the odd glimpse of a life a long time ago , as we drank coffee and shared our concerns for our son.
Accommodation was at a premium and we had to share an apartment which I laugh about now. I had an unruly Cairn Terrier with me that I had to smuggle into the unit,( whoincidently insisted on trying to blow my cover by continually barking everytime a chopper went overhead to the nearby hospital), and as he tried to sleep in the room next door. I was reliably informed the next morning that even after he had removed both hearing aids,he could hear me through the wall stripping paint off the roof with my snoring lol. Another serious advantage to living on your own was my smart arse reply!
The surgeons did a wonderful job of patching our boy up – a couple of porcelain veneers going forward and a bit of scarring will be the end result. It could have been so much worse had he not been wearing the expensive helmet he was . I have no doubt his healing will be enhanced by the fact that his mom and dad put their differences aside to unite for him .
I’m lousy at forgiveness, but on the long drive home I reflected on the previous 48 hours. I had realised over that time that I had finally healed. I had taken my power back, moved on a bit and the silver lining was there alright. My children, the two people I love most in the world would be the benefactors of that for sure.
The next day I had a photo shoot with the lovely Emmily Harmer of Ashburton as part of an exhibition she is shooting for women called “50+ and Fabulous”. She intends capturing the stories of women over the age of 50 behind her camera and doing an exhibition down the track, so after a pamper session with the hairdresser and makeup artist I emerged looking pretty dam respectable for a photo session.
It was a fun couple of hours and as I smiled and played up to the camera I forgot about the worries of earlier in the week and thought how important it is to live in the moment and embrace the challenges and the joys of everyday life.
Now back to the balance bit, when those photos are done, one of them will be slipping into my candidate statement for the local body election campaign that I have decided to enter. I have decided to put my hat in the ring and stand for the Council – Christ only knows how that will go but I know I won’t die wondering so watch this space!