Tuesday was a funny old day.

Yvonne’s Facebook Status, Tuesday 17th September 2013:

Go to meeting at 2pm. Finish at 5.20pm. Phone office to organise taxi to get back to office. Get the answer-machine. 
Office is shut. Phone then dies.
Realise I have no cash. 
Realise cash is in office with my car keys and my keys to the office. 
Realise without cash cannot get taxi back to office where car is parked. 
Realise without office keys cannot get car keys. 
Realise without car keys cannot get into car and cannot get home. 
Panic some more. 
Walk miles back to office in impractical super-high heels. Get to office. Accost stranger. 
Pay said stranger dirty grush from bottom of bag to use their phone. 
Phone Edinburgh-based work colleague. 
Phone colleague 8 times. 
Stranger getting impatient. Stranger thinks I am a mad woman. 
I AM a mad woman. 
Colleague answers on 9th attempt. She is mad too (angry) but agrees to open the office for me… 
It’s been a f’ing awful day.

When I posted I genuinely thought the ‘bad day’ bit of my day was over.

That was a stupid assumption to make.

R wasn’t in when I got back. He’d waited, apparently and was ‘angry with you Mum’ but had had to leave, late for his evening meeting

Dinner – if I’d had the appetite – was by this time a shrivelled, dried up mess.

When I went for a ‘relaxing shower’ I managed to pull the shower head from the wall.

Knowing that I really had to, I settled to do a very late hour’s work – reading statements and trying to map evidence (for a hideous 7-10 day proof that’s set down for November – the meeting was a handover from legal firm to me) – and managed to read the same page at least 30 times before realising my mental matches just werny lighting.

I then settled to bed – to be disturbed by a cranky accusatory R. – angry because he hadn’t a clue where I was; he’d had to leave the kids and ‘why hadn’t I phoned or even answered my phone anyway’… 


Oh… and I woke up on the 18th with an ugly cold sore.

And now (19th) I’m fu’ of snottery sweaty freezing miserable cold germs.

It hasn’t been such a great week. 

However, as one of my pals pointed out – it does make laughable reading. It’s even starting to sound (masochistically) funny to me.


Relief and pain and family trauma

There are no words sufficient to the task. My child is alive. Fear has eaten this week. Fear and rage and a dense, deep, bitterest despair that drums in your ears and throat; that burdens every breath.

He is alive. When we thought he had died. Thought he still would die.

This is how it happens. How quiet ordinary lives cross over on an early sleepy Sunday morning. How a thudding door opens to policemen with words of pain and darkness that sleep’s confusion cannot process to meaning. How a car journey to Accident and Emergency passes without memory of road or place – but only of how I cannot get wheels to turn fast enough. Of the ashen aged look of my husband’s face. Of the fear in us. Bleak and black. How the ticking clock thrums and how every passing minute where there is no news from the ambulance or paramedics or the nurses or doctors is filled with the fear of loss. Unspeakable hideous incomprehensible loss.

And then of my beautiful gentle son gradually returning to himself and us. Broken. But here. Blown pupils a black pool of intoxication and of relief and remorse and dark sorrow.

We have all suffered. His brothers and sisters. His grandparents. The traumatised friends who witnessed his descent into hell and who stopped his fall with brutal restraint and emergency calls.

But yesterday, into that space, bleak, numbing relief had squatted, there was, too, a deepening realisation of our inter-dependency; of love; of the reasons we have to give thanks and to be grateful. And – from all of us – this desire to be close together – to hug one another tight.

There are painful words to be spoken in the days ahead. Tears are only now beginning to flow.

For me – I remain filled with fear – of what the ringing phone will bring; of Lewis’ speeding car on dangerous roads; of Megan walking alone at night in the city; of Jamie late home from a friends; of Ana running and playing along the river. This reminder of what can happen – of what does happen – to ordinary families and ordinary mothers and fathers – it has punched a deep hole in the taken-for-granted everydayness that sanity and equilibrium rely upon.

But this too shall pass.