OK I have a special request..... Can we just cancel last week and go back to say last Thursday and start all over again? If I had last Thursday back again I could do a few things differently, then again, maybe things are as they are meant to be and I should leave it all alone and let life take the course it's supposed to.
Monday was meant to be something to look forward to. The start of a new week, back to work on the Breakfast Show, having fun, working towards this radio station surging forward.... you know - all that week in week out stuff I always look forward to. And so off to work I go at 5:15 a.m.
Insert a placemarker here for where I'd really like to cancel the week....
Come 6:00 a.m. there I am at the radio station about to go to air - no Shane. So I get on air and I'm making all these jokes about how he's slept in for the 2nd week in a row and boy how he's going to pay for this..... Still nothing at 6:30 so I give his home number a quick call thinking this will wake him and he'll phone back. Nothing. By 7:00 a.m. I am fairly concerned. At 7:15 I get a phone call from his mobile.... I answer, it cuts out. I try to call back but there is no response. I figure well he's in range, it won't be long before he's here. Then a voice message comes through - he's been in a really bad car accident on the way in and is an ambulance being transported to the local hospital.
I'm not sure how to describe exactly what was going through my mind right at that particular moment. I do know that my immediate reaction was to just flick the switch on the radio back to the satellite feed, grab my purse and keys and bolt out the door. If anyone had come into the station, it would surely have looked like one of those old sci-fi movies where the victim had been beamed up because I just literally left everything and ran. But those words "really bad accident" kept resounding in my head along with visions of all kinds of unmentionable images and thoughts. I feared the worst and panic set in and it was all I could do to stay calm for the two blocks I had to drive to the hospital.
Just the sight of the ambulance set my heart pounding, and the frustration of having to wait while they got him in the emergency room and did the initial examination was almost more than I could bear. But it was such a relief to actually get in there and see him, although not such a relief to hear what has happened - a large tree had fallen across the road just over a rise and that he had slammed into it at about 80 kph in the dark at 5:30 a.m. That was when I started to shake and the realization that this accident could have had much worse consequences started to hit me.
To cut a long story short, after a few hours in emergency, and well men being men, him refusing to be kept in hospital, we did the rounds of the pharmacy for painkillers etc, and then dropped off the doctors certificate to his work. Not wanting to see the car, I left him there and I headed off to the panel beaters to pick up the computers and other items that had been in the car that morning.
Here comes moment of awakening #2 - seeing the car up there on the back of the tow truck and the damage. It was really at that point that I lost it. I've taken photos of the car but I'll refrain from posting them here because he's not yet ready to look at it, but suffice to say that I cannot believe how lucky he was to walk away from this accident. Another few kph faster and I suspect the message in this blog would have been quite different. Needless to say the computers weren't too well having gone from 80 k to nothing in the space of about a couple of cms. But I salvaged what I could including some rather scratched "Grumpo" CD's that were supposed to be mailed out that morning to radio stations & the like. By the time I got back to his work I was pretty upset and managed to do the very grown up thing of bursting into tears. What can I say. When you realise your best friend could have died a few hours ago, it can be emotional to say the least.
All I can be grateful for is that aside from a great deal of pain and I suspect a lot more bruising to come - the outcome was so much less dramatic than it could have been. And I am grateful for that. It just brings to home how fragile life is and how much we take for granted that our own lives and those of the people we care for will be there tomorrow. And the fact is that life is so very fragile - it can be there one moment and gone the next. Never take anything, especially those you care about, for granted. Your next moment could be your last and you may live to regret that last moment for the rest of your life.
The rest of the week has been a blur of fatigue, stress and taking stock of what's important. I guess that could be considered normal in view of how the week started out. I always had a belief that things happened for a reason. I must admit that there have been a few things lately that have occurred that I just simply don't understand the WHY of them happening. But I'm trying.
One final thing before this computer dies yet again tonight.... Allen - I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Not only for your friendship and your support within the radio station, but also for your wisdom and your ongoing concern for me personally. There have been so many moments over the past few weeks where my faith and my strength have wained, but your honesty and your encouragement have kept me afloat in that pond of reality. I am so very grateful for your friendship and your love. I am so very proud to call you a true friend and so very blessed to have you in my life right now.