Saturday, 22 May 2010

Life is What Happens When You’re Busy Making Other Plans

Nineteen months ago my husband and I were idly watching tele with a glass of wine late one Friday night when we received a phone call. We were told that my husband’s best friend, who lived in Ireland, had died very suddenly, on a football pitch as he was training his youth team. He was fit, he was healthy, he was the life and soul of the party. He was forty seven and suddenly he was no more.

We were devastated.

My husband had known his friend since the first day at high school. They had shared everything. And despite the fact that they lived quite far apart he was closer to my husband than some of his own relatives.

In Ireland funerals are supposed to happen within 48 hours, so plans were quickly made to travel and my parents stepped into the breach to look after our children. The funeral itself was the was most emotionally traumatic experience I have ever encountered. And then during the wake I phoned home to check on the kids, only to find out that my youngest son (4 years old) had been playing football at school and had broken his arm.

My baby was out there, in pain, needing me and I wasn’t there. The only thing I wanted to do was to get on a plane and get back to him. But I couldn’t. My only consolation was that he was with my parents - if me or my husband couldn’t be with him then as far as I was concerned they were the next best thing.

Those were a bleak few days and to be honest I almost became afraid to get out of bed because I was wondering what was going to happen next - they say things come in threes.

We were due to go on holiday to Egypt a few weeks later. Then we were told that the break to his arm wasn’t a clean one and he would need a full plaster cast which would prevent him from flying.
We cancelled the holiday.

We never got to Egypt but in retrospect, we were both grieving and I’m not sure we could have coped with being together with two children twenty four seven for a week so perhaps it was for the best.
We’ve been on holiday since and had a great time, so we were really looking forward to the holiday we’ve booked for 12 days starting next Saturday.
Today the boys went to a friend’s party at his house. Two hours after I’d dropped them off I got a phonecall - my youngest had hurt his arm playing football. Deja vue! The hospital confirmed that he has broken his arm - the other one this time. Not as bad as the last but I won’t find out until the day before we go whether or not he is fit to fly. Thank God he is OK that’s the main thing but the phrase “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans” keeps running through my mind. I think it’s a lyric from a John Lennon song, but today as far as I’m concerned its particularly resonant.
I'm trying to be positive. - worse things happen at sea and all that, but it's stirred up alot of questions and painful memories.
Take care everyone out there and be safe - you never know what's going to happen next.


  1. It sounds as if you really need that holiday - fingers crossed you can still go and have a great time. And I hope your son's arm heals soon. I bet you feel like wrapping him in bubble wrap!

  2. Hi Teresa

    Thanks for your lovely comment. Sometimes I think you need an extra holiday just to get over the stress of getting ready for a holiday in the first place - hopefully it will all be worth it in the end - I've just ordered a plastic arm thingy to go over his arm so that he can go in the pool - so fingers crossed that we get there in the end (and I will get everything done in the meantime!)