I have so much to blog about that remains to be written…like about my wonderful little road trip with Mr.5.
But today I need to blog about kindness. And perspective.
Yesterday I was running late for work, but had exactly two minutes to duck into the local cafe and grab a coffee. I’d been thinking, “Just have instant coffee today instead” – but couldn’t resist the lure of a proper espresso.
I parked the car, got my coffee, jumped back in the car, reversed out, rather hurriedly into the narrow street….and reversed into a parked car. Which wasn’t there when I’d parked two minutes before. But that’s beside the point. I have a reversing camera. The reality is, I’m crap at navigating the hulk of a vehicle we own in small spaces.
And the parked car I decided to hit that morning was a beautiful one. It was a stunning shade of metallic blue, not a shade I’d ever seen before. In my panicky state, as I re-parked my car and went to find the owner, it didn’t register what type of car I’d hit.
It was only a Bentley convertible. A new one. In that gorgeous metallic blue. I believe they retail for around $280,000US. And I’m not sure whether it was the top of the line model, which retails for a sum that makes me feel nauseous.
But I didn’t know that at the time. The owner came out, looking rather calm, said hi, and gave me a little reassuring pat on the arm. The usual exchange of licence numbers and contact details. Then some very apologetic conversation.
“I’m so sorry…what kind of car is this?”
“It’s a Bentley”, he replied, still calm.
“A Bentley? Oh my God, I’m so sorry.”
“Don’t worry about it. It’s just a car. It can be fixed.”
“Yes, but it’s not just any car…”
“No, but the main thing is that you are OK. Are you ok?”
“Yeah, I’m ok…but of all the cars…I’m so sorry.”
“Ah, if this is the worst thing that happens to you, you’re a lucky girl. It’s just metal. It can be fixed. Really, don’t let it worry you.”
Then as I was getting back into my two tonne tank that destroys anything in its path, he called out, “make sure you have a good day, ok?”
As I drove off, I didn’t know if I wanted to cry because of the incident, or because of his reaction to it. But I didn’t cry, because I was still a bit rattled…and had to walk straight into work.
Yesterday was Wednesday. Every fourth Wednesday, I have a patient come to have his blood taken out as he’s a diabetic. He is a really gentle 80 year old man and we have a bit of a chat beforehand about what’s in the news, or the weather.
Today however was different. Instead of having his blood taken, I came in to find him attached to the oxygen machine, with an ambulance already on its way.
He’d suffered a heart attack around breakfast time.
Still caught the train, though, and came in.
As I watched him struggle to breathe, looking so fragile, and wanting to help in some way but couldn’t, I heard again the words I’d just been told.
“If this is the worst thing that happens to you, you’re a lucky girl.”
He was right.