It all happened in an instant! Imagine your child is about to run out onto the road, get hit by a car and die right before your very eyes – and all you can do is watch the horror unfold on the screen of your phone, no where even remotely close to them and with absolutely no way of saving their life.
My hands trembled, my heart was aching and I stood up a dizzy mess with absolutely no way of getting to her. Not that I could have physically moved anyway as I felt like I had just been punched in the stomach and desperately wanted to curl up into a ball on the floor of the medical centre.
Anyone watching me in the waiting room probably feared I was having a psychotic episode and it could have even cemented the fact that drug and alcohol abuse should be avoided at all costs as they tried to work out what sort of hallucination I was enduring and what substance I was abusing.
It Wasn’t Supposed To Happen Like This!
The day was supposed to be an utterly boring, non-eventful one. It was a doctor’s appointment day. I had managed to successfully cram two of my little one’s immunisations in amongst my own glucose tolerance test. Sounds perfectly mundane right?
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It was my hubby’s day off and he was going to be taking our two little ones back home to rest after their injections so they didn’t have to endure my two hour long test with me. I had organised for my dad to mind our five year old at home so that she didn’t have to unnecessarily attend the medical centre and be exposed to any illnesses. Yes, I’m one of those mothers who tries to avoid the doctors unless absolutely necessary, even prior to COVID-19.
I was concerned about how my hubby was going to manage everything- he doesn’t often get left alone with our little ones. In fact I can probably count the number of times he’s had them all to himself. I just wasn’t sure how he would juggle it all- especially the part where he would somehow have to wrangle two small children into the house from the car.
Keeping Watch From A Distance
Even though I knew it was highly unlikely, part of me worried about the concept of one of the children being asleep and forgotten in the car. It’s still one of those tragic accidents that always pop up in the news which in reality could happen to anyone. I decided to watch our fancy camera doorbell when it alerted me that someone was outside the house so that in the event that I didn’t see all three go inside our home I could give my hubby a call.
Spiralled Out Of Control
This is the moment where everything started to get out of control. My mother had decided to visit randomly out of nowhere, completely catching my hubby off guard. She practically never visits us, even though she only lives 20 minutes away.
My mother has a way of always taking over and as usual she parked her car blocking our driveway making it impossible for my hubby to safely park in our own front yard. Added to this, in typical grandparent style, she had brought bags of things for the kids.
The combination of all these unforeseen elements added a real sense of chaos to an already challenging task- getting young children safely in and out of a vehicle is no small feat even for the most experienced of parents.
Then my dad added to the confusion by bringing the five year old outside- three adults, three children, yet not one of them predicted what was about to happen next!
How Accidents Happen
This is how many fatal accidents occur I believe. Unexpected events and situations which lead individuals to lose focus, forget what they are supposed to be doing and in a split second their entire world can be destroyed.
My hubby had taken the baby and three year old inside, my dad had taken the five year old outside but then became distracted by helping my mum to unload her car. My mum was already frenzied trying to remember everything she had brought. And my hubby was distracted inside with the baby… when our three year old walked out the front door.
Out The Door!
My dad saw her, but he never suspected for a moment that she was going to bolt straight for the road and bolt she most certainly did!
She ran down the stairs and just kept running. My dad, as though only by divine intervention, was able to catch her within seconds of oncoming traffic. And I am still thanking God and the heavens above for sparing my little girl’s life – as well as all those whose lives would have been severely impacted if God forbid there had have been a fatal accident.
In hindsight, there are SO many things that I could have done differently to prevent the situation from escalating to such a dangerous point. I should have called my hubby the moment I saw my mum outside and reminded him to pay close attention to the kids. I mean I know how distracting and overwhelming my mother can be.
I could have asked that my hubby lock himself and the kids inside until my mum and dad were ready to actually walk inside the house knowing that it takes them FOREVER to actually work out what they’re doing.
In An Instant!
It all happened so incredibly fast. And in an instant, our lives could have been destroyed forever.
In today’s chaotic time’s we are inundated with never ending distractions, no matter where we look and these things can make us lose focus of what is actually important to us for long enough to lose what we love most in the world.
Life Is Not About THINGS!
Life really isn’t about all that materialistic clutter that people give kids. It just isn’t. All those unnecessary things that my mother was so focused on that she lost sight of what truly is important could have cost us dearly. I’ve always said to visit and just spend time with the children, they don’t need anything but their loved one’s time. Visiting once in a blue moon and not really knowing one’s grandchildren is utterly pointless!
I didn’t want to share this experience, in fact, it has had me mentally trapped for over a week now. However, I feel that by sharing this incident, if it helps just one other parent to look beyond and attempt to predict circumstances which could threaten the peaceful flow of their little one’s day, then it’s worth mentioning.
In a world that envelopes us with a never-ending flow of unexpected distractions, please don’t lose focus of what truly matters.
Has your life ever flashed before your eyes? Or had a life-changing situation in an instant? Tell us in the comments below.