The weekend came and went in a hurry, as usual.
Saturday morning saw us at the football in Muswellbrook, playing a game against the nearest local team, Singleton. These boys were all over us in the first half, but we clawed our way back to a 20-all draw at the sound of the finishing hooter. Great effort boys!!!! Tonight we travel to Kurri Kurri to play against Cessnock, a game that was postponed due to representative committments for a lot of the boys a couple of weeks ago. It will be interesting to seehow they go; our boys have never played under lights before. And it will be cold, of that I'm sure....brrrr. Meat pies all round for tea, I suppose........
Saturday night, our across the road neighbours, Ron and Gail, came over for a barbecue. They bought their 14 yr old daughter, Rhianna, with them. Gail was wired as tight as a drum, as things have been very difficult with Rhianna lately... she just couldn't relax, and was sooo tired. She recently lost her father after his battle with asbestosis, and things are just becoming too hard for her at the moment. Added to this is the moving of her first-born son to Newcastle. She is missing him dreadfully. The poor darlin is struggling, and we were supposed to go out for a coffee on Sunday, but we didn't. We still had a good talk, which was all she really wanted anyway. I suggested that it was time for some professional intervention, which she agreed was needed, but actually walking the path to organise this seems so difficult at the moment. Rhianna is a lovely kid, by the way, but there are problems that need working through. And it is heart-rending to see Gail feeling the way she does. So, some loving support and nudging will be provided by the Blogmuggle.
In spite of this, we had an enjoyable evening. Gail is a wonderful cook, and provided an impossible pie for dessert........ mmmmmmmmm
A warning now;
Stop reading now if you're not prepared for some sadness on this Monday morning. The content may cause distress to some........
Beloved and Scorpaboy arose early to leave for Sydney to ride at a bike meeting as planned. I received a kiss goodbye, and a hooroo from the boy, then snuggled back down into my doona, with Moe the tabby cat for company. And extra warmth. It was about 6am, I guess. Beloved forgot to fuel the car up in Muswellbrook on Saturday, so they had to stop at the local service station on the way. As they were filling the car with petrol, Jeff, who lives in the caravan park across the road, drove past on his way to work.
As I've mentioned before, the roads leading to our hamlet travel through mostly vineyards and horsestuds. For those in the know, the famous racehorses, Octagonal and his son, Lohnro, reside at one of them. This country is lush and green, even in this time of severe draught. It is a delight to drive through. But not for Beloved and Scorpaboy on this particular Sunday. I heard footsteps some time later, and assumed it was Vegeboy. I called out to him, and Beloved walked through the door, ashen-faced. "It's not Rhys, it's me", he said. He didn't look at me. He just climbed into bed with me and lay on his back, trying to collect his thoughts. I took his hand, and this is what he told me.
As they drove past the horse studs and across the Hunter river again, they slowed as they noticed hazard lights flashing on a car on the side of the road ahead. And skidmarks in the lush green grass of the table drain. And Jeff flagging them down. As they pulled over, they saw why. On the other side of the road, was a small silver sedan that had taken on a tree, and lost. It was mangled and folded, but it's hazard lights were flashing. Poor Jeff was talking to the police on his mobile phone. He'd already been over to the car. Beloved walked back over the road with him. Jeff, shocked and confused, was trying to relay details to the voice on the other end of the phone, who was persistent in their requests. The driver's side of the car, which was not wedged against the tree, appeared empty........ because the young female driver was on the passenger side of the car. And she had died. The police wanted to know if there were others in the car with her. It was impossible to tell.... and there is no way that they would have survived. A security guard from the stud arrived, who knew the driver, the poor man. And he told Beloved and Jeff that she had a three-year old daughter.... so they had to try to see if she was with her mum. Which was nigh on impossible.
The security guy said that she hadn't been to work, but Beloved said that she was dressed against the cold; beanie, warm jacket and pants. And boots. She lived with her parents about 500m up the road from the accident site; it looked as if she was on her way home. The security guy went to see her family, and was dreading it. He returned with the news that the little girl was at home with her grandparents. And also that grandad wasn't home, so he hadn't been told. Finally, the police arrived, and after questioning, Beloved and Scorpaboy were allowed to leave. Poor Jeff was still talking to the police when they left. It was 7.30am. Jeff wasn't going to work, and my boys decided that it just wasn't a good idea to drive for three hours feeling the way that they did.
After telling me, we talked for a short while, and I asked where Jack was. Beloved said that he was in his room. As I arose to see him, Beloved took in my naked state, and commented that viewing me in my nature suit might shock Jack into thinking of something else other than the accident...... Thank goodness for humour... How else would we survive?
Jack was playing a soccer game on his X-box, looking pale and teary. But he refused to be drawn into talking; "What's the point?" was his reply. He did agree with me, however, that no movie or computer, or x-box game can ever prepare or compare to the real thing. So, he's filed his visions away his head........ hopefully, he can deal with them in his own time and space.
Beloved had moved onto his favourite lounge chair, and had just sent GG an sms-message asking "where are you?"..... As it was 8.30 on a Sunday morning, she was asleep in bed, of course. She must have picked up on something, as she phoned us a while later. Which is amazing really; she must have felt her father's agitation in those three simple texted words, even through her very sleepy state....
We decided that we would all meet at the movies at Maitland at 4 in the afternoon to see "Pirates of the Carribean 3". And then he curled up into a foetal position and slept.
Beloved had asked Gail and Ron to check up on Jeff later, and Gail came over and we cancelled coffee. Later, Beloved and I went for a walk. Scorpaboy went off riding his push-bike around town to burn off some energy and demons. There was a really weird feeling to the day, I'll tell you. An odd energy to be sure. Much to my surprise, we travelled to Maitland past the accident site. I think Beloved needed to see it again to really believe that he had been there, and had actually seen it. He was less sure of the location than Jack was. The skidmarks in the grass were still visible. There are police markings on the road as a reminder now. You can see where she had swerved off the road onto the grass then back onto the road to avoid running into a telegraph pole. And there a couple of scrapes on the tree.
None of us can be sure why the accident happened. It's all supposition. Beloved has been trying to work out the mechanics of it, to try and reconcile it in his head. We think she wasn't wearing a seat-belt. Her car was an older Asian model, with no airbags, but who knows if they would have made a difference. Probably not. She was travelling a stretch of road that she has probably driven on a couple of times a day, almost every day of her adult life. If she had gone through the fence instead of into the tree, then the outcome might have been different. 6 inches to the right, and she would have been on home soil. And as a farm-kid, she's probably been driving from the time that her feet could reach the pedals. She was so close to the right turn into her driveway. Why, why, why........?
I don't know her name, but I know that she is loved. There were a lot of cars parked around her family home as we drove past in the afternoon. They have lost a daughter, a sister, a partner, a friend... and a mummy.
I will know who she is by the end of the week, most likely. That's the way it is around here.
The other thing I know is that someone was looking after my family when Beloved forgot to fuel up his car in Muswellbrook on Saturday. We could have turned around and driven the 5 minutes back into town, but we didn't. The few minutes it took to fuel up here probably saved Beloved from actually being involved int he accident.. And at least he wasn't first on site...... He wasn't meant to buy that fuel. It isn't the first time that we've had a near miss like this, either.....
I drove home, as Beloved finally succumbed to the bone weariness that he was feeling. We didn't travel that road again last night; we never do after dusk or around dawn as there are too many animals around. I said to him that I would like to think that the last thing she saw was home. He can't get past the horror that her loved ones are living through. He can accept the finality of the young womans's life; his concerns are for those that have been left behind.
And Jack; well, we'll see how he copes. His favourite teacher was involved in a serious car accident this week as well. He and his wife are fighting for their lives in the John Hunter Hospital. They were less than a kilometer from their driveway as well, and were on their way to work.
It's always one day at a time anyway.
And Jeff? I've come to the conclusion that he's one of the good ones. You see, Jeff was one of the good samaritans who came to my aid when I had broken down in GG's car awhile back on the New England Highway. He was on his way to work that time as well. I didn't know him then. I met him a few weeks later at a gathering at Gail and Ron's caravan park, and put 2 and 2 together. I think I will try to visit him and give him a hug. If he wants one, that is... Nobody should have to go through things such as this alone.
So readers, love the ones you're with. Tell them. Show them. Be kind. Include yourself.
Thank you for letting me share.