For the last week or so, I’ve had a cough. I don’t really remember when it started, but it seems to have gotten worse the last few days. Last night it was the absolute worst it has been and I coughed for about 15-20 minutes straight, gasping for air in between. I felt miserable, my throat, chest and head hurting from the pressure of the coughing. I coughed so hard I almost wet my pants. I thought how tragic that would be, to actually wet my pants from coughing so hard.
Then today, a friend’s little 3 year old son, was “clipped” by a train in Victoria. He’s currently in an induced coma, fighting for his life, with head, chest and abdomen injuries.
Suddenly, wetting my pants doesn’t seem so tragic. Actually, NOTHING I am currently dealing with even remotely registers on the scale of “tragic”. If you follow any kind of news outlet, you’re going to hear about this story. And it is easy to instantly think, “Where were the parents?” I’m sure I’ve even thought that after reading similar stories before. But I haven’t actually written it, or left it as a comment on a news article or FB page. There are people out there who seem to think it is their right to be able to ask these questions of people they have never met, in a forum that allows them to hide behind their computer screen. People who obviously think they are out of reach of tragedy. People who think “there are no such things as accidents, only an unfortunate series of events which lead to someone being hurt” (yes, that is a quote from a comment on a FB page). People who clearly have zero compassion or ability to be humane in a situation such as this. To those people, I say, “Fuck you.”
It’s easy to be so high and mighty and critical of people you don’t know in situations where you have no idea of the facts. The fact is she was in the back yard with the kids, they were being supervised, but she turned her back for one second. ONE. SECOND. That is all it takes for tragedy to strike. And to parents who can’t understand that, then you are lucky you’ve never experienced it.
I’ve turned around in KMart, and N has been gone. I’ve turned around at home, and he’s fallen off the back of the couch. I know these don’t compare to being hit by a train, but I know how easily kids get out of your sight and in to mischief. If only the train had been a couple minutes later, if only they had played inside instead of outside, if only my friend hadn’t turned around when she did. You ask, “Where were the parents?” I don’t know where they were (back yard apparently), but I can tell you where they are now. HELL. Every parents’ LIVING NIGHTMARE. And your asshole comments don’t make that any easier.
Her latest update to a private group of us online, is that the surgeons have said there is too much pressure on the brain, there is nothing more they can do, and he is on life support. What that means, we don’t exactly know just yet. If it means they’re hoping the pressure will come down, or if there is no way it will…either way, it doesn’t look good for this gorgeous little soul. It is so unfair. Life is unfair at times. And it is short. It is always short.
As much as I’d like to go on and on about asshats who publicly criticize grieving people, I have a 3 year old of my own who wants me to play soccer with him. So I’m going to do that, and hope that in 50 years, he and I are together, watching his son or grandson playing soccer. Hug your babies tight tonight, and every night. I wish we didn’t constantly get these reminders of that.