Last night the latest family celebrity (my new nephew) was in town, so the family headed to the in-laws family home for an early dinner.
The plan was mum and dad (who had the divine Miss Q) would come from their place, G and I from ours, another brother and his lady from theirs, and the brother who manufactured said nephew would jump the train from the city. All other players were already in house.
What actually happened was dad came from an emergency meeting, 400m away from the house yet it took him 45 mins to get there. The brother on the train was fine – arguably the first time City Rail has been considered efficient, the other brother and his girl abandoned all efforts as she was working late on the other side of town, G and I managed the trip in 45 mins, and mum (who had Q, not known for her patience in the car) aborted her attempt after sitting in traffic for 55 minutes without moving an inch. Mum, widely recognised amongst the Hart community for having an appalling ear for music, resorted to singing to Q in an attempt to drown out her protests.
It was a real shame we couldn’t all get together, because it’s not often we’re all in the same town and my nephew – now 4 weeks old – is changing so much and I’m not getting a chance to document his every development.
But the real tragedy lies in why we couldn’t all get together.
The reason the traffic sabotaged our dinner plans, was due to an accident on the freeway that resulted in the death of a 60 year-old woman.
It so happened that Gregory and I drove past the site, the woman’s body hidden from view by heavy green tarps held up by respectful police.
How very, very sad.
Perhaps she was heading home from work. Maybe she was a nurse on her way to an evening shift.
Or she could have been driving to her own family dinner.
And now she’ll never get there.
Ever, ever again.
In my mind she has a lovely family, loving and loveworthy and their pain right now would be great indeed.
It’s so easy to get frustrated when you’re stuck in traffic. To curse the moron whose poor driving resulted in your lost time.
But what if they weren’t driving like a moron.
What if it was just a horrible, dreadful accident?
And what if they were driving like a ninny?
It’s still a horrible, dreadful accident and they’ve paid for their errors with the very highest price.
It made me quite philosophical about this restaurant gig we’re delving into.
G is pretty jittery at the moment.
He’s worked 6 days a week since he was 15 years old. This planning time with idle cooking hands is really starting to get to him.
Last night, after we’d picked up Q and returned home, he went running at 10pm to try to sort out his busy brain.
I stayed home watching a sleeping Q, but we were both pondering the same thoughts.
Last night’s tragedy ended someone’s life.
Before they were ready, before they wanted it to, before they had any chance to argue against their hourglass that had suddenly run out of sand.
No one knows how much sand they’ve got left, or the pace at which it is hitting the bottom of their hourglass.
All we can do is consistently take care of the things on the top of our love list.
That woman probably had a partner, maybe a husband of 40 years or more. Children perhaps, grandkids, friends.
I bet they were all at the top of her love list.
That’s why G and I were heading to dinner in the first place. To be with the people on our love list.
And that’s the real reason we want this restaurant.
To care for the person at the very top of our love list. The divine, irreplaceable, unstoppable Miss Q.
My light, my life, my joy, my girl.
Who’s at the top of your love list people?
Go give ‘em a call.
They’re really the only thing in life that ever truly matters.