herald

Monday 16 July 2018

Suzanne Power: Minutes

I was stuck for a column this week. My brain was in deep freeze. My whole body hurt because I could only think of one thing: my son fell out of a tree and was knocked unconscious.

He was looked after by something because he has not broken a single bone despite the height he fell from. He could have sustained serious injuries if he fell two inches to the right because he landed right beside our boiler without hitting it. He only caught the edge of a hawthorn tree which would have torn his thin summer clothing and skin to shreds.

Witnesses, six of them, say they'll never forget the fall. My parents who were also present, my husband and my other boy all feel it was miraculous.

For a few minutes I didn't have him. His body was unnaturally still and his breathing was very shallow. I ordered our visitors away from him and sat by him, calling his name over and over.

When he opened his eyes he looked at me and said: "I love you." Someone told me not to move him but my instinct told me to get him on his feet and walking. Something beyond rational was at work and made me react.

My thoughts while he was out cold were the worst I've had: he hasn't turned 10. If we lose him to this I will blame myself for not giving him dessert when he asked for it, for making him play outside with his friends.

He wouldn't have climbed the tree. He wouldn't have fallen. And I said out loud to him: "Come back, come on now. We're here." I repeated his name over and over. Minutes before he had been irritating me because we were seated together at the end of a table and he kept fidgeting while he had Sunday lunch, I kept reprimanding him. That's why I wanted him outside, because I was stressed and had so much to do.

Then I wanted his eyes on me more than I have ever wanted anything in my whole life.

He came back to me. I began to bawl and he threw his arms around me and said: "Please don't cry, you'll make me cry. I'm fine." For the few minutes he was out, about three or four, he said he could only see a white light and nothing else. Then he heard me but couldn't see me so he came back into his head, as he puts it, to look for me. I know while I was beside him I felt all his life in my mind, all he has been to us.

Life is miraculous. It's five days on from the incident and I have only been separated from him today for the whole day.

I took him to work with me this week so I could keep an eye on him. I have slept beside him and monitored him night and day in case something occurred. But we ran the checks they advise you to and he was back. He went somewhere while he was gone and it's left us all scared and aware.

We were hit with illness on our family holiday this year which took a week and a half to get over. I had to book another ferry and extend our stay, which wiped us out financially.

I lost my phone and 10 years of numbers. We got caught in a seven mile-traffic tailback and were depressed at the prospect of returning to an empty bank account and an endless list of tasks. We got back to another miracle: a house tidied and a garden weeded by our friend and neighbour who had heard how hard a time we'd had.

Then our son came out of a horrendous accident with barely a scratch.

Life is good for one reason: the people in it that love you. I can't write about anything else because there's nothing worth writing about more than that.

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