Not long after I arrived at work for my night shift I got told that there would be three of us scheduled for that night. Usually we have two on shift on the nights, because it’s a lot ‘easier’ than the days. Either way, you wouldn’t hear me complain as it would make our nights even easier than it already is. Hold on… not saying that our night shifts can’t be hard though… there’s plenty to do. It’s just not as busy as the day shifts… just putting it out there, you get me?
About an hour in, I felt in my spirit that I needed to provide the home-base with the company phone number, just in case of emergencies you know… who knows what could happen whilst we’re separated for another 12 hours right? I quickly decided to pass the ICE details on during my first break.
I didn’t make it to my first break…
After coming back from one of our residents, I saw a senior from another floor walking up to me and asked me for my name. He continued: “I’ve got your daughter on the phone”. Puzzled, I found quick thoughts going through my mind: “why’d she call the office? How’d she get the number anyway?” As a general rule, we always keep each other updated on where we are and ways to get in touch with one another, however, I’d only just started this job and just hadn’t thought of evening officially informing them of my whereabouts and therefore, I wasn’t even sure how she got to know the name of the organisation!
“Hey babe, you okay?”, I asked and my heart dropped: “Mama, there’s been a car accident… She’s okay but the car is wrecked. I’m coming to you now”. My body started to shake uncontrollably and all I could do is pace back and forth, not knowing what to do or say other than repeating myself over and over again: “My daughter’s been in a car accident… my daughter’s been in a car accident…”. Immediately I was told to go home.
Slippery autumn leaves on the sidewalk made that I couldn’t run as fast as I wanted to… My brain and body refused to work together. My heart was pounding in my chest and all I could think is: “Not again!, God please, not again!” Of course, I was told she was okay, but my brain didn’t want to register this yet. All my brain told my heart is: “SHE’S BEEN IN A CAR ACCIDENT”.
I looked at my phone and wanted to call my SO but my fingers kept pressing the wrong buttons. I wanted to fight my phone… through it away in frustration but I couldn’t… I needed to talk to those most important to me but my fingers refused to do as my heart desired and just listened to my dysfunctional brain… Irritation didn’t help and soon I realised I had to calm down. Once I had calmed down a bit, I suddenly felt the cold of the night and my body started to shiver again, but this time I was able to control my thoughts and managed to call my SO: “Babe, DD1 has been in a car accident, I call you once I know more okay? I am on my way now”. “Is she okay”, he asked… “I don’t know”. Of course, my brain knew, but my heart didn’t. DD1 always says she’s okay because she doesn’t want to worry me. She’s just like my SO. They never mean to worry me and I knew that.
I tried to call her but for some reason I couldn’t get through. Minutes seemed hours and I just wanted to be there. I wanted to see her, touch her. Hold her, kiss her, now that she’s okay. See that she’s okay but I couldn’t. Not yet at least. I rang for a taxi but, although I’d walked this route for the past three years, I didn’t know the name of the street I was on, and to be fair… I didn’t even I know where to go! Thank God I taught her how to share her location via WhatsApp.
DD2 came running up the hill, there were no words… we just fell into each others arms and cried. Right there whilst waiting for our taxi. Within 15 (extremely long) minutes, we saw the flashing lights of a police car. My mind went in overdrive. I had already knew that the car was badly damaged but that DD1 was okay. The car had to be towed.
A gasped escaped when we saw the site…: “OH MY GOD”. The car had skid in a bend, crashed into the railings, spun on its axes and came to a standstill on one back wheel, against the same railing it had hit with the front. Right behind the railing was a sheer drop and my mother-heart stopped and I cried…