The four year anniversary of Paul’s accident is drawing near. I still remember it all like it was last week but the pangs of grief are now a distant memory. How far we have all come from that moment when all our lives were turned upside down, inside out and a couple of skid marks added for extra flavour. So as the last of the legal stuff comes to an end, I can’t help but wonder whatever happened to that truck driver that was involved. Where are you now? Is it all over for you too? Do you still drive a truck? Do you ever think about that guy on the motorbike who’s life was hanging on by a thread that fateful July afternoon in 2016?
This is not a post about holding a grudge or being bitchy over some wrong- doing (although my list for people who shit me up the wall seems to be growing, but that’s for another day.) I don’t know why I had made up my mind so quickly, but from the moment I heard about how the accident occurred that day, I knew you, the truck driver, did not plan your day for this to happen, so I couldn’t hate you. In my mind you were an overweight, heavily tattooed, red- beard-down-to-your-knees truck driver with a smoker’s cough and dirty brown hair. But I learned that you are only a couple of years younger than Paul, probably have a wife and kid, maybe two, likely living in a suburban cul-de-sac with a mortgage and a dog. So you probably didn’t get up that morning and think “I’m going to try and ruin someone’s life today!” Whilst that guy on the motorbike (my husband) likely had one thing on his mind, to get some lunch and get back to work in a timely manner, you nor he, ever thought twice about what would transpire that day.
You turned into the driveway that afternoon, crossing the pathway of a motorbike you claim not to have seen. According to the specialist engineers, you had ample time to assess the road and avoid the collision. So what happened, mate? Did something grab your attention when you were trying to turn into the driveway? Did your phone ring? Did a pretty, young bird catch your eye so you momentarily lost focus? Whatever happened, that’s between you and God because not even the CCTV footage caught a glimpse of what went on in your truck in the moments before the crash.
My husband and our family got the shitty end of that stick. But I don’t have time to wallow in misery over it. I am too focused on getting my husband moving, talking, out of a wheelchair, living a normal life again whilst raising our children and managing our household. I don’t have time to hate you, mate. If we ever get to meet face to face, I would never yell at you, snarl or even give you a dirty look. I forgave you the very first day. For some reason, you and Paul crossed paths that day but your journey’s are very different. I hope you have learnt something from the past four years, something positive you can change in your life, so the whole experience wasn’t a waste of a life lesson. Do a First Aid course or volunteer your time with the disabled. Whatever you choose to do, just know that kicking yourself over it or harbouring guilt isn’t going to help you or your family, me or my family or anyone else for that matter. Pay it forward, mate, it’s the best form of redemption.
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