Some years before I married hubby, I had a few (well more than a few but no-one has time for all that) sudden life changing events. These events have shaped who I am today. That phone call in the middle of the night, that piercing scream and knowing that my world had changed forever will live with me forever. Putting my parents in the car, waving them away for Dad to take Mum to be with her siblings and knowing that they were counting on my brother and I to get through the next day or so for them and the business, I grew up so much in that instant.
A few years later and many other sudden events later (non of them good), suddenly my life changed in a way I could never have imagined. My partner, my love was gone. It was as if it all happened in slow motion that afternoon. Somehow I had a sense, an urgency, more than a need to speak to him, we had spoken a few times that day but there was this nagging sense that wouldn't go away. I called no answer, I called again this time someone answered but told me he was not available which was odd it was his mobile. I tried again this time it went to message bank. I still had this incredibly sense of dread that something was not right. I called the hospitals in the area but he either hadn't arrived there yet or they just weren't saying. I called his dad but he wasn't answering, I called his sister and left a message declaring that I was sure that something had happened could she please call me as soon as she heard from him or had any news.
What I know now is that the person who answered the phone was one of the police in attendance. His dad wasn't answering his phone on purpose and his sister never got the message her partner erased it when he heard my voice because he knew. I was filled with a complete sense of dread (I was well passed the worry, anxiety and even panic) as I drove home in Sydney traffic constantly re-dialing, even calling my parents in case they had heard from him. I had not long gotten in the door and the phone rang and suddenly my world collapsed around me, this time it was my body screaming, my body collapsing, my brain not taking in the words that were being said to me. He was dead, a workplace accident. Suddenly, everything changed in that moment. I was different, my life was different, my future would be different.
The happy ending to that story is that my husband is a wonderful man, who was a good mate of mine in the wings, who stood by me and supported me and slowly helped me to know love again. Gently he walked with me until I was ready. One day I was and suddenly much to my surprise he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me! Perhaps if he'd known what was ahead of us he may have run while he still had a chance but I suspect he would have stayed he's pretty great like that!
It could be argued that my world changed suddenly again this year. I suspect that when everything fell apart it felt sudden to everyone including me. Though in reality my breakdown was not really sudden but a very long, slow buildup with an extremely sudden event that made all of us sit up and take notice.
Yesterday, it was my oldest's birthday, funnily enough even this event in my life was sudden, unexpected and completely unplanned. The quick back story is that I had been told many years earlier that babies would not be in my future. So, finding out I was pregnant just after my 30th birthday party was very sudden and unexpected. This was one of the very rare sudden events that was a happy one for me. I would love to say the pregnancy was long, uneventful with no sudden changes but this was not to be. Even though it was a complicated and difficult in the end his birth was still sudden and in an instant I knew my life would never be the same. Years later my life would change suddenly again when we thought we were having baby number two but the ultrasound showed baby two AND three, again life was going to be different and it all happened suddenly. (Anyone who has been told they are expecting multiples will understand this feeling - and in case you are wondering NO you cannot do anything to try to have or to avoid having multiples!)
Yesterday, we travelled to a funeral. We said goodbye to a friend. Someone that my hubby had known for over 20 years and me just a bit less. For his wife and son though a week earlier their lives had changed suddenly with no warning, no build up and no time to take in what was to come. My heart aches for them I understand how profoundly that sudden change can impact your life, your being, and everything you think you know. They are strong, they have each other and will draw comfort and strength from each other and their wider families and communities. None of that will dent the impact of how a moment in time can change everything so suddenly, so profoundly that their lives will never be the same.
Sometimes events that happen suddenly can be great, they give those of us prone to anxiety no time to think we simply have to react. Sometimes the thinking is what holds us back from something that could be great. Sadly though, in my experience most events that happen suddenly are not good and will not have happy endings. My theory on why things that happen suddenly are much harder is time. There is no time to think, no time to process, no time to come to terms with things before life takes over and we have to go through the motions. When things happen suddenly we have to process and live at the same time.
Whether it be good or bad something that happens suddenly will change you profoundly and forever.