The little one is off to school camp and the flat is quiet. It’s always a time where we can do our own thing and not get caught up with watching Cartoon Network or the Xbox on the TV. I’m sitting back on a Sunday evening and listening to George Michael’s Jesus to a child. Always makes me feel slightly melancholic, and a yearning for something lost. Never quite remember why I always feel that way and it takes a couple of seconds to remind me.
George Michael’s album had just come out in 1995, and this particular song was also being played a lot on the radio at the time. I can’t remember what day of the week it was, but it was a darkish morning when the news came on to tell us there had been a terrible accident in Townsville, that 2 black hawks had crashed into each other. (It’s Black Hawks Down, but it’s not the movie. Even today, when they talk about the movie, I always think about Townsville first.) At the time, I hadn’t really processed what it meant, but hubby was immediately concerned and asked about whether R, my colleague’s husband worked there, whether this was where he was based. I was thinking I’m sure not, surely not, and living ever hopefully in the world that no tragedy ever struck the people I knew.
I was felt worried and concerned, of course. It was in my secret heart of hearts, this concern, which was completely overlayed with hopefulness that it wasn’t B’s husband that had been affected.
I was to learn later that morning that B hadn’t been into the office, that they were somewhere else being briefed, counselled or whatever, that the news was not good. I remember trying to get in touch with B, I remember buying flowers for her, I remember crying, and I remember this song. I remember a couple who had been married for a few months, who had a lifetime ahead of them and then none. I remember wondering how it is that a person could be alive one minute, and then not the next. And I always remember this song, and I always remember B, her husband R and all the other Townsville SAS soldiers who died that day. I spend half a minute reflecting and praying that B and all the other wives and survivors of that day are well, have moved on or found new loves in their lives … are happy again.
B, wherever you are. I hope you are well and have found new happiness. I still think of R and you, as I’m sure you do, and especially when this George Michael song comes on, and it’s 1995 again, in the apartment where I lived, listening to the news on the radio.