Costly beyond imagining, but there must be a lesson in there. There has to be.
This morning I was feeling properly meh, my big Boys are away and the Panther of News is working this Christmas. I’m having a self-pity party with a Santa hat on it.
At lunch-time I had an appointment at a tattoo parlour. For ages I’ve been pondering one. Mid-life crisis, self-expression, something to remind me to seize the day. Whatever. The ironicaly lengthy deliberation was up.
The tattoo place in Glasgow’s city centre is in a basement. The lovely lady with the inky needle chatted about her Christmas.
Her mother is ill – a mysterious and terrifying neurological condition that means she is likely to spend, at least, Christmas in hospital. But she’s facing it with love and courage. It kind of put my meh into its place.
Then a few minutes later, heading for the car and thinking about what’s for supper, I checked my phone. “Ellen, I’ve read about Glasgow, are you OK?”
Streets away the most hideous things had happened. Horrors like you can’t imagine in a town jam-packed with Christmas shopping families.
Tonight several families will be coming to terms with some shocking and devastating news. Getting their heads round the fact that a happy, slightly drizzly pre-Christmas trip to town ended in death. Their lives will never be the same.
And the rest of us? We feel sad, sick, relieved, weirdly shaken. Full of compassion for the bereaved and hurt. I’d say offer up a quiet word of thanks that it’s not you, but continue living your life in the knowledge that it could have been. And don’t forget.
Don’t wait til the time is right, the weather is nice, the diet has worked or the house is clean. Get on with it.
And the tattoo?
The yin and yang is a nod to my brother who wore a similar tattoo, and he was the master of seizing the day.