Well I'm not sure what you would call this - cruel irony, maybe.

The day after this piece was published, my son (the one who was in the same class in primary school as the boy in this poem) was involved in a serious car accident. Just like the boy in the poem, it's a miracle my son survived.

Tragically, his accident lead to a second accident in which a good Samaritan - a woman the same age as me - stopped to help my son and in the process of crossing lanes to get to my son, was struck by another vehicle. She died at the scene.

We are all horribly heartbroken and our sympathies are with the family and friends of the deceased lady who made the ultimate sacrifice to render assistance to a total stranger. She is a saint who deserves a special place in Heaven. RIP dear lady. Your kindness in trying to help my son will never ever be forgotten.

Our thoughts and prayers are also with the young man who was driving the vehicle that struck the woman. I am so deeply sorry that your life has now been sent on a different trajectory. I hope and prayer that you get the support you need to process this most unfortunate traumatic sequence of events.

The accidents occurred at a time when our state (Victoria, Australia), is in its fifth covid lockdown. As a result, we are unable to visit our son who is in hospital recovering from his injuries. Our son has a wife and a 9-week old daughter - they too are not allowed to visit him.

The lockdown was initially for 5 days, starting at midnight on July 16 (my son's birthday). It was announced today, that the lockdown is to be extended another week. Who knows how long it will continue? We face the prospect that for as long as he remains in hospital, we will not be allowed to visit him.

For the family of the deceased lady, the lockdown means that they will be limited to a maximum of 10 people in attendance at her funeral. How I wish she could be farewelled and honoured in a way fitting of the hero she is. We will endeavour, through official channels, to send a private message of condolence and thanks to her family, but in the meantime this note will form part of our public acknowledgement of the kind soul that she was in life and will be forever more.

I know there are many, countless millions of families who have devastatingly traumatic stories to share about the impact that the covid pandemic has had/continues to have on their lives. My heart goes out to each and every one of you. We are all suffering greatly.

Thank you for reading.

Carolyn Hastings

Well-practiced speech pathologist now practicing to be a children’s book writer — emphasis on practicing.