Yesterday, as I walked in the door after picking up my little kids from school, I got a text message from my 17 yo at boarding school.
Someone was loose at his school with a gun. All the boarding school kids had been mustered back to the college and locked down. They were all OK.
This is my child. Hours away, in the care of strangers.
I rang him on his mobile and reassured myself that he was fine, and safe, but it felt completely bizarre for me to be sitting in my home, with no gun-men in sight, while my little boy (who is 6 feet tall) was locked up for safety.
And I started to think about how, with absolutely no warning, your life can take a sharp right turn, and set you on a road that you never thought you would walk on. Babies can go to sleep and not wake up, on an otherwise totally normal day. Phones can ring with news of illness, accidents and deaths. Partners can walk out one day and just never come back.
This illusion we have, that we have some control over our lives and what happens to us -- it's a lie. The reality is, things can happen with no warning at all. And when they do, you'd better have someone to help you through. Because we can't always do it on our own.