Saturday, 13 April 2013

Moments that break your heart

At work yesterday, I answered my colleague’s phone. There was this tiny little voice on the other end – his 5 year old daughter. Who would have guessed a 5 year old had the power to totally break my heart.

Our conversation went as follows:

“Hello, can I speak to Michael please.”

“No, sorry he’s not here. Can I get him to call you back?”

“Yes please. I need to tell him I got all my reading right. I got 15 all right.”

“Wow, that’s fantastic. You’re very clever. ”

“Yes, and I got a blue ribbon with a gold star on it.”

“Wow, that’s really special. I’m sure your Daddy will want to hear all about that so I’ll make sure he calls you as soon as he gets back.”

“Ok thankyou. Oh, and I forgot Mummy didn’t help me at all.”

“Well that makes it an extra special achievement doesn’t it.  Daddy isn’t far away so he’ll call you back soon.”

“Ok. Thank you very much. Good bye.”

In that moment, someone may as well have reached their hand down my throat, pulled out my heart, throw it on the ground and grind it into dust. How excited this little angelic creature was for her great achievement. How proud she was of herself. How she wanted to share it with a complete stranger.

I’d forgotten what it was like to hear a little voice on the phone. I hadn’t heard one for such a long time. It made me yearn for a phone call like that. For a little person that got so excited by something they couldn’t wait to tell  Mummy. For a little person that was just waiting for Mummy to say how clever they were and how proud she was.

The pain in my heart was overwhelming. It was just another moment on this long journey where you feel your heart break and you know you’ll have to spend the next few days putting it back together again. What a mender I’ve become. What skills I’ve learnt in rebuilding broken and shattered things. I wish I wasn’t. I wish I didn’t know how to do those things. I wish my heart was made of titanium so it would never break.  

Image by Salvatore Vuono
Courtesy of

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