The call I never thought I'd get... the plane crashed.

Apr 22, 2024

"Your Dad has been in a plane crash."


They were most definitely not the words I expected to hear when I picked up a call from my mum last Tuesday afternoon.


My Dad has been taking flying lessons in a small plane for a while now. While others in the family had felt a lot of anxiety about it - I admit I wasn't.


I felt proud. I've loved having the example that you can do anything you want at any time of life, if you put your mind to it. I didn't genuinely ever really think anything would actually go wrong.


Considering I was in a small plane that narrowly avoided crashing as a young child, you'd think I'd have known better (that is a story for another day!).


It was a very long day and night as we all waited for more information. We knew there had been a plane malfunction and both Dad and the very experienced pilot had walked away.


But Dad's phone was flat and they were in the middle of a paddock in the rural southwest so information was scarce. Actually, we started seeing things in the media before we heard the story first hand. 


It was a long wait for emergency services, then to get back to the city, back home and then to the hospital for stitches and some tests. None of us slept much that night.


I think I was pretty calm through most of it, but it was only the day after that all the realities hit me and I realised exactly how lucky we were. 


They just happened to be in a plane fitted with an individual parachute (which most aren't), which saved their lives.


They happened to be over an uninhabited area. 

They hit the ground with a full tank of fuel.


The little realisations kept coming and I have to admit I spent a few days feeling like I was on unsteady ground. 


But as always, I turn to the lessons. Not only is this a pointed reminder to appreciate how lucky I am to have my amazing family, moments like these always put life into perspective.


Here are my key thoughts in the aftermath that I thought I'd share with you:

* Do something you love. I am lucky to get to do work that matters to me and not to have any regrets to how I spend my days. 


* Life really can change, and does, in an instance. So don't put off the things that really matter to you. 


* Don't stress the little things. Ask yourself, will this thing that is worrying me even matter in a months time or a year? If not, maybe just work to let it go. I have scraped half of the things off my to do list since this happened! 


* Stay in the present. Stop living for the - when-I-just-get-over-that-next-hill-things-will-get-easier - it never does. Eat that ice-cream. Get that haircut. Give the person you love a hug. 

I hope part of my experience resonates for you. While I hope you've never been in the same position, I do hope it gives you the push you need to be brave and do that thing you've been putting off.


Or maybe just put down the laptop for a little while and do something you enjoy. Just in case. 



Image credit: WA Police

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