Some of the stories on the hearts are very touching, because they are secret tales which the author has never shared before- perhaps because they are very personal, or because they go against the accepted, socially correct response to a certain event. To reveal the truth and go against the grain is very brave.
“The pilot and I were briefed to fly out to the West over the Indian Ocean to find and report on an alleged hurricane. The flight started badly. I was not familiar with the aircraft and had not set the compass correctly. As a result we flew off in the wrong direction! Soon we were heading in the right direction and I could already see the echo of the storm’s centre on the radar. We flew at 3000 feet into the eye of the hurricane, and the pilot was reporting back to the carrier, ‘Tremendous, confused seas.’ Suddenly the radar screen went black, the engine noise died and the aircraft’s nose dipped. I knew immediately that we would not stand a chance in the boiling maelstrom sea below. In those few seconds I thought of my lovely wife and two children, one I had only seen for ten minutes during a mail run. Then the engine coughed, spluttered and finally roared back into life. The radar screen revived. The pilot had run a petrol tank dry and then switched to another tank. We returned to the carrier chastened.”
“45 years ago when I had my first child I was so naive that I didn’t every think about my baby being anything but perfect. However, working with physically handicapped children several of whom were the second born child of twins left me in no doubt of the many things that could go wrong. So when my daughter told me that she was pregnant with my first grandchild I was worried until my grandson was born without problems- then like all grandmas my joy knew no bounds.
Two years later when my daughter told me she was again pregnant I was so happy but then when her first scan showed she was expecting twins my joy turned to horror and fear which I hoped that I concealed. Thankfully all of my worried proved to be unfounded and I count myself to be so lucky to be able to enjoy two beautiful granddaughters along with my grandson.”
“After 28 years of supressing rage and bottling up thwarted desires, I find myself suddenly adrift. I have fought for this time, this freedom, and now I don’t know what to do with it. Can’t retrieve the ambitions that I held so strongly because I buried them too deeply over time. I have become so used to the dull ache and inertia of depression that I can’t find the spark I need to re-energise myself. So used to the frustration and derision that I dare not trust my goals- won’t give them commitment in case they fail. And so I fill my life with ‘vital’ chores and helpfulness, taking on other people’s angst and responsibilities so that I don’t have to face my own.”
“I have come to dread visiting my mother. We have always shared a very close and loving relationship until dementia took her away from me. Communicating with each other is so difficult now that her hearing and memory are so poor. She has no interests- no longer wants to listen to music or the radio, read or watch T.V. I can do nothing to improve her life except keep visiting as I know that alone brings her pleasure.” - to see more work by Heather, visit her blog here.