Precious Children

Precious Children

Erosion on the Fraser Coast


There have been some scary things happen in the last few weeks.

Our friend’s 14 year old son Connor was hit by lightning and lived to tell the tale. He was kayaking on a dam at their farm near Childers when hit by a bolt of lightning.

He was catapulted 10 metres into the air, landing in the water barely able to move. Parents, Joanne and Kris scrambled to rescue him before he went under the water. They got to him just in time and an ambulance took him to hospital. He has made a full recovery and is now a local celebrity with stories in the papers and on television.

A little 8 year old girl called Trinity Bates from Bundaberg, was abducted from her bed in the night and brutally murdered. Her body was found in the gutter not far from her home. They have arrested and charged her murderer, a ‘family friend’. We live about 45 minutes drive South of Bundaberg. That darling little girl was one year older than my Tessa and even looked a little like her. Makes you just want to hug them all the time and never let them out of your sight.

Yesterday Michael gave me quite a fright. There has been a lot of erosion on the beach and now we have large cliffs of sand held together by the roots of Casuarina trees. Michael was upset about something and disappeared for about an hour. This is quite common as he gets upset by lots of things and doesn’t care to share the details with anyone. He grumbles under his breath and goes off to have time alone to de-stress.

I figured he must have gone down to the beach so went looking for him. The skies were overcast and it was getting dark (heavy rain was forecast in a severe weather warning). As I was going down the path to the beach, Tessa tagging along, a man walked past and said he had seen Michael climbing and jumping off the sand cliffs. I ran as fast as I could down the beach, yelling out to Michael. No response – but this is not unusual – if Michael thinks he’s in trouble he just lies low.

I began to feel panicky as I looked at the sand cliffs and still could not see or hear Michael. There were large mounds of sand every 10 metres or so at the bottom of the cliff. Large mounds of sand that could easily be covering a small boy. It was getting dark and starting to rain so I ran back to our house to see if he had gone home.

Tessa cried out ‘There he is, mum!’

Michael was standing near the driveway, a frown on his face and with both arms in the air in a statement of surrender. He knew he was in trouble because he was supposed to ask me if he could go down the beach. His clothes were covered in sand. I gave him a huge hug and he hugged me back, his head buried in my shirt.

Children are so very precious, but they can break your heart and cause untold damage to your nervous system. Where is the Valium when you need it!

More erosion!

22 thoughts on “Precious Children

  1. Those pictures were taken a couple of weeks ago (when the erosion was bad) but now the erosion is even worse (after big tide a couple of nights ago). I will get more photos when it stops raining.

  2. Thank goodness he was OK. Our kids do scare us like that from time to time. I have been in tears about little Trinity Bates. It is an horrific thing. I just feel sick and so sad for her parents and family.

    Thank God your friend, Connor, was all right. I cannot imagine the fear that must surge through you if you are struck by lightning. What a brave young man. He should definitely enjoy his newfound celebrity status. He deserves it!

    1. It made me sick to the stomach when I heard about that poor little girl. The parents will never get over it. Connor is indeed a champion and what a great story he has got to tell. I will be writing a list of rules for Michael (and Tessa) – no climbing on eroded sand hills (he loves rules so it shouldn’t happen again!).

  3. oh god it’s terrible isn’t it? How big the world is and how much they need protecting…all the near misses and things that could have been. All you can do is do your best…I didn’t know about that little girl in Bundaberg…and that little boy was so lucky with the lightning. I grew up on the beach (well, not literally!) and I remember now my parents like you telling us to careful on the dunes…

  4. i am so shaken and sorry for the little girl who met such a tragic end, it is twisted and horrible and tho it is not an isolated incident, there have been too many times, way too many times that malevolent individuals of our species have committed such crimes against nature itself, against society, against the essence of being, i just tremble with outrage, and deeply abhor the terror that persists as a result. but all i can do is cry. thank god you all are ok after all this.big hugs to all of you

  5. I was so worried when I heard of the storms and of little Trinity, my thoughts were with you each day. You write too well my sister, my heart was in my throat thinking of Mikey on that beach in that condition. Big hugs to them both for me and tell them I am looking forward to more snakes and ladders and chess next time I am there. Life is to precious and children more so, love to you all. I also hope they can rescue your lovely beach.

    1. The downside of not being on facebook anymore (less communication with family members). The beach will take care of itself so don’t worry about that. I will be doing a long list of rules for Mikey (which as you know, he loves rules)and some emotion/anger management strategies (for all of us).

  6. Oh Gabrielle, big hugs to you and your kiddos. As an earlier commenter pointed out, your post speaks with heart to what is most important in life.

    1. Hi 47whitebuffalo. I’ve just ordered the DVD – it’s hard for me to get to the movies and that one hasn’t been on around here. I know about the book and am looking forward to it. I’ll tell you what I think soon – on your blog.

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