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Don't Leave Home Without This

Don't Leave Home Without This

It's the early hours of a Tuesday.

Visions of my son falling over the side of a sailing boat with no one in earshot have disturbed my sleep. I can see him falling, again and again, the dark sea capturing him. No amount of repeating the sequence in my mind can change the outcome. I have to get up.

As I make my way into the kitchen for a therapeutic glass of cold water, I am suddenly aware of the howling wind rushing through the golden cane palms that surround our home. A pit forms in my stomach. Our block is as protected as they come, I can't imagine what it's like elsewhere.

I give up on the hope of any more sleep, take a cup of tea to the couch, and start to pray.

My son is out at sea.

The wind continues to howl through the next 24 hours. It's early Thursday morning when I receive the phone call. The teachers are requesting permission to give my son sea sickness tablets. I breathe a sigh of relief and chide myself for worrying. He's ok, he's just a little sea sick.

Around an hour later the phone rings again. The voice sounds more serious. The situation has deteriorated. It's 35 knots out there. He hasn't kept anything down for a worrying amount of time and he's not improving. They need to evacuate and treat him in hospital before things get dangerous.

A flurry of phone calls and messages ensue, I finally hear the pitiful voice of my son via satellite phone and can't help but cry. I'm so grateful for the support of my son's school.

It's not long after we're on the road heading north, a seven hour drive ahead to collect our evacuated son from treacherous seas. 

We'll stay overnight and come home. I've packed the bare minimum. 

We barely stop, even for petrol and lunch, and make the trip in record time.

As we are driving, a search for nearby accommodation proves unfruitful. A handful of sad, overpriced motel units fills my screen. My husband reminds me of a heart's desire and I remember who I am.

I am an adventurer. I am not a victim. When my world turns upside down, I will not partner with fear or self-pity. Not only will I come out ok, I will be better off.

And so will my family.

A little further out we discover a perfectly-priced gem in the heart of the Whitsundays and make the booking. We'll stay the whole weekend.

We will eat cheese, gelato, and laugh as we rewrite yet another Domorev family story from heartache to triumph.

After seven hours, we finally arrive at Mackay hospital and I rush in to see my son. He doesn't look his finest. He hasn't showered in three days, but he's all fixed up. His face lights up when he sees me. My son tells me stories of the mental battle wanting to dive overboard in the middle of the night, desperate to be relieved of the incessant rocking and relentless seasickness. Within 20 minutes we're on our way to our Airlie Beach gem.

The weekend is wonderful. Seasickness is soon forgotten. The weather is not great, but we can hardly complain. We wouldn't be there if it had been sunshine and glass seas.

My only heartache? I had forgotten to pack my favourite Lady Betty tea. I try to convince myself the generously provided Twining's could fill the void, but the six or so mugs of cold tea scattered around our gem tell another story.

After that weekend, I make a promise I intend not to forget. Never go far from home without three important things.

People you love, a sense of adventure, and your favourite tea.



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