This weekend thousands upon thousands of people made their yearly pilgrimage to a mountain held in such high regards it might as well be heaven. To get close to their gods, worshippers flock like seagulls on an oily chip wrapper.
I’ve been there myself quite a few times. The 11 y o has even been before too but he wouldn’t have known it if I hadn’t told him. He was six-months in utero at the time…and I seem to remember some pretty serious wriggling going on inside my belly every time I got close to the pit garage.
It is the holy-shitting-grail of Aussie motorsport. The temple of high-octane fumes, high decibel engines and fierce competition. For those who love racing, this weekend is the grand final AND the world cup all rolled into one.
But for others, Bathurst, Mt Panorama, The Mighty Mountain is a haunting reminder of a weekend where lives where literally shattered into oblivion. I’ve thought about going back one day, of touching the gravel in the spot where under the blink of an eye, a split second, everything went black but I’m far too chicken shit. You wouldn’t even be able to get me out of the car. I’ve seen it. I know the spot so well it’s etched into my brain but being there…on the stretch of racetrack that I’ve watched over and over inside my head…actually standing in the place that was once his heaven too, and now holds his spirit hovering high above…? Just too much.
I will leave my demons behind me.
Next year it’s going to be an entire decade since our happy milkybar blonde two-and-half-year-old was sleeping peacefully as the terror unfolded around him. By the time he’d woken up a couple of hours later, I was ten-thousand feet up in the air on my way the RPA hospital in Sydney to sit vigil beside his dad.
Sometimes he asks me what happened. When he was very little he wanted to know why his daddy was never coming back and a tiny mind will only go as far as yesterday or maybe last week…it can’t make it to a whole lifetime without one of the people who put you in this world in the first place and as he gets older, he’s going to need more answers. The same pinching why’s and what-if’s that have plagued my sodden terror-ridden consciousness for almost a decade now, will soon begin haunting his young adult mind too.
There will never again be the hardest moment in my life as when I had to tell him the news that his daddy was never coming back from his racing. That he had gone to his heaven above the mountain. Maybe one day he will go searching for his own answers, maybe the mountain will give him the closure I could never have the courage to seek. Hold your peeps a little closer tonight…Love n’ hugs, Lady MamaGxox