I needed to hear her voice this morning, to be reassured. I had to call her, just like I did on the 7th July 2005, when I heard the special extended news bulletin on the car radio about the London Transport bombings.
On that day, we were heading north away from London and we were just south of Birmingham. Our foreign visitor, a teenage girl and our reason for visiting London, was in the back seat of our car wrapped up in constant texting to her boyfriend at home. She was unaware of the unfolding horror we were hearing about in the city we had so recently left. "Text your mum and dad, tell them you are okay". She did as I requested, then asked why.
I tried to call my sister-in-law who used one or two of the bombed tube train lines, whichever was best on any day, to reach her workplace in Central London. The mobile phone beeped after the first few digits were pressed as if the network was constantly engaged. I tried to call her several times more. I could not call my brother either. We drew in to the first service stop we came to. I was twitching. The activity of getting out of the car, got me thinking sensibly again. What if I tried phoning sis-in-law at her work, after all, I did have her land-line office number. I tried the number using my mobile phone, she answered the ringing extension, which was near her desk.
We kept in contact at regular intervals the rest of the day and also the next. Like so many others, s-i-l found ways to get to work the next day and in the days that followed.
Two weeks after the atrocity, after returning our visitor to London Heathrow Airport, we were on the bus route on the other side of London, where another attempt at bombing was tried, but failed.
We were lucky; the innocents who were murdered and their families who have lost their special loved ones remain in our thoughts.
2 hours ago