Sixty something: Memories of my son’s guardian angel 32



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I tried to remember the details as I wrote in the journal I am preparing for my son. It was 29 years ago, but so important. You would think I could remember more clearly. As I looked at the photo of this lovely little girl, I started to cry. If only I could remember her name. I have kept the photo for all these years and have never forgotten her. 

She was 10 years old, my son was two. My son had been hit by a car with the full impact of a bull bar hitting his tiny head. I heard the nurse say that my boy would probably not live through the night. I silently cried. Blake was lying there with eyes wide open and little moans coming from his body. It was the next day and he was still with me. I needed coffee to stay awake as I was scared to sleep – just in case. I left the room and hurriedly went for the coffee machine. When I returned there she was. This little girl with one side of her head shaved, sitting next to the cot my son was in and singing softly to him while holding his hand through the rails. I will never forget that sight and even as I write this down now I am crying. It always makes me cry to think back to those days of uncertainty and anguish.

Day after day the little girl sat there, holding his hand and singing softly. I asked the nurses what was wrong with her but they wouldn’t tell me. I didn’t ask her or her mum as I didn’t want to upset them. Blake didn’t move much, just stared and softly groaned. After days of trying to stop the bleeding and stabilise him, he endured a seven and a half hour operation and remarkably survived.  He is 31 years old now and lives in Canada. He cannot hear properly, has some balance problems and his concentration span is not good. He is quiet and sullen a lot of the time and doesn’t seem to know why. I don’t hear from him much and that worries me, but he is alive.

I sent my photo to the Adelaide Advertiser, asking them to print it in the hope that someone would know who this little girl was. You see, she died a couple of years later from the brain tumour that she was fighting in hospital at the time my son was hit. The very day the paper printed my story I received a message from one of her siblings. Her sister told me the photo I had was taken the day of her wedding. She knew nothing of the kindness of her little sister who had been suffering so much but whose heart was filled with love and kindness for my baby boy.  

The little girl was Lisa Menadue. Her sister arranged for her whole family to be present and we talked over the phone. Sadly Lisa’s mother had passed away five years ago. She was the one who had given me the photo. This incredible family were so nice to me and we chatted about Blake and Lisa. They had lost so much and I had gained so much. My son, although he didn’t know it at the time, had met his angel. Over the years I had told him the story often of the little girl who sang to him. Now I had spoken to her family, memories started flooding back. We didn’t spend a lot of time talking but we didn’t need to. Lisa’s sister told me of how her sister always thought of others and was so positive.  

Talking with this family made me realise that Lisa had to be the type of little girl she was – she was just like her whole family, whether they realised it or not. Thank you Tamara for giving me the information I needed and felt so guilty about not remembering. Most of all, thank you Lisa. I believe you are up there somewhere, smiling down at us all. You will be forever in my heart.

Do you have a guardian angel for yourself or your children? Do you feel their presence?

Fran Spears

Born in 1953. Came to Hobart from the north west coast of Tassie to be closer to my son as I have mild chronic bronchitis. Mild and chronic in same sentence – even that makes me laugh. Have just completed and passed my diploma in Public Relations. Love to write and have lead a reasonably interesting life. My motto: "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn!"

  1. Thanks for sharing Fran although you made me cry, I agree we all have our angels who keep us safe from harms way. The Photo of Lisa must be of some comfort to you and hopefully your son although you say he lives in Canada, I hope you get to see him real soon.

  2. oh boy Fran, what a sad story, I have admit I cried reading it, I can just imagine the nightmare it must have been for you. What an amazing little girl, she had so much love to give to a little boy who was in dire trouble, when she was in trouble herself. No wonder you never forgot that little angel and am so glad you found her family, I am sure you gave them some comfort xo

  3. Tears in my eyes and I’m glad you found who she was. Life is so hard sometimes that moments like these restore our hope

  4. what a horrible experience Fran, no wonder it stuck in your memory all these years later, I am so glad your son survived. The little girl was a gift to you and your son and I wonder how many other children that little angel sang too. thank you for sharing that story

  5. That must have been difficult for you to write Fran, I appreciate you sharing it with us, it is a sad sad story with happy ending for your son, he lived to tell the tale

  6. Thanks for your story Fran, I needed a little cry this morning. So lovely that you and Lisa’s family could eventually talk about such a sad but very special time and her short life and you could share the story of your son.

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