The honours list has been published today. I've never been sure about these rather arbitrary selections of those upon whom these honours are bestowed. We all know people who work tirelessly for others, with little or no recognition; charity workers, great teachers, doctors...people who have a profound effect on the lives of others; people we ourselves might select over those whose jobs are more publicly recognised.
However, this post is about a particular honour in today's list. Many years ago, my son, a student, was knocked off his motorbike by a woman who drove through red traffic lights. He flew over the bonnet of her car, and landed legs first, sustaining a severe compound fracture of one tibia (to the unitiated, that means the bone was sticking out through the skin). To this day, he has a metal pin in that leg.
I realise that the driver couldn't make any sort of contact while investigations were ongoing (although if it had been me, I think I would have to have at least phoned the hospital to ask how he was), but afterwards, when she had received her (small) fine and (I think) 5 points on her licence, I fully expected some kind of apology. None was forthcoming. I wrote a firm (though polite) letter to her, saying this, but never received a reply. Had my son landed head first, he wouldn't be with us now. And yes. I am still angry.
Today, I see that she has just been made a dame. I'm sure her work has been excellent (altough hers is not a field in which I have any interest), but I can't help wondering whether this is the kind of person to whom we should be paying homage.
We all make mistakes. All we wanted was an apology. One short sentence would have sufficed. Was that so much to ask? Had she managed this, I wouldn't feel so resentful of the honour she has received. (I know I'm being illogical, but please forgive me. That's motherhood!)