broken radios…and a mended heart

Photo by Skylar Kang

For so long now, I’ve been reminiscing (sp?) about the past. When you look back – everything looks brighter. Everything is more colourful, more beautiful, more meaningful. I think I’ve been doing it a lot more of late because I’m convinced I don’t have a social life now – so I relive my past popularity with envy.

Yesterday, Judy’s radio has since changed that. Well, enough to cheer me up and make me hope for better things for my present and awesome things for my future.

I was innocently listening to 98.5 (a Christian Radio station here in Perth) on Judy’s radio yesterday morning. One of the many items Judy has said I mustn’t touch. Ever. After a little while, I felt guilty about listening to the forbidden radio and the rational part of me texted Judy: “Hello – I’m really struggling without background music today and forgot to bring my iPod – can I please use your radio?” and got the begrudging reply “You can – this once – but be careful with it”

Be careful? What did she think I was going to do with it? Swing it around my head?

It’s a little grey box of a thing – probably one of the first ever radios built. It is old and sounds ‘fuzzy’ but you know what? I’ve grown to really like it.

So I happily listened to Judy’s radio – and touched as many knobs and dials as I could in defiance of Judy not being there to hover over me and tell me how to use it ‘properly’.

After a few hours, I got bored and decided to play with the arial.

In my exuberance, I snapped the top part of it clean off.

Oh Shoot.

Holding the ‘snapped’ part in my hand, I couldn’t believe I’d actually broken Judy’s radio and had to stare at it and actually softly roll it in my hand to enforce the reality of the situation.

Judy’s gonna go nuts.

Biting my bottom lip, I took the broken radio to Kelly’s office.

She laughed and put an assuring arm around me “It’s okay, sweetheart – we’ll fix it – the boys love tinkering away with stuff – they’ll put it right Janet – you’ll see”

Kelly is part of the Conservation Team where I work. There are 6 staff that make up the “Conservation Commission” team and I think they’re all FABULOUS. Their offices are closest to Reception and it makes me smile to hear them call out friendly greetings and daggy jokes to each other throughout the day. They’re a really ‘tight’ team and each of them is kind, generous, cheeky and wonderful. Carol and Paul ‘head up’ the team and are both about 50-ish years old. Wildy is a caring, gentle, “flowery” type of person who seems to float about beautifully. She has an amazing Portugese accent, a ready big smile and a wonderful giggle that reminds me of my beloved friend, Ginny. Kelly is the ‘leader’ of the group and organises everyone with efficiency, stern-ness, exasperation at their antics, but mostly love. Peter and Geoff are both young guys who are into sports and really cheeky. Together, they make a wonderful team.

Cheerfully, Kelly called out “Lads! We need your help!” to the offices of Peter and Geoff – who work across the hall from Kelly.

Peter and Geoff appeared instantly.

“What have we here?” asked Peter, who gently took the radio from me and turned it in different directions, assessing it the same way a Doctor would assess a patient’s X-ray photo

“Ooo! Um-Marr!” Geoff teased (Geoff, who by the way is PHIT and very easy on the eye) “Janet broke something of Judy’s! Hahahaha – Jude’s gonna lose her mind!”

Kelly playfully punched Geoff in the arm “Dont, Geoff – you’re scaring her!”

Peter chuckled “Janet’s in trouble. Haha”

“Pete – shut it” Kelly admonished him playfully

They were all jostling and laughing and passing the radio between each other and the sight of them all being so happy and close just lifted my spirits. I dont know…somehow being completely surrounded in the team made me feel so safe and happy. It was like being surrounded by brothers and sisters and knowing everything was going to be okay. I really liked it.

Carol called out from across the hallway “Children – what are you doing?”
“Nothing!” Kelly, Geoff and Peter replied in unison. Their child-like ‘hide-what-we’re-doing-from-Mom’ faces made me smile.

Geoff grinned “I cant wait to tell Judy”

“Shut up” Kelly chided

Peter gave me a friendly side hug and jerked his head towards the door while making eye contact with Geoff “Come on man, help me get some tools”

The lads excitedly ran outside – playfully shoving each other and laughing in the sunshine.

They came back carrying a red tool box and some random tools. The radio was placed on Kelly’s desk and together, we all crowded around it and frowned and ummed and ahhed at it while stroking our chins.

“I say we try to weld the tip back on” Peter suggested

“Hmm…maybe superglue could help?”

“Nah – it would be too thick – Judy would notice that right away”

“We could just push the arial right down and when Judy pulls it up and the tip comes off – she’ll think she did it?” Kelly offered

We all laughed. No, that wasnt going to work.
The lads took out different tools and tinkered with the radio.

The reception phone rang so I gave them each my best smile and returned to work.

I could hear giggling and laughing, joking – and clanking of tools for the next few hours. Occasionally, Geoff would call out “Janet – you’re a tool – you’ve really broken this, haven’t you?” and laugh.

It made me smile. While the guys worked on the radio, Kelly, Carol and Wildie took it in turns to come out and console me and cuddle me on Reception.

It was just a stupid radio but I loved being the centre of attention.

(While Peter and Geoff worked on the radio, I did a subtle ‘ebay’ search for the exact replica…and wondered how fast I could get one sent to Reception if the boys couldnt fix Judy’s antenna. Did ebay do express deliveries, I wonder?).

The guys tried a lot of things but couldn’t do a “faultless fix” so Peter took Judy’s radio home because he had other radio ‘parts’ in his garage and could replace the entire antenna – good as new. I cant believe the kindness the team showed me and how much they wanted to help me ‘cover’ what I did so that Judy wouldnt shout at me. I was so touched.

I chuckled to myself on the bus ride home thinking of their friendly, lovely faces and being blessed by how much they wanted to take care of me and help me.

Thank you Lord.

Fast forward to today:

I came into work, bleary-eyed and really tired. I had forgotten all about Judy’s radio until I was unlocking the Reception door.

Oh No. I hope Peter’s brought it back. Judy’s back on Monday and will NOT be best pleased if there is no radio on her desk.

But I needn’t have worried because you know what? Judy’s radio was the first thing I saw – lovingly placed in the middle of the Reception desk. Judy’s radio – with a brand new, shiny, gorgeous arial/antenna attached.

I couldn’t help myself, I squealed in delight.

Thinking I was alone, (I usually am, the staff dont start arriving until 8:00am and I was here an hour early to set up and prepare for the day ahead) I picked up the radio…and hugged it.

“I knew she’d do that. Pete man, you owe me five bucks” Geoff’s voice surprised me.

Peter, Geoff and Kelly had come in to work early – just for  me.

I felt so blessed and it gave me such a light, warm feeling in my heart to see them all crowded in their hallway, flashing proud smiles at me.

“Guys…this is brilliant!” I beamed. I ran over and hugged them each. The lads chuckled at their hugs and Kelly hugged me back extra tight.

“Judy wont know a thing” Peter assured – “See here?” *he pointed at some very beautiful welding work on the base of the arial* “I did that really carefully and smoothed it out so it looks brand new – we wont tell if you dont”

“Not even me – I wont tell, Janet” Geoff promised solemly

“See how much we love you, Janet?” Kelly asked

I nodded.

The ‘team’ gathered around me. “So J” Peter nudged me playfully “you gonna give this thing a test-run or what?”

“You mean you’ve not tried it yet?” I asked

“We wanted to wait for you and let you do it. Go for it – switch it on”

…We all held our breath as I turned the radio on for its first play since “the incident”

The beautiful classical music that poured out was crystal clear.

We all cheered and hugged as if we’d saved a life.

I guess in some ways, we did.

“Sonya” the radio has had a facelift and isnt broken anymore.

And neither is my heart because “The Radio conspiracy” made it so that I somehow became part of the noisy, cheeky Conservation team.

Winning xxSHARE

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