May 3, 2009

Perspective

On Tuesday morning my beloved and I had a discussion about shoes. Specifically, my shoes. A quick count revealed that I had seven pairs of shoes scattered over the floor in our bedroom. I don't, contrary to popular belief, leave them there in a diabolical attempt to inflict injury, but I will admit to abandoning them in a somewhat random fashion. The shoes are usually paired together and their location on the floor is determined by where I was standing when I decided I couldn't bear to have them on my feet anymore. Personally, I think shoe abandonment might be an indication of a highly creative mind. Others do not agree.

On Wednesday morning my beloved and I had a discussion about monopolizing the bathroom when two people both need to get ready to go to work. Normally this isn't an issue for us--two people, two bathrooms, no problem. But this week one of our bathrooms is out of commission so we are back to sharing. Apparently almost 32 years of marriage does not equate to the ability to share bathrooms. Frustrations were expressed and our morning farewells were curt.

On Thursday morning my beloved called me at work. "I'm okay, but there's been an accident." I heard the okay part, but I couldn't seem to process it. I felt sick. I needed to see him, touch him, and hear him in person--not listen over a cell phone with a raspy connection and sirens in the background. I remembered feeling this way when Nora was little. The calls from the school nurse always made me a little panicked. I knew Nora was fine, but I wanted to be there instantly, and take her home. I felt the same way about Paul on Thursday, even though my rational mind knew that critically injured people can't make phone calls.

A 21 year-old drunk driver took out 4 cars at 9:00 a.m. on a busy street near the campus. Miraculously the only injury was an injured toe of a motorcyclist. It was one of those accidents that Paul could see happening, but was powerless to prevent. A horrible slow motion movie unfolding in front of you with a terrifying, but inevitable outcome. All of the people involved in the accident were fortunate to have avoided injury, especially I think, the driver. How could you ever live with the knowledge that your stupidity and careless judgment caused the life-altering injury or death of another person? Would the extra drinks he probably had late Wednesday night be worth years in prison?

I felt better once I got home and hugged Paul. We did all the usual post-accident rituals: insurance, auto-body. car rental but I keep needing to reach over and squeeze his arm. I needed reassurance. His accident changed my perspective. Or maybe it just reminded me about what's truly important...and it's not shoes or bathroom time.

1 comment:

Solvang Sherrie said...

Omigosh, Maggie! What a great post. It's so true! We get got up in the mundane and lose sight of the big picture. I'm glad Paul was okay and that it didn't take something more horrible to gain perspective.