Dumpster Fire

Sometimes dark humor pulls a girl from dark days into the light. Some days dark humor provides enough to keep me putting one foot in front of the other. My little one introduced me to term “dumpster fire” the other day, and I’ve adopted it as the perfect descriptor for my state of mind. And also, I found three different Bitmojis to illustrate. Here’s one–

While my husband was hospitalized, it seemed like a different household item went kaput each day.  When I arrived home from the ICU late the night of the accident, I clicked on the lamp on my nightstand.  The bulb buzzed for a nanosecond before giving up for good.  You might think I’d have done something so easy as change that light bulb, but I didn’t even have that in me.  How many electricians’ wives does it take to change a light bulb??? More than one anyway.

Getting dressed the next morning, I pulled the cord of my closet light, only to have the cord shake loose from the fixture and land in my hands. How does one dress for a day in the ICU anyway?  Now I couldn’t even see into the closet, but I know that at that point, I couldn’t have cared less about my outfit.

Since the day, the side mirror from our car was smashed off (surprisingly not my doing), the dog knocked over a table lamp, pieces and parts scattered, my car battery died, my car’s backing camera is on the fritz, the dog went through a window screen, the rain gutters overfloweth, and a panel of glass from our back door shattered and fell to the ground.

My baby FaceTimed me while I idled in my husband’s hospital room asking how to put a temporary patch on the window.  When I reported back, Tom instantly went into obsession mode, cooking up an idea to replace not only the single panel of glass, but also to replace the entire six-panel leaded frame with a custom art glass piece to fit the colorful theme of our house.  Any modern designer would burst into heart palpitations seeing our orange living room, inside of an avocado-colored dining room, cider-tinted kitchen, and golden hallways and basement.  WE love it, but then we don’t pray to the HGTV 2019 color palette the way the rest of the world seems to.  Anyway, Tom had an idea.  And at that stage in his recovery, whatever idea he held was locked in with a death grip.

Tom phoned a stained glass artist with whom we met shortly after his homecoming.  Tom described what he’d envisioned (it WAS awesome!), and the glass artist returned some sketches.  Together they came up with a clean, colorful, beautiful design.  Fabrication began and yesterday, six-plus weeks after concept, the glass was installed.  It turned out exactly as I’d seen it in my mind, better really.  It turned out exactly as my husband had hoped, and he smiled each time he walked past it since the install.

His accident occurred over two months ago already.  So much has happened since that first day.  So much needs yet to happen to find equilibrium again. A bright new window maybe triggers brighter, less dumpster-y states of mind?? That’s my hope.

I’m pathetic company these days, even my friends are tired of me. And while my social calendar wasn’t exactly buzzing from May 7 til now because, you can imagine, my time’s been heavily booked otherwise, I’m not seeking company either.  I know I’m a super downer. I find myself reliving the accident, well reliving MY experience of the accident quite a lot, and I’m sad.  A lot.  And, as I told a friend, I feel like any trace of complaint I would voice is a betrayal of the HE DIDN’T DIE lottery ticket I held back on May 7. 

And I’m mad.  A lot.  The incident was truly accidental; I know this.  I haven’t for one second believed it to be anything but an accident.  My husband apologizes over how the accident has changed my summer plans, and I’m practically shouting back that the accident changed OUR ENTIRE LIVES!!

I knew we’d get here, here being the period of time just west of imminent danger–when the relief of having survived is supplanted by rehab and the reality of the permanency of his injuries. And though I am no fun whatsoever, I am so damn happy I still have a husband, because it wasn’t a guarantee.

My friends say I’m strong. I want to want to feel happy and normal-ish, but instead I kinda want to slog through a pool of woe-is-me for a brief while. I know I should want to be dancing on rooftops, thanking the stars above (and oh, every day til this week, I have been!!), but meh is me.

To me, this window represents light and cheer and holy crap, he didn’t die. I call it the “You Didn’t Die Window” and I love it.

Let there be light. Please.

5 thoughts on “Dumpster Fire

  1. The human psyche is capable of tremendous complexity, even contradiction. We can be grateful and angry, happy and sad — about the same things at the same time, even. It’s only Hallmark stories that reduce us to a single set of emotions at a time: All was lost but then they lived happily ever after!.

    And yes: The environment we keep does affect our state of mind. That’s why it’s important to take pride in our homes, and in our private spaces: We do it for ourselves, not for anyone else. I think a new stained-glass window, Wendy, sounds like a great idea.


  2. “Meh is me” should be the title of a book written for caregivers. It’s ok to be tired, to feel weary, to get pissed off. Those are natural emotions. You’re dealing with a lot. One day you’ll look back on this and realize that you were much stronger than you realized. In the meantime, you’ll just have to trust us when we tell you that.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You’re asking me to put an awful lot of trust in you all, but I am trying to believe. I’m soooooo looking forward to that “one day” though, my friend, let me tell you! It will be great when this feels like history.


  3. What a beautiful window and a tribute to Tom’s ability to “Not Die”. It sounds to me like you’re going through a tremendous grieving process–even though, thankfully, Tom is with us, you’re grieving the loss of your previous normalcy–and that’s perfectly normal:-)

    Liked by 1 person

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