For the whole of my entire life, I heard the lyrics to the work tune sung by Snow White’s cadre of little friends as, “Heigh-ho, heigh-ho, it’s off to work we go,” like they were super excited to head off to the mines. For a few weeks now, I’ve been singing “Heigh-ho, heigh-ho, it’s off to work he goes” only to learn that the Seven Dwarves sang not a cheery dirge (oxymoron, sure) so much as an anthem of relief as they skedaddled at quitting time, “Heigh-ho, heigh-ho, it’s HOME from work we go.”
Context? OK, yeah, sorry.
About five months post-accident, my husband was sent back to work. Off to work he went, heigh-ho, heigh-ho. I am not making this up.
A quick survey of current events suggests that even to the uninitiated, NOTHING these days may be considered beyond belief. No display of human behavior or “decision-making” is off-limits anymore it would seem.
Where once we had shame Where once we demonstrated integrity (and kept our loony little rants in our thought bubbles and not on social media), we now find ourselves in a world of anything goes.
I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised when the medical professionals reported bones no longer to be broken, organs no longer to be lacerated, and paralysis no longer to be, well nevermind about that one because the paralysis–while much improved–lingers. When the docs could check all the boxes, they could declare him fit for returning to work. Utterly and completely beyond my belief anyway, he’s back at work. Holy. Crap.
Now me? I can’t even drive past the site where the accident occurred. I have a school assignment whose most direct route from Point A to Point B involves driving right by the accident site. Nope. No way. I am taking the scenic route, y’all. But my husband, warrior that he is, has returned to the scene (no, not THE scene, the scene of the world of work). His triumphant return hasn’t been completely without incident–some sensible safety restrictions remain, so it’s a ramping up. But he’s on the ramp. It’s beyond my belief.
This card and sweet, sweet message of support was left on my desk today by my coworker and friend, Nicole. Just because, for no special reason.
I’m a lot of work at work myself, and can’t imagine having survived these last five months without Nicole and the rest of our gang at my side. I’m not lucky that this happened, but I’m so lucky to have the people I do helping me through. If I’m repeating myself, I know I am.
I don’t know what it’s like not to worry anymore. Every second I’m awake, some piece of my brain is dedicated to wonder about what he is doing, where he is working, with whom he is speaking, about what he is speaking, all of it, everything, all the time. But the broken bones have healed as have the internal organs. Mostly. He’s up, he’s out of the house, and he’s back to work. If you’d seen him lying in that hospital bed, you’d never believe he’d EVER be back to work, let alone be returning within months of the big bad day. His coworkers are stunned like I am–many of the guys, upon hearing of the accident, wrote him off for dead. I assume they’re happy to see him haunting the shop now, but what must it be like for someone to say to your face they assumed you’d die? I hope I never know. I hope you never know.
His birthday is coming soon. I’d wanted to throw a gala “YOU DIDN’T DIE and YOU’RE TURNING 50!” extravaganza. Tom turning 50 wasn’t a guarantee, you know, and I wanted to mark the occasion in a big way. But my guy isn’t a center of attention, celebrate in a big way kind of guy. You didn’t die. You’re turning 50. Can we at least have tacos??
PS–I know this post lacks a thread to knit my misfiring neurons-induced prose together, but James Joyce wrote Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man more than a century ago, and college professors are torturing freshman English students with that ridiculous stream-of-consciousness garbage STILL, and his husband wasn’t injured like mine was. I mean, not that Joyce had a husband because he died in the 1940s, which was a considerably less progressive time and was married to his muse, who was female and all that. And not that I’m comparing my writing to Joyce’s (how is it a classic?) classic, but you catch my meaning, right?