I actually thought about taking yesterday off. I know what your thinking, “What the hell is he talking about? he’s retired, he’s got everyday off!” Yes I’m retired and loving it by the way, but I hardly have everyday off. Most days I work around the house, I have my projects. Believe me there’s always something to do around here. I may not put in a full 8 hours but I do my time but just not today. Today I seriously contemplated spending the daylight hours doing absolutely nothing, work related that is.
Yeah today seemed like the perfect day to just kick around, watch a movie, do a little reading, play my guitar or maybe even do a little writing. Nah scratch the writing that can be too much like work. I was looking for a total relaxation day. Hey I deserve it! Besides conditions couldn’t be any better. Raylene was gone for the day and wouldn’t be home until the evening, no one here but me, papa and the dogs. Yeah why not? You know what they say, while the cats away!
It all started out just fine I watched an old movie “Stir of Echoes” then finished reading the last couple of chapters of “Killing Jesus.” By then it was about 1 pm and I was pulling out my guitar when the pangs of guilt started. It was such a beautiful day outside, much too pretty to be locked away inside the house. I sat for awhile strumming my Martin but not really enjoying it like I should have been. I kept thinking that I should be outside working on one of my projects instead of wasting time doing nothing. A few minutes later I put down my guitar and made my way outside to do a little work. A quote from John Lennon kept running through my head ” Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted,” and though it made perfect sense to me I went outside anyway. As things turned out I wish I’d stayed inside instead. Sometimes being lazy can be a good thing.
I decided to work on finishing up a project that a couple of my grand kids have been asking about. As I worked on it I kept thinking how nice it would be not hear “Is it done yet Grandpa? Is it done yet?” over and over again, any longer. The project is a slide that runs down from the kid’s tree house to a wooden landing about 9 feet below. I finished the frame of the landing platform yesterday. All that remained to be done was cutting the planks for the floor of the landing, installing them and building some steps to cover the three foot drop from the landing platform to the ground. By 4:15 pm I had the floor of the landing down and the slide in place. Before beginning on the steps I figured that a test run down the slide was in order to insure that the platform would work properly.
As “luck” would have it (or perhaps the word ‘fate’ is more appropriate) my wife happened to stop at home unexpectedly to drop some things off before proceeding to the meeting with her friends. She went came out back and I showed her what I’d done and said “Oh good you’re here just in time for a practice run down the slide.” She laughed and asked, “Why don’t you do it?” and I answered, “Because I’m going to be down here to catch you.” Famous last words.
She bravely climbed up the ladder to the tree house and positioned herself on the slide. Now what I expected to happen was that she would slide down, her feet would hit the landing, slide and she would land on her butt, so I was standing to the right of the platform by the end of the slide. I thought I’d be able to help stop her from landing hard on her butt. Unfortunately that is not what happened, not even close.
Raylene pushed off and came down the slide so fast that I was unprepared for what happened next! Instead of coming down and her feet sliding on the platform, her feet hit the platform and she stood up! Her momentum propelled her forward! Unfortunately the platform only extends about three and a half feet from the slide so she pretty much ran across that short distance, went off the platform and onto a large mound of dirt next to the platform. She managed to stay on her feet for about 4 more steps then her left foot came down on the flat ground at an awkward angle and she went down, the sound of breaking bones was clearly audible! I couldn’t believe it! I was in a state of shock!
As I approached her she told me “I know It’s broken.” I looked at her foot extending in a very awkward angle and a bone just above the ankle push hard against her skin. I was immediately reminded of the Redskin’s quarterback Joe Theisman’s career ending broken leg which was broken on national TV. That may have been worse, but I knew that this was bad break.
After 4 hours in the Kaiser ER we were finally back at home. They say things happen in 3’s and that exactly what happened to Raylene. She suffered a triple break just above the ankle as well as a dislocated ankle. She has 2 breaks on the Tibia, one minor fracture and one major break and a major break on the Fibula. The doctors put her ankle back in place, lined it all back up and fit her with a temporary cast. There is a chance she will be having surgery to pin it back together today or Friday. We’ll find out this morning.
God I feel so bad. I wish it would have happened to me instead of her. I know accidents happen but hasn’t she been through enough already with the cancer and the broken shoulder? I should have just stayed inside and played my guitar. If I’d taken the day off like I originally wanted to this would have never happened. I still can’t believe it! I’m so sorry this happened to you Babe. I’ll do whatever it takes to make you comfortable for as long as it takes to heal and then some. You can count on it.