Disclaimer: This is about no one you know. It is an accounting of an event as retold by a person a number of years ago. Any resemblance to people known to you is purely coincidental.
It was time to go get our family’s share of vegetables for the neighborhood veggie coop. I knew we were in the later part of the window of time allowed and wanted to do it soon. My partner wanted to wait and expressed disdain for the time deadline.
I managed to get us in the car with our basket, but it didn’t stop there. He was furious, and I was scandalized by that! Although women’s rights hadn’t quite made it to the surface, I felt personally insulted by his anger and asked him to stop the car. (My plan was to walk with my basket to the house down the road—obviously I hadn’t thought about how I’d carry my share home.)
He slowed down and figuring he was stopping, I started to open the door. I can’t truly say what happened next since I was so busy hoping to survive. As I started to get out of the car, my left foot got caught, staying in the car while I fell and flipped onto the road on my side. I found myself dragging alongside of the moving car in the street!
I imagine he was so blinded by his own mind’s turmoil that he didn’t notice it for a moment, but what seemed like an age later he did bring the car to a stop. The hard part for me was watching the rear wheel as it came closer and closer to me while dragging along on my side—injuring my shoulder, face, arm, and one eye. In fact, I’ve never been able to get my face close to a tire since then!
I got back in the fairly new car, and couldn’t seem to stop the blood from squirting on the upholstery on the ceiling. That even made him madder. However, he took me to the ER, chiding me along the way.
The doctors instructed both him and me that I should not be left alone the next day due to the seriousness of the injuries. The dismissal nurse even pointed out to us that it was in writing that someone should stay with me. However by dawn he was leaving for a weekend of hunting and camping out! I felt even more betrayed by that.
At some point a friend dropped by and was horrified when she saw me. This is the funny part! When she asked me what she could do to help, I wanted to replace the brand new baby blue sweater I had been wearing when it occurred since it had one arm mostly torn off where I was pulled along the street. She did that, and although I was afraid to share the whole story with her just then, I felt better just knowing we had saved the pretty sweater☺
The heartbreaker came when we got home from the hospital as we were getting ready for bed. He said, “You shouldn’t do things like that” accepting no responsibility for his furor and showing absolutely no sympathy for my injuries, both of the body and the heart.
This poem came during that solitary weekend and the next, while I was trying to make some sense of it all:
S c a r s I n t h e N i g h t
Nights are the hardest . . .
My scars were noticed for the first time tonight—they look like they’re here to stay.
As are the scars on my heart.
Tears are near and standing ready
But they are no good—he won’t change, said he.
Hunting season goes on with his gratifications continuing.
Seems a poor trade for a gulp still lingering.
Make it on my own someday?
Money problems seem here to stay.
Habit train myself for a future day?
Towards hope, a gentle ray;
Hope for what I could not say.
Rambling. Torn in shambles.
My life . . . as a wife.
P.S. Both parties did travel through grief and come out the better for it. The passage through the grotto of grief is hard, but it often has something to teach, and comfort can be found.
Copyright by Hildra Tague. Contact author for permission to use in print or online.