As most of you know, Tom has been “practicing retirement” for over a year now. He’s not ready to retire, but he hasn’t found what God has for him yet. So in the mean time, we’re together a lot. It’s wonderful in many ways, but it’s also been a challenge. Gone are the days when he would be away, and I had time to actually think about and plan a surprise for him. I hadn’t even thought about it until recently.
I mentioned to Tom, “You know I can’t remember the last time I surprised you or planned a romantic date without you knowing.”
“I know. I’ve missed it.”
It’s terrible when you realize you’ve dropped the ball in an area you used to practice on a regular basis.
It’s even worse when you haven’t even noticed! So that led me last week to start thinking of how I could surprise Tom. We already had Monday night planned to go see an early release of the movie Gravity, starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. We won these tickets as a perk from Klout–an on-line website that measures your supposed influence. I’m still not sure how it all works, but we were thrilled to be asked to attend this movie for FREE.
Since the movie was titled Gravity, I had been pondering how to build a date around the theme of gravity. I hadn’t gotten very far when I realized gravity isn’t so romantic.
You see, Tom and I were working in the front yard sprucing it up for the fall and the holiday season. He noticed some dead tree limbs and decided to go to work on them. He set up our ladder and starting working on getting one down when it happened! He thought a limb was going to fall on him, so he attempted to get off the ladder quick! Unfortunately, he missed a rung and fell backwards 5 feet landing flat on his back! I watched the whole thing and was horrified! I didn’t know what to do first. When I got to him he obviously had the wind knock out of him. He didn’t move at first, and I wasn’t sure whether to help him up or call 911. It was the worst five minutes waiting for him to help me know what to do!
But I didn’t panic. Tom has always told me the best thing to do in an emergency is to stay calm and think. (His Boy Scout training in action!) Tom moved both legs, so I knew he hadn’t done any serious damage to his spine. He was able to get up with help and walk inside using some crutches we happened the have in our garage.
Long story short–we saw the doctor immediately where an x-ray confirmed there were no broken bones–praise God! But what he did have was a crushing injury requiring heavy doses of pain killers, muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatory drugs. All our plans for a date night were canceled, as my new role was helping him recover.
It wasn’t until we were inside and he was comfortable (a relative term) that we realized how kind God had been to us.
Tom missed hitting his head on the pavement by 5 inches! He could have not landed flat on his back, but on his neck or on his tailbone causing serious, if not life-threatening, injuries. I shudder to think of it.
The next day our 6th grandchild, Vito Price, was born. Tom could have been killed and missed seeing this precious miracle. But.he.wasn’t! God in His mercy softened his fall and simply slowed down our life and plans for a few weeks.
I’ve decided that a gravity-themed date night isn’t such a good idea. In fact, it’s a downer!
Now it’s my turn to love Tom back and care for him the way he cared for me two weeks ago after my fall. What a month we’ve had. It lends a whole new meaning to ‘falling in love!” I’ll keep the love, but no thanks on the falling part. We’ve had enough for a while.
By the way, the tree limb is still hanging in our tree mocking Tom’s attempt to get it down. As far as we’re concerned it can stay there!
How has your spouse helped you when you’ve had the wind knocked out of you?
Debi…..your stories are such an inspiration to me and many others I’m sure. You made me stop and realize that we don’t surprise each other anymore…..sure we are there for each other when needed, but, as far as doing the little extra’s…we don’t. That will be changing as of today. I treasure my husband and couldn’t ask for a better one so suited for me. Like in August when our youngest son, Jeremy, had the life threatening car accident. Not once did I have to think what to do, how to do it or when to do it. Eddie took control and made sure I got to Virginia. He stayed home and took care of the 8 yr old grandson we are raising, made arrangements for after school care, did everything that I would normally do for him. I was gone 6 weeks….. the house was still standing when I returned home, lol. Joey was healthy and things were almost as if I hadn’t left. Was the house as clean as it is when I am home? No, but that didn’t matter to me…. what matter was knowing that he could take care of things in my absence. He made 2 trips to Virginia (driving 14 hrs one way) during the time I was there. He didn’t have to, he wanted to. He wanted to see Jeremy and to see me. I thank the Lord daily for my son’s life being restored and for the husband he sent to me as a helpmate. I will continue to follow your blog because it inspires me so much! God bless you and a speedy recovery to Tom.
What an amazing testimony you’ve shared for all of us, and what a powerful way to honor your husband and his kindness towards you. I pray God will help you think of a special surprise for Eddie that will bless him to no end! So glad you were encouraged through our experience and motivated to make some changes. I love how God does that when we don’t even know we need it. He cares for you and your marriage!
Figuratively, when the stresses in my life knock the wind out of me, my wife gives me a hug that just breathes life back into me. Literally, I had a similar ladder incident. We have a car top carrier, the clamshell type, that we use to use when the whole family would drive to a family vacation destination. The clamshell is rather large and storage is a problem.
As a person who always has creative solutions to such problems, I decided it would be a good idea to hang the clamshell from hooks that I screwed into the celling of our garage. I climbed up a ladder that I placed in the middle of the garage floor. With the assistance from son, who was about 12 years old at the time, I lifted up the clamshell and hooked the front side onto the hooks in the ceiling. With the front side secure, I moved the ladder towards the rear of the garage. Holding the clamshell in my arms, I climbed up the steps of the ladder. As I reached to top of the ladder, I began to lose my balance. I desperately held onto the clamshell in an attempt to regain my balance. Unfortunately, my weight was too much for the hooks screwed into the ceiling and the clamshell came loose. As I fell backwards, I managed to get one foot down on the floor to break my fall. My momentum carried me backwards, falling directly on the concrete step in the back of the garage leading up into the laundry room.
I landed on my back, directly across the steps. I was stunned! The air escaped my lungs in hushed groan. I thought that I was severely injured. I imagined the worse. The terror in my son’s eyes confirmed my nightmare. In response to my son’s inquiry if I was all right, I was able to croak out, “Get your mother.”
Just having my wife rushing to my side was a great comfort as I lay on the steps trying to catch my breath. I felt like I could deal with whatever injury I suffered if she was by my side. As the shock subsided, I was able to move my legs and realize that my injury was not as severe as I feared. Fortunately, my big butt absorbed most of the blow. I was able to roll onto my side, so that my wife could examine the damage. There were a pair of bruises that looked like railroad tracks running across my back and butt. The black and blue was so bad that next day my butt looked like two eggplants.
In a time of crisis, I always look to my wife for comfort and support. I am a fortunate man to have her at my side.
You brought tears to my eyes as hearing your story reminded me of the emotion I felt last Monday. It’s something I never wish to repeat! Isn’t it amazing how God chooses to soften our falls and deepen our comfort through our partner and friend? So glad you have such a marriage, and very glad you weren’t hurt more severely.
Luckily neither of us has had our wind knocked out of us since we have been married! However, since we are endurance athletes and race often we care for each other after races. Mostly making sure we get the rest needed or massaging sore muscles. Being more on call for physically demanding things. Hope Tom gets better soon!
Thank you, Cassie. He is slowly getting better each day. I love how you’ve related this to your marriage through endurance training support. That’s a good habit to develop–hearing someone’s experience and applying it to your marriage even if the scenario isn’t exactly the same. You’ll do we’ll if you keep this up.