The Day He Fell
Darkness, all around me as I crumpled to the floor.
Letting the tears scream from within… for fear, for anger, for love.
The world is still turning but I’m lying on the floor.
Suﬀocating from uncertainty.
Induced into a coma. Stop his brain from bleeding.
Jaw wired shut. Femur broken. Punctured lung.
Smashed up knee. Incontinence.
And the list goes on…
We were riding a trail we had ridden a thousand times before…
Small town services. He’s flown to the nearest hospital with capabilities.
Weather dictates the one farthest from family support.
I’m travelling Highway 1 amongst the chaos.
Life is surreal. I feel numb.
Moving forward but I’m stuck in a moment.
ICU is where he lay.
They say, “You’ll never walk again.”
I’m told he might not be who he once was.
But I’m still here.
He’s fed through a straw.
Moved by a sling.
I’m hopefully devastated.
Our funds are dwindling.
GoFundMe takes a bite from my pride.
Shacked up with grandparents.
Looking for a job.
I buy the wrong shoes.
He’s so mean.
We play Scrabble.
I control the wheelchair.
Trust is not in the room.
“It’s time to go home,” he tells me.
But I understand.
And so, I go.
Jobs are scarce, our bills are plentiful.
I’m scrubbing toilets, cleaning hospital beds and mopping floors.
I hate this job, the pay minimal.
It feels like I’m helping.
Jasper, his little dachshund, becomes paralysed.
We have to put him down.
While you too are paralysed.
Is a house without a dog even a home?
I knew he’d prove them wrong.
Not as he used to, but he does.
Five months since he flew and now, I drive to bring him home.
Stairs in our home are a concern.
His left-hand knocks the frying pan to the floor.
He’s so mad.
Accidents happen, I try, but he’s so mad.
He’s moving to his mom’s basement.
All I hear is he loves me no more.
We were riding a trail we had ridden a thousand times before.
Did he have a stroke or was speed not his friend?
It’s called hemiplegia.
Touching his left side with love causes him to cringe.
Skin touching skin isn’t as often as it was.
Feels like we’re disconnected.
But our love for one another has grown exponentially.
His pay cheques had supported us.
He’s back on a plane now, heading north for work.
Is he ready?
He carries on, self-rehabilitation.
Days go on.
He adjusts to a body that doesn’t do what it used to.
We adopt her, Pica, the four-legged girl that helped him stick around.
I’m angry… I’m sad.
And I’m thankful all at once.
I’m a misunderstood mess.
We carry on.
I have a constant fear when he recreates.
I hold him back.
People ask the details of the day. I reply one too many times.
We move on.
We’re married… we’re in love.
Our skin touches skin again.
And we’ll keep on keepin’ on.
But still, I worry, because on that day…
I realised the love of my life can be taken from me at any moment.
I never want to be without…
His encouraging words.
His tender kisses.
His unconditional love.
Accidents happen even to the mighty.
As a team, you can get through anything.
Becoming a team isn’t easy.
We’re stronger than we think but if we never try, we’ll stay weak.
Truly great friends come running even when you don’t ask.
Dirt biking can be scary but it’s a heck of a good time.
True Love is Real.
Life isn’t always easy but it’s worth the ride.
Take chances; you only live once.
inReach is an essential tool for your pack.
By Jenny Bateman