Blue Sky Peace of Mind
“Honest, officer, she stepped into the punch…” I suppose that is what I could have said, had they asked. Had a police officer even been present to ask. But nobody was there to help.
Explaining how I killed my first wife is something I’ve been putting off. Not really procrastinating. It is more a matter of finding the right words to explain. You see, it really wasn’t my fault.
Yes, I know you’ve heard guys say that before. It was her own fault. She walked into my fist, that two-by-four, the door, or in this case rather it was a fence post. Honestly! It is true. Somehow though that never sounds convincing as I try and explain.
So what really happened that day…
Well, as I said, she stepped into the punch. Or rather the punch of the post. You see, we were putting in fence posts. I was up on the tractor using the articulated backhoe arm to set the posts and tap in the soil. My wife was checking the plumb of the posts, how vertically straight they were set. Everything had been going smoothly, up until then.
I saw it all happen just before it all went bad but there was nothing I could do. The backhoe boom was swinging slowly and caught on a rock. Just at that moment she stepped forward with the spirit level in her hand, reaching for the post to check it for plumb.
I tried to shout out in time for her to stay back but it all happened so fast after that. The backhoe bucket broke free of the rock and in an instant slammed into the bottom of the post. The post acted like a six inch thick, six foot long baseball bat. My wife literally stepped into the punch as a small, but powerful tap at the base of the post caused the top too move very fast, catching her up under her hard hat along her right temple. She dropped like a sack of potatoes. Time stopped.
It took me forever to get off the backhoe. It must have been 20 minutes or more to get my leaden legs moving, to untangle from the controls. At least that was how it felt. In reality it was probably only about three or four seconds.
By the time I got to her there was blood all over her face. So much so that I couldn’t tell how much damage had been done to her head and eye. Head wounds are so messy. I estimated that she must have lost a couple of quarts already. Well, at least a few tablespoons. Everything was buzzing.
I cradled her head between my knees making sure not to move her neck, checking to see how badly her skull was crushed. I peeled back her eye lids to check her pupils. Nothing. She was completely unresponsive. Breath. I needed to breath. I needed her to breath. It was raining salt water down onto her face.
After nearly an eternity, maybe half a minute or more, her eyes fluttered opened of their own and she looked up past me and said, “The sky is so blue. Why am I lying on the ground?”
We later figured out that she had lost about 23 seconds of memory prior to stepping into the fence post. From her perspective she had been standing about ten feet back watching me work. Then suddenly she was looking up at the beautiful blue sky and a few white clouds. There was no in between. No tunnel. No white light. No visit with long lost family. Just nothing.
Holly survived. No concussion even. I cleaned her up and taped her head back together, pulling the edges of the skin aligned with the stick strips of bandaids. Then she rested. We finished the fence another day.
She has a nice scar now to remeind us of why when someone is working on the backhoe we have a firm rule that you stay out of reach of the boom.
That was the first time I killed my wife. I wish I could say that was the last time.
Outdoors: 35°F/29°F Cloudy, Misty
Tiny Cottage: 66°F/62°F
Daily Spark: When ever you can get a chance to smile in life, take it.