My Cardboard Box

You could…

with 3 comments

From Andy at Dipso Chronicles:

I could complain. I could. I sat inside for an hour and watched my family – and the accursed dog – build a snowman and frolic in the giantness of winter. Just sat inside by the big window, with the crutches propped on the couch next to me and coffee in a travel mug with a pink cupcake logo because it’s the only one we have that closes completely, which makes it the only one we have that I can safely gimp around with. I could complain. My knee medication has made me sick, and I so I feel like I need to put my brain and my innards back in my body, as they are both working very hard at forcing their way out. It’s to the garbage with that bucket of pills. I could complain. In short, this whole thing has turned me into what I would call a walking cliche, if only I could walk. I’m an easy and flat character in a movie. A silhouette of sadness in front of a contemplative soundtrack. The world going on about its business around me as I gaze out a window in a moment in which my inner strength has finally given out after a stalwart defense. The laughter of the children and the slow-motion snow coming down like a million playing cards bleached white and dropped from an airplane, highlighting my sudden uselessness, but only highlighting it to me. And the audience, of course, but I have no audience. I could complain.

Good thing I’m not, though, right? And I know, there are people missing whole legs and who are shot through with cancer and who just heard about a car accident, with fatalities, on a highway nearby and they haven’t heard from their wife who took the kids out to a park somewhere down that highway earlier. I know. I know. But for a moment, I could complain.

Yeah, you could. And you should.

I had a Chief Corpsman (3 tours Vietnam) tell me after treating my smashed thumb “If you can bitch about it, you ain’t that bad off”. Thought that was kind of harsh until ten years later, when I woke up on a litter on a tarmac during a Frankfurt winter, wondering between the morphine clouds if I’d ever get a hard-on again, never mind walk. When you’re bad off you just don’t have the energy to bitch. Saying “thanks” to the Landstuhl surgeon who kinda gives you the verdict by telling you you’re going back to CONUS, or to the airmen sliding you into the rack on the Medevac flight just seems to be a lot easier.

I work with Fleet Marine corpsmen now. Some wounded Marines, they tell me, kept on joking right up until the moment they died.


Written by PappyBro

January 17, 2012 at 19:23

Posted in Musings

3 Responses

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  1. Thanks. For the link, and the advice, and the service. Thanks for all of it.


    January 17, 2012 at 20:04

  2. What an inspiring post. Thank you.


    January 17, 2012 at 21:18

  3. Indeed. And what Andy said.

    trailing wife

    January 26, 2012 at 09:43

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