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The End Of Your World As You Know It

It's strange the little things that make you realize how lucky you are.

Like me.  I just got back from the store.  I'm sitting here, checking out stuff on the Internet, and I decided, I want cookies.  Frosted animal cookies.  The ones that are completely frosted with little dot sprinkles.  So I put on my shoes and walked to the store about a half mile from my house.  I found the cookies on a lower shelf.  I bent down and grabbed a bag, then walked to the checkout line.  The line I was in was moving slow, the one next to me was moving quicker, so I left my line and went to the new one.  I then walked out the door and walked the half mile home, and sat down to type this after getting some cookies I just suddenly wanted.  Didn't have to have them, but I wanted them and got them.

I bring this up because of a guy at work today.  There was a workplace accident.  Something happened.

His left leg is crushed.  Not broken, a piece of machinery was moving, the operator didn't see him, and it actually ran onto his leg.  Last I heard, up past the knee.  There is no way his leg will heal normally.  I'm actually having fears that they may have to remove it.

(And a special shoutout to the asshole supervisor.  I come around the corner and see an ambulance and someone being wheeled into it on a stretcher.  The supe just yells, "Get to work!"  Right.  When you see something like this, your first reaction shouldn't be what happened so you can prevent it from happening to you.  You shouldn't be wondering who it was so you can offer a prayer of hope.  Your first thought should be, I've got to finish this run, how can I squeeze by this crowd, and push this horrible accident from your consciousness.  And you wonder why everyone hates your guts.)

Now, the guy was insured, so he's covered as far as medical goes.  I feel sorry for the operator, I wonder what's going to happen to him, both professionally and personally -- that's not the sort of thing you do that you just bounce back from.

But here's the key thing -- there's going to be a settlement.  Don't ask me how I know, just know that every lawyer within 100 miles just popped a boner.  Between the settlement, disability, his retirement account (he was near that age), and so on, he'll never have to work again in his life.

Some of my co-workers were actually envious of the guy.

And this is where I look at the little bag of cookies currently sitting almost immediately to my left on the desk.  The little bag of cookies that I just went and bought.

He'll never be able to do that.  He wants something, it's going to be a massive endeavor just to get it.  With a leg that bad or missing, he's not going to just hoof it a half mile for a bag of cookies.  He won't be able to just bend down and find them on the shelf and pick them up.  If the line he's in is too slow, he won't be able to simply turn around and move to the next.

I want to go biking?  No problem, let me make sure my tires have air, and I can move faster than I can run for longer and just feel the movement of myself, the wind, everything.

He never will.

I want to go swimming?  No problem!  I want to take up running again?  Sure!  I don't even have to do anything.  I have the freedom to go wherever I want whenever I want.

He is now a prisoner in his body.  Oh, he can still do things, but now, it takes prep.  There are considerations he never had to make before, things he never needed to take into account.

And he'll have to do them every.  Single.  Day.  For the rest of his life.

Now, I know some will say this is a matter of perspective.  I get that life is tough, and some people just don't want to have to deal with the uncertainty of the world, of the job market, of their coworkers.  And something where they can get money to live without having to do anything is like a dream come true for them.

But they don't see everything.

They don't see a man who can't play catch with his son.  They don't see a man whose house has now become an obstacle course that he might not be able to maneuver through.  They don't see a man who has to train his mind to ignore the pain that will never go away.

People like to tell me life is a gift.  Depending on your circumstances, life can be a punishment.

And some people very easily confuse the two.

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