Friday, August 28, 2009

Gallows Humor

I was trying to clean up my computer archives and found this email that I had sent to a friend over ten years ago and that he had saved and then sent back to me.

Dear David:
> >
> > I have been getting your various messages--telephone and email, etc.
> > Forgive me my delinquency in returning them. Things have been a bit
> > hectic here--even more hectic than usual. About a month ago, Michael
> > was hit by a truck while riding his bicycle to work. He was dragged
> > a little but escaped with a pretty messed up left arm. Eighty
> > stitches but no broken bones or head injuries.
> > About two weeks after it happened, the wound got infected so he was
> > hospitalized and had surgery--a skin graft, etc. He is fine now and
> > back at work, just not cooking until the thing heals. In any case,
> > he was lucky. So, on the day he was hospitalized for infection, I
> > set off for the hospital for a visit with Henry and Sophie. As we
> > were leaving the house, Sophie had one of her famous drop seizures
> > and cracked her head open on the floor. We landed up going to the
> > hospital in an ambulance and SHE got ten stitches in her forehead.
> > Needless to say, I've been a basket case.
> > Henry is fine.
> >
> > How has your life been of late? You know, everyone always says to
> > me, "It could've been worse." My silent reply is, "It could've been
> > a whole lot fucking better."
> >
> > Love,
> > Elizabeth


  1. Wow...indeed...much much bettter!

  2. Oh my.
    Yeah. Things could always be worse. So what?

  3. worse?
    what Ms. Moon said - "so what?"
    and "who asked you anyway?"
    I like the "things could have been a whole lot better" response. That would work well in lots of conversations .... almost as good as no words at all and a ((((hug))))

  4. When it rains it pours? It would be nice to know exactly at which point the storm's supposed to pass!!!!!

  5. My usual answer is to ask for whoever uses the could have been worse to define worse without including the words paralyzed, vegetable and death.

    When they mumble some kind of answer I ask: and how that relates to what here? My hope is that they eventually abandon that mamby pamby sort of distracted "comforting" effort and thus help me avoid an instinctual desire to help them find out how really worse things can be.

  6. Thanks for commenting on my site, and it's parents like you that have it worse than parents like me in that the choices for my disabled son are small. I mean, there's a line of disability that you cross where it's purely keeping your child comfortable and happy. We live in a place where picking out the color of the wheelchair is actually a problem I encounter and think about a great deal. The worst thing I've ever seen in my life was a woman at the pediatric neurologist's office who could have been 45 or 65 (I couldn't tell from her near crying fatigued state,) and with her was her 16 year old son on a leash. And he was large and blank faced. I hold the vision of that shaking woman with me and think of her and thank god for my affectionate, smiling boy.

  7. My only question is why do you keep the response silent? People need to learn ...

  8. Single Dad: Not sure why it's "silent." I was raised in the South, perhaps? But trust me, my tongue is as sharp as a scythe and silent would not describe me...

  9. at least YOU have your health.
    the grass is always greener
    still, you're so blessed
    look on the bright side

  10. Amen, to your side of the prayer.

    To me they always say 'you could have been hit by a bus.'

    My reply is 'fuck-off.'

    Have a good weekend with the kids.

    Love Renee xoxo

  11. my god, YES! yes. your vibrancy always comes through so LOUD AND CLEAR!!! even in this brief email!

  12. LOVE this , Elizabeth! This is what is keeping us all sane--this honesty!! I too read your blog as often as I can & dig birthdays. I'ma send you a SMilebox from Liv. Iwish I had a way to scan in our old photos from tri-Delt--you are so beautiful in those & I wish I had some newer photos bc I wish I'd seen you inthe last 25 or so years. if wishes were horses, iwould ride ride ride...

  13. Elizabeth, I love this, and I love your scythe-sharp tongue.

    Renee, I love your reponse...

    Maybe I just like it when people use the f-word...



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