You might have seen the pictures on Facebook. The day after our anniversary, my husband was trying to be a hero and the model handyman of the house. While fixing the light bulb in our bathroom, he slipped off the step ladder and came crashing down, right through the ceiling. He suffered a deep and long gash on his forearm plus a couple of other nasty wounds, apart from the scraps and bruises all over his hands, arms and back. Miraculously, he didn’t need stitches.
I didn’t realize it, but my son had rushed to the bathroom behind me upon hearing the crash. He saw the extent of the damage in the bathroom and his father groaning and grimacing in pain, took his favourite teddy and headed off to the living room, calling out to us that he was going to pray for Daddy.
He sounded shaken, so I called him to come to where I was attending to my husband’s wounds. When he came, he started crying. Later he was able to articulate that he felt fearful because he saw the extent of damage to our bathroom – it must have left him with a sense of the gravity of the situation.
Over the following week, he would comfort my husband by patting him on the back or giving him a back massage (his interpretation of it), while saying, “It’s okay, Dad. Be brave.” Each day when he woke up and when he saw Dad again at the end of the day, he’d ask, “Are you okay, Dad?” or “Are you well?” or “Is it better?”
When the contractor came to reinstate our ceiling, he told my husband, “Don’t do it again, Dad.”
I was reminded about compassion from my son. I am as terrified and irked by the sight of blood as my husband, but all things considered, I think I handled the situation amazingly well. With my son terrified at my husband’s predicament and my husband terrified by his injuries, it left me the only one to preserve some calm and order in that moment, and bring comfort and reassurance to the family.
By the way, it cost us $600 to change the light bulb.