I could tell some whopping story of a kickboxing stunt gone awry or a fight to defend my honor that ended with tragic consequences, but it was simply a bug that had flown in late at night that brought my husband down.
A few months ago in the heat of a summer night, we let the dogs out. A nasty red flying cockroach took advantage of the open sliding glass door. It landed high on the soffit that sticks out above the couch. It had to go. No ifs, ands, or buts about that!
Lloyd grabbed a couple of tissues. His plan-capture the enemy and squash it or toss it back outdoors.
I thought he would climb up on the couch and tossed a blanket throw across it to keep him from stepping directly on the furniture.
He jumped instead.
As he came down, the rug in front of the couch slid back, his foot slipped out of his shoe, and he fell forward. He landed on the couch, tissues still in hand.
“My foot.” He looked up at me. “Did you hear that snap?”
I hadn’t heard the noise. He may have felt it more than heard it, or maybe it echoed from his foot to his brain.
“I got it,” he said holding up the tissues for me to see the dead bug from his sort of crouched position on the front of the couch.
A few minutes later, we were on our way to the emergency room. He’d broken the fifth metatarsal, the long bone along the outside of your foot, and broken it severely. It was two months of doctor visits, cast on, cast off, and ending up at a foot and ankle specialist who put him in a boot and it finally healed. In the end, we had spent hundreds on a variety of men’s shoes in different sizes that don’t really fit anymore now that it has healed.
Funny thing, it was a pair of Crocs he wore the night his foot slipped and broke, and now he keeps a pair of rubber ones next to the bed to slip on when he gets up. There’s no going to the bathroom barefoot in the middle of the night, he might hit the foot on something and cause more damage.
In addition, that motorcycle he’d bought a couple of years ago and rarely rides anyway, is now for sale. He never wants to “go through that again,” never wants another broken bone.
Knowing Lloyd, it’s not the thought of the pain; it’s the worry of being vulnerable. It’s the idea of having me take care of things that are his territory. I mowed the lawn, replaced some plumbing with him looking on and instructing me, and even changed out a light fixture in the bathroom per his step-by-step instructions. I was proud to be able to handle those things, but in his manly mind, it wasn’t the way things are supposed to happen.
Lloyd is absolutely the bravest man I know. There’s nothing he wouldn’t do to protect me from any size of menace. He’ll still handle the bugs, and he’s mowing the lawn now. Yet, who knows when he’ll ever go barefoot in the middle of the night again, there’ll be no riding a motorcycle, and there will certainly be no jumping up to kill a bug, no matter how big or nasty it may be.