I Hate Ice

I fell on the ice. I was trying to carry a 50 lb bag of feed from the garage to the barn in the dark because I needed to get the feed out of the back of my car so I can put Java in there tomorrow when some woman and her kids come to look at the house.

My feet shot out from under me and all the things I did to try and break my fall probably hurt me even worse. I hurt my neck, head, back, left arm and shoulder, right hamstring, and left knee. The neck and head hurt the worst. That, and just the emotional fatigue of taking yet one more ouch.

But I did carry two 50 lb bags out to the barn, plus a bag of shavings.

The fall totally screwed up my plans for the evening. It’s Wednesday night, so I was supposed to be going to my class at church on spiritual gifts. After answering 135 questions meant to find my top three gifts, I’m pretty sure I’m a closet atheist and have no gifts.

I do have talents, but they aren’t exactly spiritually driven. So all my scores in the categories were pretty low, but the top one was Mercy. Of course, when you’ve had a life like mine, you have a lot of empathy for other people who are suffering since you know how they are feeling.

The next one was Creative Communication. That makes sense because of the writing and music interests.

The third one was Word of Knowledge. Huh? This means I’m supposed to have biblical insight. Hmmm… Most of the time, long-time Christians don’t much like my insights. I’m sure I scored points in this area because I’m inquisitive, observant, insightful, reflective, and horribly truthful. I consider it my responsibility to say all the stuff that most people think, but are smart enough to keep to themselves.

So here I go again. I actually wrote the thing (is it a poem?) at the bottom of this post two days ago, not realizing how I would relate to it today in a physical way.

When I wrote it, I was thinking about how it feels to be going through divorce in my 50s. It’s much different than my first divorce when I was 26 and my second divorce when I was 32. At those ages, I still had so many things going on in my life.

At 26, I’d been promoted from a clerical position to a Technical Writing job, which was quite a jump in pay. I’d just started to ride horses and was working weekends at a stable. I was so happy and excited about finally pursuing my passion, which is part of what ended my brief marriage. He suddenly wasn’t happy anymore and it was my fault. It always is.

Right away, I hooked up with someone else and fell in love with his three-year-old daughter. Husband #2 had custody and the child needed someone to bathe her, wash her clothes, feed her, put her to bed before midnight and make sure she got a bedtime story to boot. Lord, I had to marry the guy so I could be with this little girl that I adored. That’s how I ended up in an abusive marriage.

At the time of my second divorce, I was busy raising my three-year-old son, going through intensive therapy, volunteering at a women’s shelter, trying to finish my BA, which I finally completed at age 40, and working a lot of overtime. I think I bought my house when I was 39 and met my third husband when I was 41.

Now, I’m 52 and I’m at a point in my life when I’m slowing down, wanting to take it easier, to simplify my life. I’m so tired. I don’t have a child to keep me busy. I don’t catch men’s eyes anymore. No one at work looks at me as a promising super star but as a person on their way out and not worth investing in.

And so, this is what came out of my head…


Feeling skeletal, not because of weight loss, 
But because of the feeling of being completely exposed to the elements. 
No padding or protection. 
Everything hurts. 
Bone grinds against bone. 
No muscle or strength.  
Maybe it’s lack of touch. 
Maybe it’s people looking right through me  
Or looking away, 
as though they can’t stand to watch 
the collapse of bone, 
hitting ground, 
with no tendons to pull the thing back upright. 
Just bones 
that clatter 
and clank 
and ache.

I am so hungry for love, the kind I see in the couples in their 70s or 80s, where they know each other so well. And the man holds his wife’s hand as she steps off the curb, or she smiles at the joke she has already heard 100 times before. They have weathered the storms and love each other more because of it.
Or is that just another one of my fantasies?

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  1. First of all, I hope you are able to even move this morning! Sorry to read about your fall. Now, a suggestion…get yourself one of those little plastic sleds and drag your grain and shavings to the barn so you don’t kill yourself trying. I use mine every day.

    The poem is outstanding and says it all. You have had more than your share….

  2. damn this ice! it’s awful this year, and very dangerous. a woman i know broke her ankle the other day. get yourself some Stabilicers and use them. they grip the ice and keep you upright. i can’t get thorugh a dog walk without them these days.

    and for all that other stuff….you’re dealing with too much. you’re looking too far ahead, down the road.

    get through what you’re going through now, learn to be calmly and happily alone, and love will come if you really want it.

  3. Wow, I hope you heal from the fall quickly. As for the other stuff…the time old adage applies, it take time (no one ever told me how much) and the wounds don’t heal. We just learn how to cope with them. I keep you in my prayers.

  4. Lori – My knee and leg feel better. The back, shoulder, arm, neck, and head are still hurting but manageably. I did try to find one of those sleds at a store but they didn’t have them. I’ll have to try somewhere else. Would help with hauling wood too.

    Laurie – I haven’t heard of Stabilicers. I’ve heard of Yak trax and have been meaning to find them somewhere. I think the being alone part is double hard when you’ve been left for someone else, but I do know it would be best to not run out and date just to make myself feel better. Not fair to the poor guy either. Still…

    TC – Injuries don’t seem to heal like they used to, but I adapt, try to find smarter ways of doing things. I love your honesty about non-healing wounds. They do shape who we are but hopefully, in some good ways.

  5. I didn’t tell anyone but my husband, but I fell on the ice the other day, a potentially catastrophic thing. I guess that I was luckier than you. The meat on my hip absorbed the fall, and my neck didn’t hurt at all. Thank goodness for small favors. I hope that your aches and pains vanish, and that you find some spring in your step.

    I like the “Word of Knowledge” description. It fits you really well and is usually not seen as a positive in the religions that I’ve been part of. But, it suits you, with your inquisitiveness.

    Your poem is very expressive, if a tiny bit depressing. But, if that’s how you feel, then that’s what should come out in your writing. And, you are quite a writer!

  6. Sweet Maery Rose, so sorry about your fall. The above ideas are great for moving your feed. I have a 4-wheeled wheelbarrow I use all the time. I have even poured feed in large buckets so I can handle it better. Girl, 50lb feed bags are just to taxing on your shoulders. The spikes that strap onto your shoes work very well on the ice and there not very expensive. Ice sucks!

    Hon, I’ve said this before but you really need to heal your emotions and be whole yourself before you can completely give yourself to another. Don’t put yourself down, your listening to those voices from the past. I’ve seen how beautiful you are on the outside and also on the inside through your blog. You have a lot to offer so please don’t sell yourself short.

    As far as gifts and talents go I firmly believe that one’s talents are a gift from God and they are your gifts. Some gifts are stronger that others so those are the ones you should concentrate on.

    You are worthy of the love of Jesus, your dreams of a loving marriage and the life you long to create. You ARE a child of the King and baby it just doesn’t get any better than that.

    I apologize for the length but you are special and unique and worthy of all the love your desire. God bless and take care my friend.

  7. KB – Boy, I’m so glad you are alright! I do love learning things. If I could afford to go back to college, I surely would. And yes, churches generally want you to accept things without questioning. If something doesn’t make sense, I just can’t My son is gay so there are some things in the bible I just refuse to take literally. There are many ways to interpret what is said, especially in the context of the historical times.

    Too sweet for words Nezzy – I love long comments so don’t apologize. Wheelbarrows don’t work so hot in the winter but I do use them the rest of the year. Sure wish my tires wouldn’t keep going flat. Tried Walmart today and still no flat, plastic sled like the ones I know people are talking about. Just some fancy shmancy thing for $30. I wonder if a plain old drugstore would have them.

    I know I need to quit wanting to slap my life all back in place again. It’s not going to be the same no matter how hard I try. I just want to figure out where I belong.

  8. Hi Maery,
    I just wanted to send a big hug your way…I’m sure you could use one right about now.

    Falling on ice sucks (I love my yaktrax!) and I totally understand why you would feel vulnerable living alone right now, especially after all you’ve been through.

    I know you are just working a lot of your grief and sadness out with words and I think it’s a good thing. We all understand that some days you’ll be more blue than others and I feel like I get to know you a little better through your honest words. Thank you for sharing your true feelings with us.

    Hoping you get some good weather for skijoring this weekend…it’ll do your heart a lot of good!

    Thinking of you!

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