The other day, HRH and I had an argument. I can’t even remember what it was about. All I can say with certainty is that we spat and hissed and then stomped away from each other. He to work. And me to chauffeur children to school. We did not speak again for the remainder of that chiseled day. Which suited me just fine. Hah. I don’t want to talk to you when you’re being so obnoxious anyway. So there. So there. Instead I resolutely put our squabble out of my mind and plotted a hundred different ways to ignore him when he came home. (Childish much?!)
While I was thus engaged, HRH stopped at a store on his way to work. To buy his usual quota of Diet Coke. ( In case you missed that blog post…we are addicts. We need help. But we’re not willing to get professional help just yet.) HRH greeted the lovely young woman at the counter. The same young woman who always sells him his Diet Coke. She rang up his purchase like she always does. Then he walked out of the shop. On the way, he passed this woman’s husband coming in. The husband was talking to somebody on his cellphone. He was upset with whoever was on the other end of the line. There was profanity. Anger. Tears. Emotional distress. HRH was getting into his car when there was a ruckus from inside the store. The man had thrown the cash register on the floor and was punching his wife over the counter. There was shouting and scuffling. HRH went back in the store. To help. To do something. Anything to soothe a domestic dispute which was seriously out of hand. As HRH stepped foot inside the door, the husband pulled out a 22’ handgun and shot his wife three times. He looked at HRH. Then he put the gun to his head and pulled the trigger.
Just. Like. That.
What would you have done, if you had been there? The wife was not critically injured – only one shot had hit her – in the leg. HRH focused on the husband. He applied first aid, carried the still breathing man to the back of his truck and raced him to the hospital where he died soon after. Then HRH continued on to work. He washed the blood off his legs and arms. Hosed out the back of his truck. And worked for the remainder of the day. Did he freak out? No. Did he call me? No. I found out about the whole thing late that afternoon.
Did I freak out? Yes. Did I call him? Yes. Did I totally and completely forget about our frivolous squabble? Yes. Did I immediately think about how differently that morning could have gone? Yes. So what did do? I got dinner ready for him. BBQ spare ribs. (this was NOT a day for feeding a husband a can of tuna…) Lots of Diet Coke. With ice. I prepped the children to be extra nice to him when he got back. Needless to say, the 101 different ways to give ones husband the silent treatment went out the window. I sat and watched HRH eat his dinner. And thought about stuff. Like –
*How a young woman was feeling, in hospital with a gunshot wound to the leg and without her husband. And all after a ‘domestic’ went terribly wrong. How a troubled young man’s family was feeling as they struggled to deal with their grief and their questions.
* How grateful I was that HRH was alright. Un-shot. Un-wounded. Un-dead. ( okay, that didn’t sound quite right…a bit Twilighty…) But you get my drift?!
*How awful it would have been if something bad had happened to him, and our last words to each other had been spiteful and mean. Talk about endless silent treatment.
I asked HRH what HE was thinking. “ I just wish I could have done something to help that man, I wish I could have stopped him before he shot himself.” And his comment that really got me. “Today I realized, that no matter how stressful life gets, no matter how angry I get at you – it is NEVER bad enough to make that choice to end it all.” Hmmm…okaaay.
I don’t know if there’s a grand point to this entry. Perhaps I’ll leave it unfinished. With its potential un-realized. Thoughts left unvoiced. Words left unsaid. In memory of the young man who inspired it. A young man, who for reasons we will never fully understand, chose to end it all.
Just. Like. That.