The Tumble

It could have been so much worse. I know that.

“I’m not at work yet,” MEH (My Engineer Husband) said first thing when he called this morning. MEH rides his bike to work. He’s lucky—he works in the same small town we live in, and it takes him about ten minutes to ride to work.
“I took a tumble…my bike hit some black ice. And I landed on my back,” he said.

“I’m on my way,” I said.

“No. I’m fine. I was lucky.”

MEH didn’t want me to come. Even though his bike couldn’t be ridden, even though he landed on his back, even though (unbeknownst to him until I got there) he had a cut on the bridge of his nose where his glasses dug into it. But I had to go.

When I saw him in the bank parking lot he was hobbling. I wanted to take him to the doctor—his wrist hurt and his back hurt more—but he wouldn’t go. “Just take me to work.” Cheerfully.

I loaded the bike into the back of the car. He wanted to do it but I wouldn’t let him. He groaned as he got into the front seat. I asked if he had some Advil at work.

“I hope my bananas are okay.” MEH had taken two bananas in his pack for breakfast (what did you think I meant?). He opened his backpack to check. “And my pens.” Of course MEH would worry about his pens, he loves pens.

We drove the two blocks to where he works, and on the way, MEH examined his helmet. “I’ll tell you, I was glad I had this thing on—my head hit the pavement hard when I flipped over those handlebars.”

I shuddered.

After MEH painfully got out of the car, he tried to make me laugh by waving to me with his injured hand by holding it and shaking it with his uninjured one. MEH’s like that: he always says his day is better if he can make me laugh—even when he’s hurting.

As he limped into the building, I couldn’t help but think again—like I do every single day—that I’m the lucky one. It could have been so much worse.



  1. “He always says his day is better if he can make me laugh.” LOVE that. Totally made me smile. As for helmets, after I saw my (at the time) 12-year-old son, who was racing with another girl at a block party, flip over and slam his helmeted head into the ground and then get up as if nothing happened, I am a big fan. Glad everyone’s safe!!

    • I’m glad it made you smile, Dina 🙂 We laugh a LOT! I’m a big fan of helmets, too, and I’m pretty amazed what they can protect us from (that’s a terrifying story about your son. Wow, scary!)

  2. Erika Marks says:

    Oh poor MEH! I am so relieved for you both that he is alright, but I know well that panicked drive to get to him (my hubby is a cyclist with a few of these stories) and there is nothing like one of these moments to make us take a deep breath, just as you have done, and count our blessings. One can never do that enough, my friend, can we?

  3. Aww…. what a wonderfully sweet, short love story (SO sorry to hear about MEH and the fall). You had me laughing my ass off at the “what did you think I meant?” comment regarding the bananas. And the pens. Sounds like MEH has quite a sense of humor; I hope he heals quickly. You sound like a great pair – so compassionate with one another.

    • As soon as he made the comment about the bananas I said: “You do realize that’s going in the blog…” Of course I’d already taken the pic for the post anyway. Yes, MEH does have quite the sense of humor and we do have lots of fun 🙂 Glad you enjoyed it, Melissa!

  4. Alison says:

    Glad his bananas were okay! I meant that literally and figuratively speaking. LOL Seriously, Glad MEH was not badly injured. Otherwise, you’d have to get you a new MEH…or maybe even a HFWNTN (Hot Fireman Wearing Next To Nothing). They were helmets, too, you know? 🙂 Love the humor you shared with us today…started my day off right! Thanks for that!

    • Glad to have given you a laugh, Alison! I agree, it’s a great way to start the day. (And I agree, thank goodness he wasn’t badly injured!!) Thank you so much for your comment and your visit to my blog!

  5. What a relief that he was okay! And what a delight to spend your life with a person who can make light of trouble. A sense of humor is the best tool!

  6. I’m glad he’s relatively okay, but I hope he gets things checked out anyway. In my experience, men are really good at denying that they might need a little healing. (Coming from the woman whose husband insisted on going back to work after he broke his ribs at work, grrrr).

    Stay safe.

    • You read my mind, Lisa… and I already told him that if he doesn’t feel better I will be taking him to the doc! (Yikes, scary to think of the broken ribs being untended to… same with a broken wrist!) Thanks, Lisa!

  7. Oh, poor guy! Hope he is okay. And definitely glad it was not worse…for both of you.

  8. Julie Luek says:

    Oh, I’m so glad he’s OK. I live in an active biking community and even though our roads are well-lined with bike lanes, it is a mountain community. The chance of hitting black ice or a loose rock is high. Helmets, helmets, helmets. Yes.

  9. Oh no, that’s horrible. So glad he was wearing his helmet. A neighbor of mine fell off a bike she was riding in England, hit her head and almost died. And this was a leisurely bike ride. She is still recovering all her memory. I bet he will be a little sore. And black ice? It’s supposed to be 75 here today. Almost too warm.

    • It was horrible, Jamie… and we were both grateful for the helmet. Your story about your neighbor is exactly why I had to drive to pick up MEH — I just had to lay my eyes on him. I know I made light of it here, but I was plenty scared! Here’s hoping for cooler weather for you (and believe it or not, after the ice this morning, we’re headed for the mid-50s!).

  10. Barb Riley says:

    Eek! Black ice? Isn’t there a certain temperature when he says, “okay, done with the bike for the winter…” ?

    My husband rides a motorcycle and his former job was inspecting roofs! I can’t tell you how many times there have been close calls, and, like you, it immediately snaps what’s important into focus. So glad MEH’s fall wasn’t worse, and it warms my heart to know you two are there for each other during times of emergency. Hooray for helmets!

    • I’m sure you’ll understand when I say that I’ve been saying “okay done with the bike” for about three weeks now. When I mentioned it to MEH this morning (after the accident) he said: “You didn’t say it this morning…” Now the bike is out of commission so no problem. But regardless of how or why it happened, as you say, it snapped what was important into focus. Thanks for your support Barb (and inspecting roofs after getting there on a motorcycle? EEK!).

  11. Wow, this was dangerously close to flashback territory, for me. My husband (before he was my husband) had a similar bike accident when I was going to school in Austin. His front tire caught something on the sidewalk next to a major road — on his way to the first day at a new job — and he flipped, breaking his elbow. It swelled to the size of a softball. Would you believe he still walked in to work to tell them what happened? He ended up with a 6-inch titanium plate in his elbow, but I felt very lucky he didn’t break his skull or end up in the busy road.

    • What a scary story, Annie! I know exactly what you mean…. I feel very lucky that MEH didn’t break his skull, too. Although the places he hurts most (now that he’s had a chance to assess his injuries) are his elbow, his wrist, and his back. Glad your husband, and mine too, is okay!

  12. SO glad that MEH’s safe! E used to ride his bike to school when we lived in our last place (it was less than 2 miles away) but it always worried me because he had to cross a highway. I can’t imagine how worried (and relieved) you must have been. I’m glad that MEH managed to keep his sense of humor and bananas intact through all of it!

    • MEH’s sense of humor is always intact… I think if he lost that, I’d know something was really wrong. It’s so nice to have the support of all my blogging friends. I asked MEH if he was upset I’d blogged about it, and his comment: “You know me; I love the attention.” 🙂

  13. Ann says:

    How Scary! I’m SO glad that MEH is okay….he is okay, right?! I’m sure he’ll be sore for a few days, but you have a keeper!

    BTW, did his bananas and pens make it?

  14. It’s must have been the longest ride for you until you could get to him.
    MEH is quite a guy! I’m glad he’s okay. Hope he gives in and lets you take him to the doctor.

  15. Oh my gosh! He must be so sore today. Is he up and moving? I’m cringing for him.

    • Cringing is the right word… yes, he’s up and moving, and we’re about to go and walk the dog. But he’s also very sore! It’s a slow morning but he’s okay, thank goodness!

  16. So glad MEH is okay! He sounds like such the sweet man. Glad you are all right, too. I think sometimes it’s harder on us when our loved ones take a tumble! Xxoo

  17. Nina says:

    Oy! I don’t want to hear the words “MEH” and “accident” in the same breath. Ever.

    • Thank you, NIna. Me neither. He’s home from work today, still in a lot of pain — and it’s weird not seeing him being his usual cheerful self… he’ll be back in the game soon (but no more biking for a while!).

  18. Lisa Ahn says:

    I’m so, so glad he’s okay, and I’m very glad he had a helmet on. I hope all the aches go away soon.

  19. Awwww, YEH (Your Engineer Husband!) is so lovely. Bless him! And as you are so lovely too, I think you are both very lucky to have each other. Hope he’s okay and his back and nose have healed xo