Jean Croker Petke

How’s your week?

How’s your week?

A few weeks ago my son introduced me to a friend at church. We were doing the usual after worship chit chat before going home. She was talking about her busyness at work.

“What kind of work do you do?” I asked.

“I work at a rural clinic,” she said, “that serves people who don’t have regular access to health care.”

“That must be an interesting challenge,” I replied.

“Well, this week, beyond the usual stuff, we only had three chain saw injuries,” she explained.

“Only three?” I asked. “A good week must be no chain saw injuries.”

“Absolutely!” she said.

We all shared a laugh.

And I’ve been thinking about it ever since. Pondering.

Chain saws are not part of my life. Never have been. Never will be. They are dangerous. They cut everything really well — tree limbs and body parts.

But the thought of chain saw injuries provides an interesting, though perhaps gruesome, perspective on my days and weeks.

I’ve heard several things in recent times that can make for difficult weeks:

an injured eye that requires dark glasses at all times and eliminates driving for two weeks

a toddler who’s trying to give up naps, yet has daily meltdowns because she’s tired

a spouse with dementia and other discomforts

a beloved pet’s demise

unrelenting demands from the boss of a reduced staff

too many responsibilities and not enough time

the long expected death of a parent

You have your own “beyond difficult” days and weeks, that repeat, that pile up, that refuse to go away or resolve into a better state. We all have them. That’s life — as they say.

My challenging times are always more difficult and personal to me — than they are to you, as you observe from beyond my space. I appreciate your presence as I walk the path of uneven steps, nearly insurmountable obstacles, and never-ending expectations that I keep going.

Perhaps . . . Perhaps . . . in a quiet moment . . . you could step nearer . . . and say

“At least you have no chain saw injuries today.”

I would look at you like you have three heads. “What? Are you kidding?”

And then we would laugh. Out loud. Belly laughing. Guffawing. Right in the middle of a terrible week.

“You’re right!” I would finally say, after checking my arms and legs. “No chain saw injuries. I think I can make it now.”

We would hug.

You would step back. I would go on.

No chain saw injuries. My week is already better.

Until next Tuesday . . .



8 Comments - Leave a Comment
  • Karen Francis -

    Powerful message. Thanks for sharing. May I add 1 more? Was having dinner one night with some friends and one was complaining that she had just spent $50 to get her nails done and already one was chipped!! Most of her dinner conversation was about this chipped nail. I just listened. I had spent a lot of my day with a young man and his pregnant wife in the clinic where I worked where they had brought him after both of his legs had just been severed just above the knee in a construction accident. But you know what HE kept talking about??? Would he be able to get back to work BEFORE the baby got there because there were going to be a lot of additional expenses with a baby. Guess there are all kinds of “bad weeks”.

  • DeEtta Eberhardt -

    Sure would be nice!!! Now you have figured my life out….too many chainsaw accidents. Think I’ll throw it away.

    • jcpetke -

      DeEtta, just in case you need it, I am giving you permission to get rid of your chain saw. Just sayin’.

  • Sandra Powell Emond -

    What a profound and moving post today, Jean. Once again you write words that I need to hear. Thank you!

    • jcpetke -

      Thanks, Sandra, for reading and commenting and reposting. You are what every blogger wants — an audience that responds!

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