It could always be worse.
A family of six were camping deep in the woods near the base of Mount Assiniboine on the great divide, separating British Columbia from Alberta. It was mid-Autumn and the heat was still rampant. They had wanted to stay a week, to get away, unplug and just enjoy the quiet of nature’s subtle embrace. Weeks later, the remains of five of them hit the news like a fresh can of paint, splattering the headlines in similar fashion to how the scene looked when they were discovered. A mess of limbs, clothing and blood strewn over a quarter mile radius, and way up near the tip of a fifty five foot Larch tree was the eldest child Damon. Catatonic to this day, only Damon knows what happened that gruesome evening and no one else ever will. But hey, it could always be worse. A rabbit could have run out on the highway on their way to the campsite and all six could have perished into a lake.
A local man was one day fishing off the bank of a quiet river in sleepy Youngstown, Ohio when he noticed what looked like two toddlers sitting on a makeshift raft, floating in front of him, screaming their little hearts out. As the craft neared, his fear was realized and with the adrenaline of a hundred skinny men, he dove into the flowing water and swam desparately towards them. His arms flailing and feet kicking wildly, it dawned on him that he had never actually learned how to swim. Gasping for air, between going under and barely resurfacing, the old mans finger tips brushed the side of the raft, causing its trajectory to float towards rivers edge. Those two young twins, faces bloated with the residue of hot tears, turned around to no longer see the man that tried his best to save them. As they climbed onto land, they blew a kiss in his direction before seeking someone to help them. Hey, it could always have been worse. The displaced shark that the man was trying to catch could have easily eaten all three of them.
A young woman named Dorothy Robinson, not to be confused with Dotti Robinson aka “the velvet shuttlebug” infamous many years ago, woke up late one Wednesday morning. Her new husband, Dennis, had let her sleep in as he knew his pregnant wife needed extra rest and so he left for work. What he also left, unbeknowst to sweet Dorothy, was a small pool of oily milk on the ceramic tile in front of the counter. His milk was oily because since childhood, he would have a tablespoon of Canola oil mixed with his milk for his cereal. He was in a rush to leave since tapping the snooze button once too many times himself and in doing so, his wrist locked up and milk splashed out of the bowl. As Dorothy, now eight months pregnant, walked into the kitchen something seemed off. She stepped toward the fridge and peered inside, selecting a gallon jug of milk. As the fridge swung shut, her foot hit the puddle of milk Dennis had left for her. At that exact moment, deep in fast moving traffic, Dennis considered what he had done and in a panic to prevent his wife from hurting herself or the baby, he put his head down in search of his cell phone. His Isuzu crossed the middle line and just as he looked up, with phone in hand, a black Hummer plowed straight into him, crushing his car and trapping him inside, bones broken and covered in blood. Dorothy, on the other hand, was a toe-to-heel kind of walker and when her big toe splashed into the now warm milk, she quickly side stepped, dropping the milk jug. The home phone startled her and she reached to grab it, as cold milk poured all over. It was Dennis, calling to warn her of the milk spill. She assured him she averted it then proceeded to ask how his day was going. Between labored breaths, hunched up in a ball and bleeding profusely he replied “I’ve been better.” But hey, it could always be worse. She could have hung up the phone and then slipped on the milk which was now everywhere and still oily, crushing the baby and herself drowning face down in greasy milk. And maybe she did.