if only

Little did I know that my life was going to change so dramatically when i got up this morning.The toast burnt ,but that was par for the course ,I have been meaning to fix the toaster for the last month.But life is so busy there are a dozen or so jobs i had been meaning to do but have never found the time to do them.
Gathering up my papers and briefcase i was already chanelling out the sounds of the kids getting ready for school and the incessant nagging of my wife which i normally fobbed off with the ubiquitous "yes dear".
You have to understand, my company is looking to make staff cut backs so I always have to be ahead of the game , of course a  family breakfast would be nice and time to spend with the wife ,but needs must and if we want maintain the comfortable lifestyle we currently enjoy ,sacrifices have to be made.
My mind is already in the office by the time i walk out the door, the crucial presentation which could determine whether i am going to be for the axe or not playing on my mind,i absently kiss the air and block out my wifes sigh of frustration. "yes dear" i say, as i fail to catch what she shouts after me as i pull off down the drive, my head already caught up with projections and statistics.
Now I'm a careful driver always stick to the limit and am very aware of my surroundings,I think its because my parents were killed when they were broadsided by a lorry on their way home one night.
So my mind was fully on the road as I transversed the tricky twists and turns of the mountain track I have to navigate each morning before i join the rat run of the M25. Out of no where a fox appears , darting out of the surrounding hedgerow straight into the path of my approaching wheels
I slam on the brakes ,nothing gives i hurtle onwards missing the fox by inches , fortunately I am going slow so i don't worry too much about crashing into the trees surrounding me, then terror strikes ,the intersection is just ahead where the track meets the road, which incidentaly this time of day is chock a block with commuters like my self scurrying to work. I have to make a split second decision, do i hurtle forward and maybe kill myself and any number of people ,or do i try to control the situation and try to minimize the damage. I swerve the car inwards and bounce off the muddy banks jack knifing side ways across the track.wheels spinning and screeching in protest.I brace my self for impact as the car turns and lands on its side in the ditch which runs along the side .
I  lay there ,waiting for rescue, i cant feel my left leg , i vaguely remember through the pain the sound of a twig snapping and realize in horror that that was the bone. I pray to which ever god will listen, for help. Just before i pass out i hear the reassuring ring of the emergency services sirens.........then nothing.

I never made the presentation ,and i was one of the ones who was axed but for different reasons than i could ever imagine, being paralysed from the neck down is hardly conducive to a cut throat business environment. I have had a lot of time to assess that day, if only i had listened, taken the time to show some interest in what was going on around me ,then i would have heard my wife asking if i had sorted out the brakes ( another thing on my to do list) and with my absent minded "Yes dear" she had gone blithley into the house, thinking that everything would be ok.

The house has to be sold know, with only one income and copious medical expenses we cannot afford to maintain it any more. But the one thing i have learned from all this is that so many things we take for granted, our families ,quality of life....and not from what we have aquired over the years but the things we always assume will always be there  .In time some modicum of normality might return ,but it will be a hard slog.

The End

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