A few weeks ago, I was at the beach and I saw a young woman walking with her two little boys and her husband. Her husband was disabled, walking with a cane and appearing to have lost some muscle function in his arms and legs. I keep thinking about the woman and what I would have said to her at the right time, in the right place. This blog post is for that woman, and the other young people who are caring for an ill or disabled spouse, while raising a family.
To The Woman on the Beach:
I see you.
I see you enjoying a day in the sun with your family.
I see you including your husband, who is clearly finding it a challenge to walk in the sand.
I see you take his hand, silently letting him know you are there for him.
I see your little boys, enjoying the sand, seashells and surf like all little boys would at the beach, happily oblivious to what you and he are going through.
I see you trying to make life as normal as you can…for your boys and for your husband.
I see you putting on a happy face, even when you aren’t happy.
I see your concern for the man you love.
I see your heartache and your heartbreak…watching the man you love suffer, wondering what your future will be like, wondering if you will someday be alone.
I see your worry…worry for your husband and his future, worry for your boys and their future, worry for yourself and your future.
I see your exhaustion.
I see your resentment and your guilt.
I see your loyalty.
I see your commitment.
I see you lying in bed in the wee hours of the night, waiting for the darkness to pass and the light to return.
I see your sadness.
I see you taking one step after another, walking through the storm, hoping that someday there might be sun again.
I see you trying to find happiness wherever you can.
I see you being grateful for all the little things.
I see you wishing for things you may never have.
I see you laughing.
I see your tears, cried silently when you are alone.
I see your appreciation for the moments you have together.
I see you taking care of everyone’s every day needs, while putting your own aside.
I see you wishing you could have time to yourself.
I see you keep going even when you think you can’t.
I saw you on the beach that day. I saw you, and I want you to know, I understand.
I am always aware of the gifts you give to me and the children every day….. I see you…. The real you.. And I love her more and more each day…..I wish I could give you everything you dreamt of as a little girl…… I’m sorry…. I will continue on because of you… my rock, my inspiration, my one and only Love!!!
That comment was actually written by my husband. Thank you, Dave! I love you, too.
Oops I used the wrong account to comment. I mean every word though….
You guys are an inspiration! Just remember you have family here to help!
Beautifully said Renee! I wish the woman you wrote about could see this too! It gave me tears, reading it through the eyes of one being cared for!
This is amazing Renee. You and Dave are to be admired…. such a strong and beautiful love for eachother. It’s very well written, heartfelt and heart wrenching. I love you both immensely.
Words cannot express how much that is my life. Everyday. You know this life too; it shows in your writing. Totally appreciate your realistic perspective and vibe. That’s all I ever want others to see: this is real. This is how “we” feel and think. Thank you.
As that husband, I relate. I lost most of my arm & legs muscle function in a parachute accident while in the Army. I met my wife years later, and when I started having real problems, she was, and still is, right by my side. She has gone as far as being in the room as I received epidurals in my neck, an event that she finally learned the pain that was involved. She almost passed out, and vowed she’d never do it again because it hurt her seeing me in that much pain and not being able to do anything to help me except hold my hand. She is my rock, my protector (mostly from myself), and is always here for me, in whatever I do. I would be lost without her, I truly would. So, honey if you ever find and read this, know I love and appreciate all you do, and all you are to me and our daughter.
Always and Forever,
Through and Through,
I Love You,