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.