If you know me or my family personally, or at least on Facebook, you may be aware that my husband, Kelly, has been pretty much down for the count for the better part of two weeks. He somehow severely injured his knee. We honestly have no idea what happened – one day he had a little bit of soreness, the next he was using a cane, the next he was on crutches. A first visit to a doctor, followed by a referral to an orthopedic surgeon, have thus far led to no answers. X-ray showed nothing, and an MRI is scheduled for Tuesday. I’ve watched this husband of mine, who prior to this hasn’t taken a sick day in years, be out of work for about five days, and then only go back because he had too much work to do, not because he felt better. Thankfully he is able to do a fair amount of work from home, and he has a gazillion sick days saved up, but still…it’s been a trying time.
Because The Year of Blogging Faithfully is all about my honest take on the journey that God is leading me and my family on, I’m going to be perfectly honest: I’m used to being the patient, and I prefer it that way. I don’t like being the caretaker. Since Kelly and I married in 2001, I have had two babies, two cancers, a hysterectomy, an appendectomy, a tonsillectomy, a thyroidectomy, and all four wisdom teeth surgically removed. Kelly, as I’ve mentioned, is never sick. He has taken care of me with patience, love, understanding, tenderness, and strength…over and over again. And that’s been it. I’ve never really been called upon to return the favor. In sickness has been me, and in health has been him. Until now.
If this had happened three months ago, or, even worse, three years ago, it would have been a disaster for all involved. The woman I was until recently would have been completely on the edge of losing it at all times. I would have run screaming for the hills (and straight towards a sushi dinner which I would have believed I had earned) after the second time I had to run up and down the stairs to get something for him.
I really don’t believe I was a bad person, and now I’m a good person. It’s not that simple. I love my husband more than anyone else on earth, and I felt the same way three months ago. And three years ago. I want to be his helper. I’ve always wanted to be his helper. His partner. And I think I have been. He and I make a pretty amazing team, honestly. We always have. But a large part of what makes us such an amazing team is the way his strengths correspond with my weaknesses, and vice versa. He is the world’s greatest caretaker, and I have been known to be a pretty incredible patient. See what I mean? He thinks things through while I go with my gut. He naturally and instinctively pinches pennies (even before pinching pennies was so important for us!) while I believe it is sinful to not invest in a new designer purse every few months. (By the way…thank goodness for the thrift store my sister found which doesn’t seem to know what it’s got. Seriously. I have a Kate Spade in near-perfect condition which she got for about the price of the gas used to get there. Amazing.) We’re a perfectly-designed, uniquely-fitted duo which never would have made sense on paper. I’m so grateful God doesn’t make lists of pros and cons when He makes plans.
But now the shoe is on the other foot. I am the caretaker. And it’s amazing how God has changed my heart. Don’t get me wrong: I always would have done whatever I could to help my husband in this sort of situation. But I would have grumbled. A lot. I would have been cranky. I’m not proud of that, but I’m being honest. God has changed my heart.
I feel so blessed that I am gainfully unemployed, so that I can be home to be his nurse, his chauffeur, his errand boy, his chef, his cleaning lady (well, okay…maybe not that one), and whatever else he needs. I’m not boasting here. Not at all. In fact, I can’t imagine being filled with more humility than I currently am. Because I know who I was, and I know who I am now, and though the foundations may remain the same, there are marked differences. Differences for which I claim no responsibility.
Differences which I am proud to say are souvenirs from the journey.