Jeff and Joe,
We wives could do all this before the paralysis, we were just training you to do it. When my husband and I first got married, I cut the yard in circles, designed the Purdue P in the backyard and got the line all tangled on the weed whacker. My husband said…errr…ummm…I think I’ll cut the grass from now on. I thought good, plan worked.
Then came the accident. We were taking our young sons on vacation. A teenage driver crossed into the oncoming lanes of traffic on the highway. My husband is a C3 quad with a TBI. So yes, I have taken out the trash for 10 years. I have done the lawn for the last 10 years. I’ve essentially raised our 2 sons solo since they were in 1st and 2nd grades. They are now in high school.
I managed to get through student driving with one and the other is coming in 6 months. I have rewired a kitchen dimmer switch. I’ve hauled countless boxes up and down from the attic. I’ve stood on ladders to put Christmas lights on the house. I’ve managed flooded basements, toilets, clogged showers and sinks. I’ve put air in tires, moved furniture, fixed wheelchairs, hospital beds and suction machines. I’ve shoveled snow from the driveway for the last 10 winters. I’ve even chipped up 4 inches of ice using garden tools and a sledge hammer just so my husband could get his wheelchair out to our van. I’ve painted bedrooms, installed a surround sound system and just this week I replace the handle on the toilet. Tonight when I got home from the CVS, I found an opossum in the garage, on top of a curtain rod above the garage window. Now I must learn to play Billy the Exterminator.
10 years ago, I also spent every ounce of my energy helping my husband in rehab for 9 months. I managed a 50K remodel of our house while he was in rehab. I purchased vehicles solo. I got POA and did everything necessary to get him on SSDI, Medicare and retired with full benefits from his employment. I hired a lawyer to recover as much as possible from the accident we were in. I hired nurses, trained them, found doctors and have chewed out more insurance companies and case managers than I care to remember. I also work a full time job in order to provide income and insurance benefits to my family.
And I will tell you that some days I have hidden in my bathroom and cried because I can’t believe that I have taken the trash out and cut the lawn solo for the last 10 years. After a hair raising drive with my teenage son, the tears have flowed because I’m so sad that I have lost my partner. I get choked up too because I’m always the driver and never the passenger with my husband. My heart weeps for what has changed for both myself and my husband. As wives, acceptance for our new role isn’t easy either. I most likely will never get there. But the trash piles up, the grass continues to grow and the snow falls.
I’m sure you both know you are blessed with wonderful wives that are so much more than lawn and garbage detail.