Last Friday my husband came home early from work with a bad stomachache. Our daughter and I had just had a stomach bug that was going around, so we assumed he had the same thing. That is until the middle of the night when he got his appendix removed!
Now, of course this had to happen right before we were leaving for a cross-country car trip. Our first time visiting family for Christmas in seven years. On the day he was signing out on leave for the first time in nine months. What a mess.
He was only in the hospital for a day and a half, but I realized how difficult it was to care for him while also caring for our daughter. She just learned to crawl the week before, so she didn't want to sit in my lap in the hospital room; she wanted to get down and go. I was wrestling her and trying to help my husband to the bathroom and just generally getting frazzled. I ended up having to leave my husband to fend for himself most of the weekend while I took our daughter home to take naps and eat.
I thought about all the families with wounded warriors, families who spend months on end in hospitals, wrangling kids and getting frazzled. I did it for one weekend and I was stressed and out of my element. I can't imagine how they manage. I felt like my heart was split in two over the weekend and I wasn't sure how to prioritize my devotion. I was frustrated and felt like I was being a lousy mother and an even lousier wife. I feel for the spouses who are torn between sitting at their wounded partner's side and taking care of the children and household they also have to maintain. I spent a weekend in their shoes...and I tip my hat to them. I hope they know I am thinking about them this holiday season and marveling at their strength.