I was not prepared for this role.
Not emotionally. Not in practice.
I often don’t even know what questions I should ask.
But that will never stop me.
I don’t flinch when conversations start with things like
“When I was blown up….”
I may not have formal medical training,
But I can probably change IV bags, wound bandages,
And administer shots.
I pass on updates to loved ones
Before I can even process what information I’m given.
I lost many friends.
Some were “jealous” of the attention my Warrior gets.
Some thought “wounded husband” was a contagious disease.
In the wounded…I found family, not just friendship.
I hold our children close at night in bed
And answer questions about war and terrorism
That no child should ever have to ask.
I grip the kitchen counter, white knuckled, as he makes his own sandwich.
Sometimes I have to do something for him,
But I know when it benefits him more to do something himself.
I looked on in wonder as he took his first steps as a new man.
I looked on in fear after that as his gaunt body looked ready to crumble.
When the muscle and weight came back, and he needed new dress blues
I cried tears of joy.
I cry. A. Lot.
Even months and years later.
But only when he is asleep.
I am territorial of my Warrior.
I am a walking medical library and pharmacy.
I try not to finish his sentences.
He needs to recall the lost word himself.
During the fight for proper care, with each set back,
I give myself one night.
To cry, to eat ice cream. To disconnect.
Then I get back up.
And I fight. For him. For all of them.
I hold people accountable.
Especially when he is unable to.
I often feel a fire within
Causing me to boldly speak for the Voiceless.
Fear of public speaking dissolves as I approach
General Officers and request better support of the wounded.
I see the blessings in every Friday night pizza
and the chance to bicker over toppings.
I also am painfully aware of the things we’ve lost.
But that’s not what I chose to set my mind to.
I am not bitter.
I know that to live with anger and hatred means
They have won.
I will NOT let the enemy win.
Not in my Warrior.
Not in my home.
Not in my heart.