Yesterday I spent my entire day at Ft Campbell helping their wounded, ill and injured with a variety of things. My day ended with me speaking at the WTB's Town Hall about our life and what I do with YRF. It went very well. I truly love being able to help the 101st. They have been so great to us and I just love being able to pay our blessings forward. But while I was there, I couldn't help missing it all.
I was actually texting with my hubby when my eyes caught sight of a lot of combat boots. I realized that I really miss those boots tracking mud into my home. I miss the stinky socks that come from them. I miss seeing my hubby in that uniform standing so tall and being an Infantry solider. I miss our Army life.
Trust me no one wants to be a caregiver. It is exhausting. It's actually beyond exhausting, but I don't know the word for that feeling. It doesn't matter what we want, because we are drafted into this.
I find caregivers to be an amazing group of people. I am inspired daily by the caregivers I meet and their stories. We are all so different, but we are all bound by one emotion and that's love.
We stay by our veteran's side because we love them. It is really that simple. The love of my family and knowing God wants me in this role is what gets me through everyday. I know so many feel the exact same way. We get up and are driven by love everyday. We get through all the drama that we cannot avoid, because love sees us through.
No matter how filled with love I am, I cannot help but miss the world I once knew. I miss Chaz's legs. I miss being able to go out to dinner and not worry about if Chaz can get in and out safely. I miss being able to go wherever we wanted without physical limitations. I miss my hubby being able to go play sports in the back yard with our kids. I miss standing hugs. I miss the simplicity of the life I took for granted.
Now before my friends freak out, I am fine. I tell people
all the time you have to take the time to mourn what you've lost.
Catastrophic injuries take a lot away from your life, but it never seems like you can have actual closure. It seems like you deal with it, but without any notice something stirs it all back up again, so there you are dealing with it again. You cannot close the book on catastrophic injuries you have to welcome them into your daily life and you just deal with it.
Every once in a while you have to
sit and acknowledge your losses so you can move on. This is my once in a while. This is my little pity party that needs to be shared.
I have had too many caregivers ask me how to I stay so happy and positive. I have been told multiple times that I really don't have anything to smile about, so why do I smile so much? The truth is I can be the way I am because I have the faith that this is where I am supposed to be. The truth is the love of my family and friends enables me to be so happy and positive. I feel that I now have more than I did before Chaz was hurt. I had a pretty darn good life before Chaz's injuries, but now I know what unconditional love is and that is more valuable than anything you can buy. That unconditional love has made my life so much better.
I also am able to stay happy and positive because every so often I allow myself a little bit of pity. I allow myself to sit and cry and even be mad that my life is now so difficult. And I allow myself to be angry that I didn't truly appreciate what I had before that IED blew up our the life we knew. I allow myself those moments, then I wipe my eyes, blow my nose and move on with my day. I acknowledge those thoughts, but I don't let them win. They get their five seconds of fame and then I tell them to shut the Hell up.
I know my methods my not work for every caregiver, but they work for me. I wish I didn't miss Chaz's legs. But I can't help it, I do. I will always miss them. And when I have these pity party moments I will try to recall the smell of the stinky socks from the feet that came out of those boots that were attached to those legs to help me get through the mourning a little faster.