To the man who is more than his disability,
I know that life hasn’t seemed quite fair lately, you’ve been dealt a bad hand. A crippling disease has seemed to overtake your body, and you are no longer the same person you were just a short while ago.
You went from a hard working man who took such great care of his family to needing us to take care of you in just a matter of months. I know it’s hard. I know you struggle every day as it seems life is passing you by, feeling like your life is over because you will never be the same again physically. As you have bad days that seem unbearable at times, when the pain and hurt are overwhelming, I know the struggle you face.
I struggle too; it’s been a difficult challenge for us both. The truth is, I spent far too long feeling sorry for myself, consumed by a pity party that did neither one of us any good. Wondering why, why us, why this disease, why can’t we catch a break? In the end, I’ve learned a few things, and there’s a few things I want you to know.
I want you to know that I love you.
I love you no matter how much money you are making–or not making.
I love you when the days are hard, and I’m grouchy, and I’m sorry if I get snappy–I don’t mean to. I want to be the best wife to you, I want to show you love unconditionally; I know you’re hurting, I’m hurting too. This new life of ours can be a challenge.
But I know we’ve got this! This is just another thing. Another thing to make us stronger, to show one another how much we care. A thing to bring us even closer together. A thing that will not let break us.
I know the pain you are going through is real. It hurts to see you unable to do the things you once could. It hurts even more to see how much it bothers you when you can no longer do tasks that were so simple just a short while ago.
But I want you to know that, in my eyes, you’re no less of a man because you can no longer work, because you can no longer do all those things you once could, I know you feel that way sometimes–even if you never speak those words aloud.
I know it troubles you when your biggest accomplishment of the day is getting out of bed, I get it. Remember, some days getting out of bed is enough. But I want you to know that I am cheering you on every day and I see the struggles you face and I am on your side, I am here for you.
I am rooting for you.
You are more than your disability. You are a wonderful husband and father, and you are a capable man–you are capable in so many more ways than you can imagine. As we settle into this new foreign life of ours, you’ll see. You’ll discover that your life is not over, that your disability is not going to break you, that you are so much more than the disease that is overtaking your body, that you still have so much to offer the world.
When you’re having a rough day, and it doesn’t seem like there’s much to keep you going, remember that I love you. I love you when you can barely move, when the world seems hazy, when nothing makes sense anymore. When you’re in pain, I’m in pain too.
Even though we don’t know what tomorrow brings, and often time the days can be rough… I want you to know that I am here for you, those vows we took, I meant them. And while I didn’t sign up for most of our marriage to be spent taking care of you, the truth is I will happily do it everyday for the rest of my life.
I love you.
Photo: Flickr/ Peter Kirkeskov Rasmussen