To My Spouse, Who Also Became My Caregiver
Thank you. I cannot say this enough. I say it every day, sometimes multiple times a day. I try to say it instead of apologizing, but if I’m being honest we both know I say “I’m sorry” about as many times as “thank you.” But seriously. Thank you. I wish there was something else I could say, something I could do, anything, everything, because you deserve everything, and just saying “thank you” over and over doesn’t feel like enough.
Everybody has their “baggage,” everybody has their struggles, and if the situation was reversed I would have absolutely no hesitation to choose do what you’ve done for me and then some, because I love you and you mean everything to me. My struggle, my baggage, just happens to be my health. Some days it’s OK. Some days we don’t really even have to acknowledge it. Some days we can have 100 percent “normal” dates and dinner conversations where it never comes up. Other days, not so much, and that’s where the “thank you” comes in.
Thank you for being patient.
Thank you for being understanding.
Thank you for being flexible.
Thank you for being supportive.
Thank you for being my advocate.
Thank you for asking me what I need.
Thank you for taking control when I need it.
Thank you for being there.
Thank you for pushing me.
Thank you for letting me rest.
Thank you for picking up my slack.
Thank you for your hard work.
Thank you for your sleepless nights.
Thank you for your strength.
Thank you for letting me cry.
Thank you for letting me feel sorry for myself.
Thank you for not making fun of me. Thank you for trusting me.
Thank you for loving me.
You’ve seen me at my worst, my most vulnerable. You’ve seen me so depressed I don’t speak all day. You’ve seen me so anxious I can’t eat and held me while I panicked. You’ve seen me cry myself to sleep from pain. You’ve watched me whimper and scream from pain and lack of sleep. You’ve showered me, dressed me, given me meds and applied bandages. You’ve picked me up off the floor after I’ve fallen.
You’ve changed plans at the very last second because I got sick or hurt. You’ve washed my clothes, fed and walked my dogs, driven me to countless appointments, and held my hand when I’ve been stuck like a pincushion. You’ve driven in the middle of the night to pick up whatever random food I feel like I can stomach. You’ve lost sleep to make sure I’m taken care of and to take me to the ER. You’ve carried my “bag” which is really just my security blanket full of things I just might need (but almost never do need).
You’ve asked people to turn down music and TVs and lights for me. You’ve defended me or helped me make a gracious exit when we need to get out of a situation. You’ve spent our money on my medical necessities instead of yourself.
You have done so much, sacrificed so much, for me and words truly cannot express how grateful I am. You have moved mountains for me, and I appreciate it more than you will ever understand. I feel like you’ve taken on more than the average person would when you chose me as your spouse, and I feel guilty about it, which is why I will struggle to not say “I’m sorry.” But I will also always say “thank you,” because I have to make sure you know I see you, I know what you do and it doesn’t go unappreciated.
I hope you feel confident that when the time comes for you to need me, I will do absolutely everything in my power to make you feel as loved and taken care of as you make me feel.
Getty image by Jacob Lund.