It’s been a long haul of exercises this spring, but finally, FINALLY, Matt is home to stay.
Yesterday felt a lot like the day I came home from the hospital after the accident. My physical therapist and occupational therapist escorted me to make sure I could manage getting up the stairs to our second floor condo, and then up the stairs again to the second floor. They checked to make sure my detachable handle on the bathtub was installed properly, that the bath seat was an appropriate height, and that I could get in and out of bed. After they approved my stay, they left and, for what felt like the first time in my whole life, I relaxed. I made it up to my bed and snuggled in for the longest nap ever. It was glorious. And when I woke up, Matt was lying beside me, grinning. I had finally made it home to sleep beside him.
I imagine that this feeling is similar to the one that Matt has when he arrives back from the field. Though I did not have to sleep in a tent or poop in the woods, I did have to put up with nurses and two courses of antibiotics for the diseases I caught while hospitalized. Though I wasn’t living on rations, I was living on hospital food. And though I could see my husband and speak to him unlike his absense, we still did not get to hold one another until that homecoming.
Everything I worked towards while I was in recovery, every step I took and squat I did and wobbly moment I had was all work-up training to go home. Every single day I fought a thousand little fights and won, building my stength and courage up for the risky business of living away from immediate medical attention. I pushed myself until I couldn’t push myself any farther. Despite all my setbacks, I persevered. And the reward, that glorious nap in my own bed, the waking up in my husband’s arms: it was all worth it.
When I woke up this morning, I couldn’t stop staring at Matt. I imagine that’s how he felt too, like I would disappear if he blinked. You don’t realize how incomplete you are until the one you love isn’t there, even temporarily. Today, when I stretched and snuggled in closer, I was whole once again.