Yesterday, after a three-week paid leave to help me convalesce, my husband returned to work. It was a weird feeling, kind of like when you ride a bike for the first time with the training wheels off.
I can't drive. I'm not supposed to be home alone. I certainly can't juggle the kids alone or miss the all-important naps that I have to take each day. I still have some physical limitations. I'm trying to catch up on my consulting work. I need someone to be here to give me time and space for all these things. And above all, I miss my sweetie when he's not around to buoy me up.
Enter the army of angels from my church - AGAIN! Some started on Monday, my husband's last day at home. They took down our Christmas lights. Took down our tree and carefully packed up all the ornaments. Carefully boxed up all the other Christmas decorations and helped get them moved into the attic. Someone also cleaned the guest bathroom. And someone took home two hampers full of laundry and returned the next day with baskets of clean, folded, and organized clothes.
On that critical first day "alone", I wasn't alone. From the time my husband left until the time he walked in the door, I had angels come to stay with me and help me with the kids, help with the house, or whatever else I needed. One noticed that the light was out in my fridge, and she called her husband to have him pick up a replacement bulb.
Today I had more angels tending children, driving me to a doctor's appointment, cleaning my house, organizing my refrigerator, helping me pick up my son from preschool, watching over things while I napped, and bringing me dinner. It was amazing. I was never alone.
My dad returned home last night after being gone for a while. And my in-laws arrived tonight from the Washington D.C. area to stay with me for two weeks. So I have more help and support to keep me company while I do what I need to do, and while I pine for my husband as he does his best for the employer who provided so many helpful benefits, from affordable healthcare to paid time off when we needed it most.
I keep thinking of the Michael McLean song, which includes (in part):
You're not alone
You are loved in ways that can't be shown
Your needs are known
This is good, because before that, the only song that kept going through my head was the "God Loves a Terrier" song from the movie, Best in Show! (A song that is so obnoxious, it just wouldn't leave my head! But boy, was that a funny movie!)
I was still so excited to see my husband when he walked in the door. Our whole family lights up when he comes home. But so many angels were there to keep me steady until I could be safe with him again.