15 months of near hell, but I feel pretty good about it all. We have come leaps and bounds from a year ago. I think, though, I had more optimism then. Innocence, maybe? Not knowing just how long and hard this road was going to be? Now I don't count on anything happening on some "normal" timeline and try my damnest to take it one day at a time.
Next year is going to be Year of the ME and not just for me-me, but Aaron's "me" too. We were in the hospital, which was built for people like him. I have been here for him. I have been wrapped up in every aspect of his recovery. I am proud of my abilities as a caregiver, because I didn't know I had it in me. My one-word "about me" is tenacious. I know I can do anything because I have done everything necessary.
However, Aaron and I need to transition. Recovery will be his job and not my life. I will throw myself into school because holy hell, I have got to get my shit together. I have got to take care of myself or I will resent the hell out of everyone and myself if I don't. I want a career, not a job. I want some skills. I want to feel like I am a woman outside of my abilities as a wife and caregiver. I never, ever wanted to be a housewife. I kind of suck at it, actually. And no hate on those who are fine with it and succeed at it- I just haven't gotten to that point where it is on my list of things to be amazing at. I mean, occasionally, I want to master a Martha Stewart recipe, clean the house from top to bottom, and look great doing it. But more important to me is finishing school and starting a career. In my 30s. Awesome. Just what I wanted- a decade late start!
I guess I always thought I would have arrived by 30 but then it came really quickly. I don't feel my age so I guess I didn't notice how arrested my development had been until recently. Later was always a possibility, but now "later" is now and that's that. I'm here. I need to get shit done! Aaron also has his own goals (degree in physics and government work) he needs to get to work on. So here we are... end of another "injury" year, the first full one, and finally in a place where we both can say "ME" and have it not adversely affect what we need to be doing together to move on. The moving on is happening... every second!
But honestly, I have *zero* complaints about my life. I am a lucky, blessed woman and everything that isn't perfect is just a minor, temporary annoyance. I attended a funeral at Arlington this past week for a friend of Aaron's (and many, as the man was a wonderful person and it is not okay that his family lost him), and it really resonated with me that I am living a dream. Every single day I wake up and touch Aaron, even if it's just his back as he snores. We cuddle nearly every morning. Who am I to complain about a damn thing? I am not. This has been a long, hard, hellish journey but that doesn't mean it isn't amazing and beautiful, as well. There is nothing I would rather be doing than standing beside Aaron right now.
And that's all, folks!
(I have not blogged about the funeral and loss because I am speechless over the whole experience. His family hosted everyone at a reception following the burial and could not have been more gracious towards everyone who was there. I only met the soldier once but Aaron and everyone were devastated. I will articulate all this more at a later date. I also feel strongly that it is not my story to tell so that makes writing about it difficult. It's not about me, it's about his family. It's still on my mind every single day and I am just not in a place to work it out.)