Kidney Stones and Halibut Bones

A few days ago, I woke up to a text from my husband. A single word: HELP.

The kids and I were at my parents' house while he spent the week working on our house to get it ready to sell, and my first thought was that he was talking about the overwhelming amount of work to be wrapped up before we listed the house.

I called him, only to get a rushed explanation that he was having extreme abdominal pains and had just driven himself to the ER (which is a whole other issue).

I ditched my kids with my terrified dad, and booked my cookies the two hours back to DC with visions of all kinds of crazy possibilities running through my mind.

When I walked into his room in the ER, it was one of those moments I could never have imagined. My husband is one of those strong, stoic guys. I could literally see the fear and loneliness melt away the moment he saw me, and it was staggering to see him so vulnerable. I realized in that moment just how critical our support is to each other.

My husband and I have had a rough few months. His company suddenly pulled him in to rescue an account and took him back on the road full time... the week before I had our second baby.

This left me alone with a brand new baby that ate every hour and cried incessantly whenever he wasn't eating, thanks to undiagnosed acid reflux. A toddler that was acting up because the baby kept her up all night and took all my attention. A special needs dog (long story) that was acting up by peeing all over the place. And a growing frustration and irritation with my husband that wasn't fair, but I was hardly thinking rationally in my sleep deprived haze.

This perfect storm of events had conspired to wedge space between us. We weren't bad, but we certainly weren't great either. And it wasn't until I saw him in that hospital bed that I realized how bereft I would have been if it had been something more severe.

After nearly 13 years of marriage, several huge life changes and two kids, you wouldn't think it would take something quite so extreme as an ER visit to remind us of how important we are to each other. But it did just that. I am secretly a little happy that we were forced to take a little break from everything and spend a few days focused only on each other. No kids, no job, just the two of us. And a kidney stone. And gall stones. And an infected gallbladder. And heavy narcotics... for him. But most importantly, the two of us.

I hope that going forward, we do a better job of remembering just how important we are to one another. Not because we help each other wrangle the kids or because we have been through so much together, but because we are a part of each other.

It's easy to take your partner for granted, but critical that you take a step back every once in a while and remember why they are such a critical part of your life. Because you never know when that last text may come, but if you choose to live each day taking the time to really appreciate and enjoy one another, then you will survive the rough patches in one piece and be there to enjoy the good times. Like after the doctor has slipped your husband another dose of narcotic and he is walking around with crazy hair and a bare "back" hanging out :-)

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