Recently, thanks to a fellow wife of a quadriplegic, I've been introduced to a whole new circle of caretakers and quad spouses.
Maybe this is why going to AA helps, or any support group for that matter. Talking and sharing and feeling through stories that are similar. They get it. You feel less alone in this crazy, wack world.
A woman who lives in the state of Washington somehow got a hold of my CaringBridge blog for Jimmy. She started emailing me with ideas, tips and words of encouragement. She had been there. She was on the other side waving me through. We became friends on Facebook and then she included me in some groups in which have paved the way for me to find some incredible blogs.
One blog I found was that of a chica who lives in Virginia Beach. I was immediately drawn to her and her writing. In common we have: husbands with spinal cord injuries, blogs -- and -- TV news. Bang. She's an executive producer. Very similar to what I used to do in my old news life.
Her name is Dana Brown Ritter and her blog is called Love Like This Life. Both Dana and her husband, Mike, post to the site regularly. Dana recently published an eBook (my hero) and I bought it about a week ago.
It's based off one of her most popular blogs called "We Are" and is dedicated to her fellow quad wives or SCI sisters.
Although there are some differences with our husbands (Mike uses his arms to push his manual wheelchair, Jimmy uses a sip and puff straw to drive his chair) the message is the same and it's incredible to read about some of the stuff they experience together.
It's an amazing, amazing little body of words.
Here's just some of why this blog grabbed me and hugged me harder than most humans could. I picked my favorite parts.
We are the wives of quads
... we may have survived the scariest thing of our lives -- almost losing the men we love, but getting them back this way.
... we may or may not also put our hot or cold feet on those hot or cold legs in order to warm up or cool down.
... we may or may not put our husband's arms around ourselves, if we have to.
Because the very beginning of the day, and the very end of the day, that's the only chance we have to be really close... without any titanium or rubber or aluminum between us.
We don't get to walk hand in hand with our husband's on the beach. Or sit on their shoulders in the pool. Some of us don't even get to ride beside them in the car.
We can clean up any kind of bodily produce imaginable. Without breathing. We do more laundry than anyone else you know.
We are landscapers, maids and mechanics.
We are drivers and nurses and wheelchair repairmen.
... we are taken care of too. We are deeply loved.
We are part of a team.
And sometimes, despite the hard work and frustrations, we are thankful that we are forced to love this way, because we are also loved this way.
Fantastic, right? You can buy Dana's eBook HERE.
So happy I stumbled upon this world of women. I have never felt more comforted by complete strangers.