Speeding through town, I had just dropped off a kid at football practice. I raced back to the church to drop off another kid, then drove quickly to a soccer practice for a third. At about 7:00, I start to lose my cool. I’m used to my husband being late. But tonight I was frustrated. I sat in the parking lot with two babies, strapped in their seatbelts, fidgeting and whining behind me. I sent a rather mean-spirited text to my husband.
“You said you would be home tonight to help with carpools. Where are you?”
“I’m sorry honey. I just made a grown man cry like a baby. I’m doing my best to hurry.”
You see, my husband is a pediatric hematologist/oncologist.
At that blasted phone.
It was that same phone I stared at months ago after driving with five kids in a freezing Nebraska blizzard to our child’s’ first piano recital. James never came. I had to take the two disruptive little kids out. I missed the performance. I sent a similar frustrated text to my husband.
He responded, “I’m sorry honey. We just got some labs back for a patient. I had to tell his parents that there was nothing more we could do. They are crying. They asked if I could please help them tell their son.”
These are not isolated instances. This is our life. A mom at home trying desperately to save her family. A dad at the hospital trying desperately to save yours.
I continue to stare at the phone. Ashamed at my frustration. Knowing a family needs my husband much more than I. I sit in the parking lot and cry for you. I bow my head as our minivan becomes a sacred altar and I pray for you. And I pray for him. Every night. That he will be inspired how to help you. And your baby. I don’t know who you are. And I never will. But we share something in common. My husband. And your doctor.
He leaves the house before the kids are at school. He misses soccer games, Boy Scouts’ Court of Honors, piano recitals and football practices. We chose this life. And we chose it together. I forgive his absence. And he forgives my frustration.
My husband has two lives. Ours and yours. I’m grateful that he’s mine. And grateful that he’s yours. There’s no one else I’d rather share him with. I think he’s pretty great. And sometimes I really miss him when he’s with you. But I know you need him more.
Jessica Ford blogs at Seven is My Heaven.
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