My husband is an extraordinary person. He is kind, patient, gentle, loving, and unbelievably good at his work. I do not use the word “job” because that is not what it is to him- or to me.
He works- a lot. Few people really understand or appreciate how much he is at the hospital and how little he is at home. Fewer people know what it is like to have a spouse be in this career and those that do, understand how precious it is to have time together.
These things that I say are not meant to be a flag raised to let the pity party know that we are over here; they are said to lay the groundwork for this statement:
“Of a great comfort.”
Husband cannot bring his work home with him. What happens at the hospital, no matter how close it is to me or our family has to stay At The Hospital. HIPAA is a law and it is one that he takes very seriously. Anything I learn about Husband and his work comes from patients that approach me.
Sometimes they do.
Once, a grandfather from South Carolina approached me at McDonald’s and asked, “Are you Dr. Cagle’s wife?” Yes….. yes, I am. “I saw you talking to him yesterday. I just want you to know your husband is The Man!” I like to think so, too. Thanks!
The other day I saw some family members of one of his patients; they knew who I was, but I did not know who they were to my husband, a patient’s family. They, as a whole, grandparents and uncle, started asking questions about Husband and his future in medicine. The grandmother looked at me, square in the eye, and said, “When ___ was in the hospital for so long, Will was a great comfort to us.”
My heart sang. All those nights alone in our home, all those weekends when our friends were leaving for the football game or the beach without us, all those times eating at a table for one, all those times… all those times are meaningless because my husband was a great comfort to this family that needed him.
He was not wonderful. He was not fantastic. He was not amazing. He was something so much more—he was a comfort. And then they told ME.
I know my husband has something that pulls at him, a calling that has been calling him since he was quite young. He saves lives. And if he cannot save them, he makes them comfortable for the journey. All of them- family included. I put him on a pedestal because he deserves to be.
This life we lead together can be difficult at times, but it is a rewarding one.