(If you need to catch up, the last post in this series can be found right here, along with links to all the previous posts.)
I may have fired off a couple dozen questions at my husband as he wearily drove me to the banking center where I was “training” (<– in reality, I already knew how to work at the bank and I was handling customers all on my own with no difficulty whatsoever; this was a great deal for that banking center as they essentially got a “free” employee.) Anyway, I may have asked a thousand things, but he didn’t have a lot of answers yet.
I was mighty distracted at work that day and they offered to let me leave. Of course, I didn’t have a vehicle, nor did I have a good way of reaching my husband, so it wasn’t really an option. What I remember vividly though is that a woman named Rosalie, whom I had only known for about a week or so, handed me her keys without hesitation and told me to go, be with my family. I didn’t even really know how to get to the hospital, so I politely declined, but I am still struck by how willing she was to give and help– what an incredible example of love.
Anyhow, when my husband picked me up at 6PM, he looked worn and haggard. He asked if I’d be willing to make a quick stop on the way back to the hospital. I said “sure” and we found ourselves at the bar at Applebees. We each had a single drink and he filled me in– my father-in-law had acute pancreatitis. He had also been diagnosed diabetic. And his triglycerides were off the chart. He was going to be in the hospital for at least a few more days.
“We need to check your mom out of the hotel,” I said.
“What? Mom’s fine. She’s staying, of course.”
“Yeah, I figured, but we need to check her out of the hotel and move her stuff to the apartment. She can’t stay there by herself right now. She should be with us.”
We did that and went back to see his dad and I sat on the end of the hospital bed, playing a board game with him. It broke my heart to see him in a hospital bed– why is it that even the strongest among us suddenly look so sad and weak when laid up in a hospital bed?
We stayed as long as we could, and then headed to the apartment. I raced to wash all our bed linens and remake the room so my mother-in-law could stay there.
And then she refused.
It was hard, for all of us, but we did our best. It was a series of long, exhausting days where my husband was looking out for his mom, driving me to and fro to all of my various bank jobs, visiting his dad at the hospital, and trying to research vehicles. I was bouncing all over, rarely home, and trying to focus at work while fretting about everyone else.
We’d been married less than a year and my husband and I were feeling stretched and stressed and so close to becoming disconnected.
We vowed not to let that happen.