Every now and then I see the scars on his legs and am quickly reminded of that horrible day he was injured. Often, walking the dogs in the evening is too painful for him after a long day’s work. While these moments aren’t a huge deal, they are a slight reminder of where we have been.
At times though, I feel like I am being slapped in the face by his injuries.
A few months ago, we attended a wounded warrior event in West Virginia. We were around people that understood and that is always comforting. At events like this, I am reminded of how far he has come but, at the same time, I sometimes feel he hasn’t progressed as much as I thought. That reality can feel like a giant slap.
During the event, we went to a loud Italian restaurant and were sitting at a double-sided bar so we could fit all the warriors and their spouses at the table. Everyone else was engrossed in conversation but my husband was staring at a football game on TV. He doesn’t even watch football so I knew the noise and conversations were just too much. He wasn’t participating and it feels pretty awkward when he isn’t talking and everyone else is.
All these other guys were doing so well, talking with others. The fact that they are all wounded probably made conversation easier. Bryan, however, was just zoned out. I tried to not focus on it and continued speaking with old and new friends.
He has progressed enough to the point where he can sit in a restaurant, and that is great. Previously, he would have sat there with a look of panic on his face. I am grateful for the progress he has made.
But in those moments of obvious disconnect, when the injuries take over, I am bluntly reminded that our life will never be the same.