There I sat. Alone…utterly alone, at the bottom of the staircase with dirty laundry on my lap. ‘How did I get here?’ I thought. It was about 10:30pm on a weeknight…a night like any other, except that this particular night I lay motionless at the bottom of the staircase. It was just moments before that I had been scurrying down the stairs to put in a huge load of laundry during a commercial break of a favorite show at the time, SMASH, to be exact. It had been one of my guilty pleasures during a deployment and I did not want to miss a second of it. So, I ran. I ran down the stairs. I ran down the stairs with a heavy basket load of laundry in my arms and there I went….and down I came. SMASH! I heard it break. I heard the sound of breaking bones, snapping on the way down.
At this time, my husband had deployed and as the saying goes with murphy’s law, bad things will always happen when husband leaves. So it was then, back in 2012, when I broke my ankle. I sat there at the base of the staircase as the cats came to console me and sit on my lap. At this point I had yet to see the damage as dirty clothes were everywhere and I honestly couldn't feel a thing. Thank you adrenaline!
So I took a big gulp and you can imagine my surprise when I looked down to find my foot was facing the opposite direction. Oh yes, the horror. I crawled to my phone upstairs and called 911. “But what about work? What about the cats? Who will help me?” I thought. I immediately phoned my local best girlfriend at the time and knew she would be there to help me out.
A firetruck and ambulance of men showed up, about 15 guys raced to the scene....helping me up and even cleaning up my dirty laundry from the staircase (insert humiliated face here).
Now after that, I don't remember much. I was heavily sedated, but my friend solicited other friends to come be by my bedside at the hospital. It was in that instance that I realized how thankful I was for this military spouse family I had around me. They were there for it all, helping with meals, groceries, pharmacy runs, doctor follow ups and the multiple surgeries and physical therapies that followed.
And a friend who, while I was “out of it”, used my cell phone to not only call my husband, who I got to talk to through broken lines, but also call my parents and schedule a flight for them to come see me. On top of that she drove to pick them up at the airport that very next day and took them to the hospital to see me!!!!
My family was thousands of miles away, but my milspo family was right there, by my side. I will never forget their kindness and tender loving care through one of the most difficult hardships I’ve ever had to endure. My ankle breaking was seriously one of the lowest points of my life. Even today, I remind myself how lucky I was to have them. I hope they know how special they are and were at that time and how thankful I am for them everyday. We military spouses, are a special breed and we are a family to the end.
So, to the spouses who helped me (Heather, Lisa, Marie, Bridget and the countless others)…this comes from the deepest, most raw and vulnerable space in my heart….THANK YOU! Thank you for stepping in when nobody else was around. Thank you for making me feel cared for at a time that I didn't realize how much I really felt alone. Thank you for your understanding and endless support for me when I cursed that my husband wasn't there….because yours wasn't there too. It may not sound like much, but these two words I offer from the bottom of my soul. You….my friends….are my heroes. Because of y’all few, I will always look back on that time, not as a time of grief and heartache, but a time that my friends stepped in to help when I needed them the most and I can give a slight chuckle about the whole story now.
So thank you to the spouses that know just what to say….or do. Your presence was my present and I am so grateful to have these extraordinary gems of women in my life.
Do you have people in your life you’d like to thank? Head over to Spouse Connexion to read more inspirational stories like this.
Sonia at Spouse Connexion
More about Sonia:
Sonia Garza is a proud Army wife, mother to two and Founder and Editor of Spouse Connexion, a blog and community dedicated to inspiring and connecting military spouses. A journalist by trade with a BA in Communications/Journalism and a Masters in Nonprofit Management, her passion for writing has led her to write for print and online publications spanning from the West Coast to the East Coast, including local and on-post newspapers, lifestyle magazines and military spouse blogs. Her passion is connecting military spouses to each other and to their communities and she is on a mission to spotlight amazing military spouses and inspire others to learn, grow and connect with each other to live their best military life. Like Spouse Connexion on Facebook at www.facebook/spouseconnexion or contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org