But a couple of weeks ago (while sitting at home on my birthday at 9:00 pm, alone, except for one adorable yet sobbing baby) I figured out exactly why I hate his job so much. It’s because we (women, I mean) always want to be the most important thing in our husband’s lives. But sometimes we’re not.
No, some wives can’t always be the most important thing to their husbands. Whereas some wives can yell, “Don’t I mean more to you than some stupid work at the office?” I can’t. Because the simple truth is that Jeffrey’s job is more important than me. In fact, it’s more important than anything else that he does. Even though he knew I was waiting on him at home, his patient's blood pressure crashed and he needed to stay and take care of him. It’s literally life and death.
And while that makes me immeasurably proud of him, at times it makes me maddeningly frustrated. The frustration is selfish, and mean, and ugly…and also quite real. Which is why I’m glad for reminders like these of the weight that Jeffrey carries, just like many other doctors.
Text conversation Jeffrey and I had last week:
J: Just held my patient’s hand for 20 minutes until he passed.
L: Good thing he had you. You ok?
J: Ya, I guess. I feel sad now. But he saw Jesus. Started singing gospel songs. That makes me happy.
L: I’m sorry you have to be that close to death, but I don’t know anyone better suited to care for those patients than you.
I’m going to try to remember this the next time I feel that familiar anger growing, that disgust for his long hours, distracted attention, and lack of quantity of time with us. Because as deep as my frustration is in those times, my love for this man who cares for the physical and spiritual needs of patients who are facing a terrifying transition should always be greater.