Last night was probably the first time during this entire deployment that I finally felt the full strain of life without my husband. When Snuggle Bug goes to bed in the evenings that is my time to get things done and last night I had a list of things I needed to do. Since no grocery store in our area sells Gerber Zwieback toast any longer I found a recipe and decided to make some. I mixed everything, kneaded and in between dough risings I was working on hemming a few pairs of pants for a friend of mine and making my grocery list for the next day. I like to keep busy, what can I say?
I got the dough ready to put in the oven, turned the oven on and then lost track of what I was doing. When I opened the oven and noticed a spot on the bottom of the oven, the clean freak I am got the better of me. I turned off the oven, took my trusty sponge and started scrubbing at it and then, like an idiot, I laid my hand on the heating element because for some reason I thought it wasn’t hot because the oven didn’t feel warm. I’m just going to blame it on the fact that it was past midnight or the fact that I was working on a few different projects. Either way, it was stupid and I walked away with a nasty burn. After I took my hand from the cold water to assess the situation the thought dawned on me, “What if I need to go the hospital? Who will sit with Snuggle Bug? How do I wake her up to make her sit with me in the ER at 1am?” I felt overwhelmed. I looked around at a messy kitchen that needed to be cleaned, pants that were half finished and a grocery list with two items on it and realized that I was in over my head. I sat on the floor of my kitchen with my hand wrapped in a cool towel and I cried. It wasn’t the pain of the burn that had me crying but the overwhelming realization that in this moment there was no one there to take care of anything and there was no one there to take care of me.
After a few minutes I got up from my kitchen floor, swearing my hand was on fire, muttered a few dirty words and brushed myself off. I put some antibiotic ointment on my blistered hand and wrapped it in gauze and admired that I now had a “mummy hand.” Then I began an attempt to straighten up the kitchen with one hand that didn’t work out very well. I put away my half finished grocery list deciding that my usual perfectly planned Monday schedule would have to be postponed until Tuesday. Then I crawled into bed and went to sleep. Best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.
I would like to think that I can generally handle things well on my own. I’ve devised systems to make life easier on us both. But last night showed me that as together as I thought I was you can’t devise plans to stop life from happening.