Yes, someone said that… about me! JUST his wife? JUST HIS WIFE??!!! That’s insulting even if I was JUST his wife. I am a person. I have a name. It’s Erin. But because my husband is in a wheelchair, most people have NO IDEA what my name is or who I am. I know my husband is in a wheelchair. I know it’s a HUGE wheelchair that sometimes is all you can see and that sometimes, I tend to stand behind since, I don’t want to get run over. Apparently, because of this, I am reduced to ‘just the wife.’ Or, my favorite, just his caregiver.
The biggest slap in the face moment was when I attended an event without the quad for the first time. He and I had been working together on a project and he couldn’t attend one of the events with me, so I struck out alone. Out of the TEN people we had been working with CLOSELY on the project only ONE of them recognized me and knew my name. I had reintroduce myself to everyone.
Okay, listen… and listen closely all. I am not JUST the quad’s wife. I am a huge force to be reckoned with so thinking that it’s okay to put me in my place, even unintentionally, is not going to fly. ever. I am the reason why the quad is doing so well. I AM THE REASON WHY MY FAMILY IS DOING SO WELL! Even the quad will agree. I am the driving force behind the We Rock family. And you know what? The quad rolls because I do indeed rock.
You know the old adage, “Behind every great man stands a great woman?” It’s true. And it’s true the other way around even. People stand strong because of the support that they have behind them. The quad is great because of me. I am great because of the quad. However, because of the quad’s injury, my greatness is overlooked since his is so easy to see.
And trust me, it is. He is amazing every day in what he does and accomplishes. But so am I and so are all caregivers and it’s time for people to realize it and see it. We are amazing! We are strong! We have strength that most cannot comprehend. Being a caregiver is not for the weak.
I am a… wife, mom, dog walker, cook, therapist (mind, body and soul), wheelchair repairman, laundromat, butler, receptionist, gardener, driver, house keeper, nurse, comedian, bartender, snow plow, seamstress, playmate and everything else that is needed in my house by those that live there with me. I am a caregiver. I am a person. My name is Erin.