My Warrior husband and I always have very good conversations. A few weeks ago between writers block, pain crisis and my own illness, we were talking about our childhoods. I am the eldest of 18 children so I have lots of stories. He is the youngest of 10 but lived as an only child. Even though, he lived as an only child, he has plenty of stories. One story stuck out that day more than the many times someone in our family ran into a wall or the time he tried to tuck and roll and landed on his head. He said, ” I wanted to be the Incredible Hulk when I was a child.” I chuckled a bit and then I asked him,”why.” Bruce Banner is the Incredible Hulk, a fictional character as some of you may know. As we continued our conversation, I remembered this ugly green monster that was the personification of rage. He was scary and he was not smart. He was a brute. My husband on the other hand began to tell me about the characters ability to heal. He said, “If Bruce Banner was hurt before turning into the Hulk, he would heal rapidly. Of Course, as the Hulk he is untouchable” As a child, My Husband tried so hard to turn into the Hulk so he would no longer hurt with sickle cell pain.He said that is when he figured the Hulk and other characters like that were not real because his pain was and it did not go away rapidly.
However, I thought it was interesting. I saw an abomination in the Hulk and he picked out a strength. As Humans, we have been trained to look at the weaknesses, the ugliness of life. Often, I wonder how my Warrior is able to make it from day to day with so many odds stacked against him. To my surprise, he arises from every battle stronger not weaker. He has chosen to focus on his strengths. He encourages me! Although, during our first few years of marriage, he forgot his childhood lesson to find strengths not weaknesses while he was working.
Even though, my Warrior has a brilliant mind, he always chose jobs that required his physical strength. He was always able to get a job, he would go look for a job and come back the same day with an offer. As a young wife, I thought this was great! I had a husband that was willing to work no matter what. However, after a few weeks of working, sometimes he would get sick. Then, it would start. the strange looks from the boss and his co-workers. Seemingly no one understood his pain and some of them thought he was lying even after bringing a doctor’s note. So, I began encouraging him to stay home. I was teaching, I could handle bills but he was not happy with staying home. He wanted to contribute.
So, I began praying,”How can I encourage my Warrior?’ Sometimes when we pray, we forget to expect an answer. My answer came as he began advising others about their business FOR FREE! Yes, FOR FREE. There it was, his strength; A Brilliant Business Mind. So now, many years later, many disappointments later, we are focusing on his strength not his weakness. With that said, I encourage all Warriors and their Caregivers, young and old to focus on strengths not weaknesses. What is your passion? Figure out a way to follow your passion for a long time without jeopardizing your health. You may need to be creative but it is possible! Nevertheless, My Warrior no longer accepts jobs that require physical labor, he is working with his mind!
He is my Incredible Warrior, able to beat the odds!