I joined a club today. I signed no paperwork. Nobody had to sponsor me. I paid no dues. And yet, I became an automatic member of the Waiting Wives. We sit in a spacious lobby and when we tire of being there, we move to a small waiting room just down the hall where our husbands will recuperate. Sometimes we wander to the cafeteria and we are not even hungry. We look at the clock. We pretend to enjoy a book or magazine with glazed eyes that cannot even read the blurry words. We chat.
Everyone is the room is there for one sole purpose – a husband. How can I belong in this room? How did I make my way into this club of soft spoken, mostly white haired women. Oh, they are all nice enough and it helps to pass the time when they chat. But, I did not ask to join this group. and I don’t want to be a member.
But, a member I am. I listen intently while they describe in details the current status of their husbands hearts. I answer a few questions and after listening to some of their stories, am reminded of how fortunate my husband is. A bit later, I am alone in the room save for one other Waiting Wife. She asks my name and then tells me hers. Robin. I told her that my sister is named Robin. She smiles graciously. Then she softly starts to cry, asking of no one really “I don’t know how I will get by without him”. She explains her financial situation, her ailments, and her husband’s past heart conditions. Again her eyes fill with tears and she softly sobs. I sit quietly – at a loss for words and thinking of no way I can comfort this stranger; this fellow member of the club. Later, I see her in the room, cutting her husband’s food, helping him to a drink of juice through a straw, and gently wiping his forehead. And, I look over at my husband – joking with the caregivers, eating his dinner, and walking around his room. I silently say a thank you to God for all of my blessings.