Balance How One Yoga Teacher Found Strength After Her Husband's...

How One Yoga Teacher Found Strength After Her Husband’s War Injury

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It had been three days since I’d heard from my husband, Charles, a United States Army reservist serving in Iraq, when I got the call. A tight, unpleasant sensation intensified in my stomach as I picked up the phone. Charles was on the line. Speaking slowly with a shaky voice, he told me he’d been struck by an improvised explosive device during a night mission and had barely survived. He was in a hospital in Germany and was being prepared for transfer to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC. Sixteen years later, after a three-and-a-half-year stay at Walter Reed and more than 60 surgeries, he’s still here. I’m still here, too. But today, I’m someone different. I’m his caregiver.

In some ways, nothing could have prepared me to take on the role of caring for a wounded warrior. And yet, the experience of looking after my mother years prior has helped me face the challenges that come with the territory. My mother was in her early 50s when she developed sarcoidosis and subsequent lung issues. I was 25 when she died.

Watch A Healing Meditation for Caregivers of Wounded Warriors

During the years spent tending to her—and, later, Charles—I’ve often resided in the disease and injury along with them, all the while pretending that our lives could be normal and perfect again one day. But there is no “normal” life, I learned. There’s just life.





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