A few years ago my husband took a business trip to Taiwan for a couple of weeks. You can imagine how exhausted he felt when he got home after working in a strange city, sleeping in a hotel bed and then traveling for 20 plus hours to get back to Minnesota. Add on top of that a 13-hour time change that left him wide awake when he most wanted to sleep and it sounds like a nightmare. Back then, my drive was through the roof, so I got the bright idea that I was going to be his sleep aid. I made him promise that whenever he found himself wide awake in the middle of the night, he would rouse me for some extracurricular activities. We have never before transitioned so quickly back into life together and feeling connected. In no time he was back on his regular sleep schedule and we had made some wonderful memories.
This week I was reminded of my great experiment – being the sleep aid.
My husband lost his brother last week to liver failure and has been dealing with all the hard choices that come with aging parents. Needless to say, he has a ton of things on his mind and timidly admitted he has not been sleeping well, at all. I wish I could take away all of his pain and wrestling, but I can’t. I wish I could say something to make it better, but words seem so inadequate. But I can keep loving him, and comfort him, and help him sleep. And so for a while, I have made myself available to my husband whenever he needs me. In fact I have admonished him – please wake me – because I don’t want him doing this on his own. And hopefully, it will bring him the sleep he needs.