Sunday, November 11, 2007

Danny's Song

Disclaimer: This post will remind you of those days, lounging on the floor in your family room, your body snuggled into that orange shag carpeting, pouring over the album lyrics to your favorite song, ooogling to your best girlfriend on the phone, about how the song lyrics so describe your teenage crush.

My husband and I have been together since the dawn of time. Literally since January of 1986. It all started so innocently. We had the world at our fingertips. We were young and in love. We got married in June of 1993.

"Now I smile and face the girl who shares my name. Now I'm through with the game. This boy will never be the same. And even though we ain't got money, I'm so in love with you honey, everything will bring a chain of love. And in the morning when I rise, you bring a tear of joy to my eyes and tell me, everything is gonna be alright."

In 1995, we made a decision that changed our lives. Since then, Dan's life has not really "been his own." That is to say, in order to follow his dream of becoming a doctor, he had to succumb, for 12 friggin' years, to the demands and requirements of someone else---teachers, preceptors, bosses. Those have been the years of medical school, residency, and now, a service obligation for a scholarship he received in medical school.

During these years, we had our babies.

"Now I see a family where there once was none. Now we've just begun. Yeah, we're gonna fly to the sun. And even though we ain't got money, I'm so in love with you honey, everything will bring a chain of love. And in the morning when I rise, you bring a tear of joy to my eyes and tell me, everything is gonna be alright."

An ongoing issue for us has been the amount of time this man works. He works a LOT. This week, for example, a typical week, he's putting in 90+ hours at work, not including his commute which is an hour each way. Some weeks are worse. Some are better, but not by much. He hasn't had a full weekend off since early August. And he won't have another one until late December.

The position he has now has been crazy. There is always a shortage of docs and there's always more work to be done. On Thursday, for example, my DH called me and told me he's been "asked" to be on three new committees. Three. At once. Additional work. Probably somewhere around 6 additional hours per month. Might not sound like a lot to some, but when you already work as much as he does, it's asking a lot. And he hates meetings. Despises them.

We argued. I insisted that he decline these lovely offers for additional work. He talked about how he really felt he had to accept and that really, it wouldn't be much additional work. I countered that he'd have less time for (a) family, (b) exercise, (c) sleep. The man gets no sleep! It was not a nice conversation.

We've argued about these same things many times. We've cried. We've yelled. We've loved. It's not been easy. But soon his service obligation will be over and he will be a "free agent." He'll be able to select a job on his own terms. There are a lot of decisions to be made. But the bottom line is always the same. We need more time together as a family. He needs to be home more. We want this badly. Very badly.

Later in the day after we had argued about his new committee responsibilities, he called me to tell me he was sorry we had argued and that he had some good news. He had a potential new job offer. He has to wait 8 months before he could take it, until the end of his service obligation, and I don't want to jinx it by talking about it, but let's just say it would let us stay put in this town we love, it'd be doing something he really loves, with the same benefits, more money, and for a guaranteed 7 shifts per month.

Seven shifts per month! That is still approximately 48 hours a week, but trust me, this is like never working compared to what he does right now. And for more money? And the same benefits? It's like a dream!

It was like he had called to tell me, "Everything is gonna be alright."

Afterwards, in the car (damn that satellite radio), I heard Danny's Song. At the time, I didn't know it was titled Danny's Song, which is pretty awesomely coincidental since my DH's name is Danny. And of course, I cried. What else is new?

"You bring a tear of joy to my eyes and tell me, everything is gonna be alright."


the dragonfly said...

I hope everything goes well for you. I know it must be hard with him working 90+ hours a week! I know what it's like; the Sergeant is in the field for training right now, and he'll be gone for a whole month!

I know it's a ways off, but I look forward to hearing about that possible new job!!

Family Adventure said...

My best friend's husband is a doctor, and he talked a lot about how hard med school and residence was. How he'd never have been able to do that *and* be married and raise a family at the same time.

You guys have come so far, and you've only got a little bit to go! Hang in there. The rewards are going to be amazing, I'm sure :)


Fairly Odd Mother said...

Keeping my fingers crossed for you that it all works out in the end (or maybe it'd be a new beginning)?

Mrs. G. said...

Oh, my fingers are crossed for you and your family. Your poor hubby...that is too many hours to ask from anyone. I can't imagine that kind of pressure.

I love that song...sounds like its timing was wonderfully serendipitous.

Lisa said...

It is so hard when those men work so much. So hard. But it sounds like in 8 months, things will change. Plus? It sounds like you've got a very loving and supportive marriage. And that's a wonderful thing -- especially if it can withstand the crazy work schedule. :-)

Crystal said...

It sounds like the perfect news to get you through the next 8 months. You have made it this far. 8 months will go by like a breeze.

Be Inspired Always said...

Great news to get you through the next 8 months. Keeping my fingers crossed.


Lisa said...

What a love story! I'm going to itunes and downloading that song!!! It sounds like you've been there to support your hubby through it all and that you have a love that will stand the test of time. I'm sure he appreciates what a gem he has in you!
Congrats on the good news!!!

painted maypole said...

fingers crossed....

WorksForMom said...

I share your pain. My husband is gone a lot (A LOT) and travels for business. It's just too much, so when you said 6 hours may normally not seem like much - you were right - that IS a lot to some of us!

I hope everything works out for you as well.

Sue said...

Oh, another one crossing her fingers for you... Heidi is right, you've come SO far!

My DH is just getting ready to start traveling every week 3 days a week. We are used to having him here 24/7. I'm not sure how we'll survive. I guess I'm about to find out what REAL SAHM is all about.

Jen M. said...

He is going to get that job, and in a short amount of time we are going to hear you writing about how Dan is always underfoot;) Balance is just arund the corner, I just know it!

bermudabluez said...

A very touching post.....I remember all of those songs...very well! You should be proud that you have such a strong family unit that has been maintained through all those 90+ hours / week!! Good for you!

Mary Alice said...

I've got my eyes squeezed shut thinking good thoughts for you.

Candy said...

My step-son is in his residency as a neuro-surgeon and I swear, he's never home with his wife (who is a nurse) and their 18-month old baby. I don't understand how you folks do it, frankly.

But what scares me most is the system itself, that says it's ok for a doctor, who may be responsible for saving my life, to work 90 hours compared to my 40, and be so frigging tired when I get wheeled in, his decisions may be impaired. It scares me to death. Literally, I guess.

moosh in indy. said...

Well that's just dandy! It's been a heck of a long time coming.

Lisa said...

I got to your blog through the friend of a friend (linked from Crystal I think?) and I understand your pain about #4. We too are having difficulities with someone close to us - who I thought would always be on our side - and she isn't. It's someone in my husband's family, but I'm taking it harder than him. Good luck - I hope things improve for you soon!

Leanne said...

Wow. I hope he gets it.

I should be in bed, and some how I stumbled across your blog.

Thanks for a great bed time story! But before I go I'm going over to ITunes to find this song. Lol.


Candy said...

Hey there, just letting you know you've been tagged. Drop by and see what with.