On July 26, 2013 I had a good job. I was making good money. I was contributing significantly to my family’s security, and I was stashing away funds for retirement.

On July 27, 2013 I was standing at the foot of an ICU bed watching doctors and nurses intubate my paralyzed husband. And in that moment, none of the education, none of the work experience I’d built up over the prior 15 years … none of it mattered.

It was as if Jeff’s spinal cord injury had just deleted all of the carefully worded bullet points on my resume.

CTRL+A, DELETE

It was time for a new education.

But this learning experience wasn’t in a classroom. And it wasn’t about hypothetical situations I might encounter in the future.

It was hands on, and it was happening right now.

Because family caregivers like me don’t take semester-long courses on how to become a caregiver. We become caregivers the moment our loved ones are injured. Sometimes we don’t even realize at first that we’ve stepped into this role. Most of the time we don’t even have a choice.

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