This past week my husband gave me a graduation gift. He bought me a dress I had been wanting for my upcoming graduation. I was so excited about the dress and really touched that he got me a gift. But the truth is – he didn’t need to. He really didn’t need to. If anything, I should be giving him a graduation gift.
The past four years seem like they have gone by so fast. But when I really think about it, these have been four of the longest years of my life. The hardest years of my life. And my husband has been there with me every single step of the way. And however hard it has been for me, it’s been even tougher for him.
I’m the one who decided to be a doctor. I’m the one who decided to go to medical school. I’m the one that decided to take on hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt. Not him. And the craziest thing is, my husband has never held it against me. Not even during out lowest moments. Not even during our worst arguments. There hasn’t been a single time that my husband has said, “Maybe you shouldn’t have gotten us into this mess.”
Even though I’ve thought it about a thousand times. And I will probably continue to think that in the years to come. My husband has been the biggest source of support and encouragement I’ve had during medical school. And without him I wouldn’t have made it to this point.
He is the one who deserves a graduation gift. But what do you give someone who has held your hand when you’ve lost a patient? Someone who has listened to you talk about your day (over and over again) when he doesn’t really even understand what you’re talking about? Someone who has held you as you cry when he has no idea why you are crying? Someone who has reminded you that you’re doing the right thing when you feel like you aren’t? Someone who has let you follow your dreams no matter what the cost?
You don’t find a gift like that at the mall. The truth is, there is absolutely nothing I can give my husband to repay him for everything he does for me. We have been through so much during medical school. There have been more ups and downs than I can count. But we’re still standing. And in many ways, I think the struggles have made us stronger. I’m glad we went through this experience together. I’m glad I have someone by my side to remind me why I signed up for this. Someone to remind me who I am and where I’ve come from.
But who knows? I might still find something. Maybe they make t-shirts that say “Med School Survivor” or “Trust Me My Wife’s a Doctor” or something to that effect.