That is total. After 100% there can be no more. Last week a letter came in the mail with Will’s new compensation from the VA and in it were new ratings - he is now considered to be 100% disabled as far as the VA is concerned. We were pretty shocked, we weren’t expecting this to just randomly show up but there it was. A split second, a bad judgment, a momentary lapse almost 5 years ago sent a vehicle rolling down a river bank in the middle of nowhere Iraq and left my husband 100% disabled.
Of course the pay is much better; the jump from 90 to 100% is a little ridiculous. The first check hit 2 days after we got the letter and – well it was nice. He can’t work, he’s obviously earned this money so I have no guilt in him receiving it but in all honesty I don’t want it.
They can take it back, all of it. Take back the CRSC and the back pay (well technically, they still have that so I guess they would just keep it). Take everything back and just give me my husband back. I used to call him my jester, I want that back.
But we are lucky, he came home. I never let myself forget how incredibly lucky we are.
Mourning is tricky when the person you are mourning is still alive. But I am still, after all these years, mourning the man who didn’t come home from that deployment. The man I didn’t see when we first locked eyes at SeaTac airport. The Ranger who I sent off not even 2 months before. I’ve somewhat been at peace with this for a while, the out of nowhere gut punches are fewer and further between than ever but with this new rating they all came back.
He is never getting better. Ever.
Of course I already knew this. But just like the first time I saw “not fit for duty” on an actual piece of paper this killed me. I can’t really talk to him about this, that’s the last thing he needs so I am just kind of carrying it around. I had a hugely ugly/snotty cry in the car last week and if I let my mind wonder it finds these incredibly dark places but I am trying to look at the bright side. They pay, some tax breaks in my state, some other things. This new rating is a good thing and he is still the same person he was the day before we got the letter.
Just like you never really know what being a grown up is supposed to feel like I have no idea how to be the wife of a disabled vet. Just like I have been doing most of my adult life I will just keep faking it until I make it.