Brain Injury Spouses

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5 Years

Posted by Melanie Vadzemnieks on June 5, 2016 at 8:00 AM Comments comments (1)

Tuesday, June 7th will be five years from that awful Tuesday, June 7th, 2011.  How are we at five years already?  And why is it still so painful?


I think this anniversary has been the toughest one yet.  Our culture puts so much emphasis on five year increments.  And, thanks to the 2012 and 2016 leap years, the days of the week are the same this year as they were five years ago.  


My head starts to spin when I think of June 7, 2011 and the events of that horrible day.  This Tuesday I'll need to be armed with some extra strength and grace from God to make it through the day.  I'm sure He will get me through, just as He has all these other days.  But no amount of self talk will convince me that is is just another day, no different than the rest.  Because it isn't.  It's June 7th, and that will always be a difficult day for me.


I'd like to ask you all to honor David on Tuesday by doing something special.  Let's make it a "be like David" day.  I'll give you some examples:


*** Invite someone to church (or consider yourself invited if you don't currently attend one).  I refer to David as the Fairview Manor evangelist because he asks everyone he meets if they go to church anywhere.

***Call your mom (or someone very special to you) and see if they need anything...and then do it.

***Have a family hug.  Oh how I miss those.

***Consider joining your local fire department.  David gave 34 years to the Springfield Volunteer Fire Department.  It was his honor to rush out and help others during their time of need.

***Bring flowers home to your wife...just because.

***Plan a special outing as a surprise for your family.

***Maintain a positive attitude throughout the day.


These are just some of the many ways we can think of David on Tuesday.  He's such a great guy.  And if you think of us on Tuesday, please say a little prayer for our family.  We have been so touched by your years of support and appreciate every prayer and kind thought you all send our way.


God bless you all!  We love you.

What is Normal?

Posted by Melanie Vadzemnieks on March 2, 2015 at 4:35 PM Comments comments (1)

I used to live such a quiet life. I was cocooned in a comfortable house with my husband, children and one dog. We homeschooled, so there were days in a row where I didn’t have to go anywhere. It was especially nice on blustery winter days…the kind we’ve had way too many of this winter. Those days have become a fuzzy, distant memory to me now.

 

One thing I’ve come to realize is that abnormal is my new normal. It seems bizarre circumstances have been following me around since David’s injury. Easy tasks require an acrobatic ability to jump through hoops.

 

Take my wheelchair van, for example. We were struck from behind at a red light in mid-December. The collision repair shop finally scheduled the repairs for the week of February 9th, saying it would take one week to correct the damage. The only reason they needed a week was so that they could send my van to Pittsburgh to have the damage to the wheelchair ramp repaired, and then get it back to do the cosmetic work. So three weeks ago today I picked up a rental van (not a wheelchair van) from the repair shop. It was terrible in the snow as it did not have snow tires, and the seatbelt was broken…I could use it, but moving at all wasn’t an option. I found out the following Monday that my van was still in Pittsburgh and so I requested a different rental. The RAV 4 was much better, and had four- wheel -drive. Two days later, I received a call from Mobility Works in Pittsburgh saying that the part for my van still wasn’t in and that they were bringing me a loaner wheelchair van as a consolation prize. Great! That meant we could get David to a family gathering on the 20th and take him to church. Unlike our van, the replacement one didn’t have a rear entry, but instead a side entry. We could get David in the van, but there was no way to turn him forwards. He took the sideways ride in stride. I was also left once again without snow tires, which made for some interesting driving. Last Friday, the wheelchair company called to say they would be bringing my van back to Erie today and would need to take their loaner van back to Pittsburgh. The collision shop still needs to do cosmetic repairs to my van, and so I am now driving my 4th loaner vehicle in 3 weeks; a GMC Yukon. Hey, at least it makes me look thinner.

 

Here’s an even more bizarre example. After David was injured we had full medical coverage for one year, at which time he was terminated from his company. We continued with COBRA benefits, accompanied by painfully large payments. I was able to keep COBRA for the allotted 18 months, which took me to December, 2013. As my benefits were ending that month, I bought into the health insurance marketplace and selected a UPMC plan to begin January 1, 2014. I’m still with UPMC, but under a slightly different plan this year as last year’s plan is no longer offered (of course, because that would make sense). Last week I found out that UPMC has retracted all of the payments they made in 2014, saying that it appears I had other coverage. So I am getting phone calls and letters from doctor’s offices asking me what my insurance coverage was for 2014, since UPMC doesn’t think it should be them. Mind you, I paid $406 a month for this coverage! A call to Aetna today revealed that they never took me off of their coverage rolls until September, 2014, even though my $500+/month payments to them ended in December, 2013. *&^%^&*#**^^%&*(! That’s all I can say.

 

I know it isn’t healthy to live in the past, but some days I’d really like to have my cocoon back.

 

Love is in the Air

Posted by Melanie Vadzemnieks on February 13, 2015 at 9:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Valentine’s Day can be tough for those of us married to a traumatic brain injury survivor. We’re still married, but to someone who can be entirely different from the person we said “I do” to. Some TBI survivors become physically aggressive towards their spouses, while others are completely ambivalent, unable to show any emotion at all. In the vast majority of cases, the love between spouse and patient is not at all romantic.


My husband can barely move. He can turn his head and use his right arm in a limited capacity and that is where his physical functioning ends. I told a group of students recently that he is unable to hug me or our children and one child asked, “Does he ever ask you to put his arms around you so that he can sort of hug you?” I found that to be an incredibly sweet observation. This young boy recognized that physical contact is inherent to showing love…something that is now quite difficult for my husband to do.


The nursing home where my husband has resided for more than two years now is hosting a Valentine’s dinner this evening. They are setting up the community room as a small restaurant, with tables for two scattered around. I heard they’re even using candles (battery operated – safety is paramount in a nursing home) on each table. And, I’ve been told that my husband and I were the inspiration for this dinner. This is an opportunity for all of the still married patients to enjoy a romantic dinner with their spouses. It is sad and sweet at the same time, which is a perfect reflection of the life we now live. I am guessing we’ll have a great date, however it will only be a shadow of our former Valentine’s plans. He won’t have bought me flowers, or a card with his trademark S.W.A.K. on the back, or a sparkly gift, but I’ll take it…we both deserve a special evening.


Love isn’t the flowers, or the cards and gifts, or the hand holding, or even sex. What it is for us is the relationship. It is knowing that we care so deeply about each other and that we want each other to be happy. It is saying please and thank you. It is simply being in each other’s company. What I am most thankful for this Valentine’s weekend is that my husband still says “I love you” to me every day, that he tells me how much he appreciates all that I do for him and our children, that we can still share laughter together, and that we are able to demonstrate to our children what true love really does look like. Priceless.

 

Are You My Mother?

Posted by Melanie Vadzemnieks on September 6, 2014 at 6:45 PM Comments comments (1)

I ran into a friend the other day whose daughter just started Kindergarten. Knowing how high-strung her youngest can be, I asked how things were going. The answer wasn’t surprising – she had already had a phone conversation with the teacher to brainstorm ways to keep her exuberant child still during class. My friend joked that it was probably the first of many such conversations to come.

 

Switch to my life and I’m completely enjoying these teen years with my children. Our relationship has progressed to where I feel like I’m guiding them more than correcting them. Fortunately they are relatively well behaved and we haven’t had to deal with any major issues…at least not yet. We have good conversations about the difficulties they may face in life and I feel that we have real openness and honesty with each other.

 

And then, there’s my husband. This week alone, I’ve been told twice about his behavior. He’s been screaming more than usual, getting irritable with the staff at the nursing home, and seemingly defiant. Of course, his brain injury has everything to do with his behavior. He has been working hard on feeding himself, but hasn’t quite mastered a safe feeding pace. As he shovels bite after bite into his mouth, the staff needs to move his dishes away from his reach, and anger ensues. When the therapists push him to try to hold his balance on a mat table, he becomes uncomfortable, tenses all of his muscles, and starts shouting for help. When he’s wearing a brace on his left hand, meant to help keep that hand open and perhaps useful someday, he tries with all his might to remove it. When I tighten it back on, he pleads with me to take it off. Every day is a struggle of wills and he never gets to win.

At the risk of sounding like I’m complaining, I will admit that I hate having to correct him or divert his attention. He’s 53 years old. He used to be so strong – mentally and physically. He used to be the one I looked to for lots of answers.

Some of my friends in the brain injury community have it much worse. One has a husband who has almost caught their house on fire – multiple times. Another’s husband impulsively bought thousands of dollars in video games, all in one day! Sadly a number of them are separated or divorced because their once loving husband has become abusive.

 

This brain injury stuff is tough. It changes family roles. It changes the personality of the injured person. It separates families. It wears people down.

 

Striving every day to be a positive person, I’ll end by saying that I’m eternally grateful that David is still with us. I’m glad I get to be his advocate, and I’m glad I get to help him learn – even if he does get angry with me. He knows I love him and that everything I do is for his good. Our marriage vows are still strong, and I will serve him through better and worse, even if it does feel more like mothering.

 

Please take some time this week to pray for those affected by traumatic brain injury. I have so many friends who are struggling in ways I can’t even describe. Your prayers are very much appreciated!

 

Do I Still Cry?

Posted by Melanie Vadzemnieks on June 24, 2014 at 10:35 PM Comments comments (1)

I had an amazing weekend. My children and I traveled to Pittsburgh for my nephew’s graduation party. Even better, my mom and sister flew up from Florida to be at the celebration, and another sister and her husband drove in from New York. My mom, all 3 of my sisters, extended relatives, a festive occasion – it was awesome! In the midst of the many conversations I had with people on Saturday, someone asked me if I still cry about my husband’s injuries. Just hearing the question brought tears to my eyes. Uh, yeah, I still cry, probably more than anyone can imagine.  Even in the middle of a perfect day like Saturday, I felt the indescribable sadness that comes from leaving my husband behind. There is a hole in my heart whenever I get to go somewhere special and I can’t share that with him. And naturally, that makes me cry.

 

I’ve spent a lot of time with David in the past two days since returning from Pittsburgh. I’ve shown him all the pictures and told him lots of stories. He’s laughed with me as I’ve recounted funny things that happened, my bravery in riding the Black Widow at Kennywood (and loved it), and how nice it was to see my mom and sisters. He’s been so happy for me and Jacob and Hannah that we had this opportunity to enjoy a weekend away. His unselfish love for us is evident every day, and that makes me cry tears of happiness. His sweetness is completely intact, something for which I am so very grateful!

 

I believe crying is good. It reassures me that I’m still whole; that I haven’t been tarnished with bitterness to the point of becoming an unfeeling being. It tells me that I care. In all honesty, most of my tears are for David or my children, and not rooted in me personally. I think that is a gift from God and a sign that His love fills the voids in my soul.

 

Our community lost a young man this past weekend. A lot of people I know are mourning his loss. I don’t know the family personally, but I have been praying that the God of all comfort will surround them with His love, give them understanding that a lot of tears will come, but that He will never leave them nor forsake them. That is what He has done for us and for so many others who have suffered loss. His Amazing Grace is simply amazing.

 

Isaiah 61:1-3 “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance for our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion – to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.”

 

Who Am I?

Posted by Melanie Vadzemnieks on April 13, 2014 at 10:15 PM Comments comments (2)

I used to be so sure of who I was. I proudly wore my “domestic engineer” banner, relishing in my role as a stay-at-home mom. I made monthly menus and actually stuck to them. Cooking and being creative in the kitchen were looked at as artistic pursuits. I had a boatload of craft supplies – mostly stamping and crosstitching as they were my favorite endeavors. Monday nights were reserved for practicing or playing out somewhere with my dulcimer group. And being an eclectic homeschooler was probably my greatest passion. The arrival of a new homeschool supply magazine was akin to winning the lottery. I used to say the hardest part about homeschooling was deciding what not to buy. Homeschool conferences and curriculum sales were at the very top of my list of favorite activities.

 

Those days are becoming harder and harder to remember. I’m still a stay-at-home mom, but I’m out a lot less than I’m home. I am sure my neighbors think there is something wrong with me considering how often I come and go. As for cooking – ha! I prepare meals a few times a week at most and they’re usually very basic. I rely on prepared foods more often than I care to admit. The best I can boast is that we’re still well fed – just so much differently than before. I haven’t made my once famous homemade bread since the week before David was hurt. Why? Well, it takes about 5 hours from start to finish, and I’m rarely home for that long of a stretch. I’m also afraid that if I make it once I might be committed to making it regularly – that’s a big undertaking right now for this time-crunched mom. My stamping supplies went into bins when we moved two years ago and haven’t seen the light of day since. I tried to get re-connected to playing my hammered dulcimer a year or so ago and found that I needed a lot of practice. Another discovery was that I was still too emotional about the dulcimer. It had been a surprise gift from David just a year before his accident and it carries too many reminders of my previous life. I plan to get back to it eventually and am trusting myself to know when the time is right. And it was so difficult to give up homeschooling, but I knew my children were not getting the education they deserve. My attentions necessarily shifted to being David’s advocate and there just aren’t enough hours in the year to homeschool two bright students and attend to my husband. I’m very happy with their school and their accomplishments, yet admit that I’m easily saddened by the arrival of the CBD Homeschooling catalog.

 

And so I wonder, who am I now? So often I think of myself in oxy-moronic terms: married widow; married but single mother; happy/sad wife – so very happy that my husband is still alive and yet so sad that he has to live in his current state. Everything is different. I’m still a wife, but my duties to my husband are completely changed. I’m still a mom, but often lament that I’ve moved from thriving to surviving. I think we’re headed back upstream now.

The notion that I am me – that I am the only one in the world who really knows me – has always intrigued me. It’s a weird feeling to be in a place where I’m not sure who I am right now. I’m sure it’s even harder for my husband, only tempered by the impairments of his brain. I do know that this process of rediscovering who I am post-accident will be a long one, and that it has finally begun. We’re almost at the 3-year mark and I’m at a place of allowing myself to try to bloom where I’ve been planted.

That being said, this is what I do know for sure:

o I am a child of God and He will never leave me nor forsake me.

o I am a strong advocate for my husband and desire to broaden that advocacy to other members of the TBI community.

o I am a good wife who desires to see my husband smile and laugh every day.

o I am a good mom and seek to give my children increasing and varied opportunities to grow deeper roots and strong wings.

o I am a creative being. Whether or not I return to my past creative ventures or embark on new ones, I desire to be creative in the way I live my life.

o Nurturing friendships is important to me and I know I would never be where I am today without strong friendships to support me.

o I love my family – mom, dad, mother-in-law, brother-in-laws, sister-in-laws, sisters, brother, aunts, uncles, cousins, distant cousins – they all mean so much to me and I want to always be in touch with them.

o I am a trauma victim. What happened to our family is inextricably part of our lives and I choose to use these experiences to be a stronger, better person.

o I am allowed to grieve, but I will not let grief steal my joy.

o I want to glorify God in the way I live my life.

 

I’d say that’s a good start. Here’s to me becoming me!

 

Reflections

Posted by Melanie Vadzemnieks on March 15, 2014 at 9:10 PM Comments comments (0)

We are closing in on 3 years since David’s traumatic brain injury. I’ve recently become involved with an on-line network of women who all have a spouse with a TBI. It has been so incredible to tap into this support network that completely “gets it” when it comes to matters related to traumatic brain injuries. A woman just joined our group recently who is brand new to the TBI wives sisterhood. Her many questions and the varied responses have me reliving many of those early days and months with David.

 

Traumatic Brain Injuries are unique. They affect different people in entirely different ways. That being said, TBI victims also have many “issues” in common – meaning that it seems to be almost universal that people who sustain traumatic brain injuries have short-term memory deficits, poor impulse control, and anger/aggression/depression episodes. The trauma ICU at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Youngstown, where David was flown following his accident, was home to several brain injury patients during the 16 days that David and I were there. I had nicknames for them, as they did not have names posted outside their doors. One was Motorcycle Dude, another Industrial Accident Guy, then Beating Victim, and Amish Man, among others. I meant no disrespect – the nicknames actually helped me to pray for them and their families. Someday I’ll write about the waiting room and the humorous (to me) comingling of the various clans. Traumatic brain injuries strike people of all backgrounds, faiths, races, ages, etc. In that tiny waiting room, we were all connected by one thing – the love and concern for someone hanging in the balance between life and death.

 

Amish Man died in the ICU. His room was right across from David’s and I remember pleading with my comatose husband to hurry up and get better before the man across the hall passed away. That didn’t happen and soon that room was occupied by another critical patient. Beating Victim was injured 3 days ahead of David. Things didn’t look good for him as he kept encountering setbacks. I spoke with his mother and sisters often. I specifically remember encouraging his brother to set aside anger and remain positive. We were eating dinner in the waiting room together and he was so angry and ready to go retaliate for his brother’s injuries. By the end of dinner, he thanked me for sharing my story with him and helping him see the benefits of a forgiving attitude. That was the first time I was able to use our situation to try to encourage someone else.

 

To my surprise, Beating Victim became a rehab patient at the same facility as David. It was several weeks after David was transferred there and his mother and sisters once again shared the stories of infections, fevers, and difficulties their loved one had encountered. David went to HealthSouth at the end of June; Beating Victim arrived sometime in late July or early August. And now comes the wonderful/horrible part. While my husband struggled to move his legs and arms in any purposeful way, I got to watch Beating Victim re-learn how to walk, talk, and take care of himself. We cheered him in the rehab gym when he took his first steps, and in the dining room as he fed himself his own meals, and in passing in the hallways as he noticeably gained strength and abilities. I was genuinely happy for him and his family, genuinely concerned as to why my husband wasn’t doing the same thing, and genuinely hoping that it would only be a matter of time before David “turned the corner” and started progressing the same as Beating Victim.

 

Now, nearly 3 years later, I know so much more. I know that some people recover and that others do not. I know all too well that some TBI victims never wake up from their coma, and that others are ready to get up and walk just a few days after waking up. There are some who recognize their families and some who need to be introduced to their spouse at every visit. Some recover to the point of earning MBA’s or becoming school teachers (I know of both situations); while others are thrilled to be a greeter at the local grocery store (I am familiar with this situation too). And I know that behind every victim are the family victims who need to learn how to live with (or without) their altered loved one.

 

We have not given up hope that David will someday regain more of what he has lost. But we also recognize that time has not been our friend, and that his impairments are deep and vast. He is a wonderful person and I’m so thankful that God is still at the center of his heart. I refer to David as the “Fairview Manor Evangelist” because he asks everyone if they go to church anywhere, and then proceeds to tell them about our church and invites them to visit. It is very sweet. I’m not sure the people who get asked those same questions over and over again think it is so sweet, but it really is!

 

Our situation with David is unique because no two brain injuries are the same. I saw that all too clearly as I watched Beating Victim improve. We’ve lost touch and I’m not sure how he’s doing now, but I hope he is well and surrounded by love. If it is only a fraction of the love David (and I) have felt, he is doing very well indeed.

 

Respite

Posted by Melanie Vadzemnieks on January 28, 2014 at 5:05 PM Comments comments (2)

I’ve been talking for months about taking a short break from my daily life. After some soul searching about what I would really want to do if I had a couple of days just for me, I decided I wanted to hole up in a hotel room, preferably with a nice view, and do nothing. That sounded sublime – no responsibilities to the dogs, the kids, my house, or my husband. No laundry, cooking, or cleaning either. And definitely no alarm clock! A mini vacation just for me. It took a while to make it a reality, but I finally did just that this past weekend. I checked into the Sheraton on Erie’s bay front where I had specifically asked for a room with a bay view. Granted, the bay is frozen solid right now, but it was still an impressive vista. My stay lasted from Thursday at 3 PM to Saturday at 11 AM. And it was exactly what I needed. I read four magazines, watched a lot of HGTV, took a couple of naps, prayed, ordered room service, did some journaling, and even created a PowerPoint presentation I’m hoping to take into the schools as a don’t drink/do drugs and drive message. I left feeling energized and ready to face my responsibilities again.

 

Before David’s injuries, I used to take a 3:00 “tea time” break each afternoon. I had totally forgotten about that until just recently. Even when my husband was well and I had his support in so many ways, I recognized that it was vital that I take care of me. That tea time was perhaps as short as 15 minutes each day, but my children knew that was “mommy time” and that I wasn’t to be bothered. It was when I would allow myself to think and to dream and to be creative. It was a long time ago.

 

I think the most important thing I realized during this recent mini-vacation is that I can’t stop thinking and dreaming and creating just because our old life blew up. Our grief is in constant motion, but I’m happy to acknowledge that I’m finally at a point where I recognize the importance of resting and paying attention to some of my own needs. I write this post more for my benefit than others, if only to remind myself that I need respite in order to continue being a good wife, mother and friend.

 

In case you’re wondering, I really couldn’t afford that stay at the Sheraton, financially speaking. But from a mental and emotional standpoint, I couldn’t afford not to go. Sometimes we just need to recognize those things in life that are truly necessary and truly priceless.

 

Melancholy

Posted by Melanie Vadzemnieks on January 14, 2014 at 11:15 PM Comments comments (1)

mel•an•chol•y [mel-uhn-kol-ee]

noun, plural mel•an•chol•ies.

1. a gloomy state of mind, especially when habitual or prolonged; depression.

2. sober thoughtfulness; pensiveness.


I’ve been feeling melancholy all day. Maybe it’s the weather, maybe the post-holiday blahs, maybe situations out of my control, maybe sadness, or maybe all of the above. I try so hard to maintain a positive attitude and a cheerful disposition. But today, I just decided to stay melancholy and admit that it won this one.


I think it started with the Toyota Camry I was behind on my way to the grocery store this morning. My husband was driving our 1999 tan Camry when his car was hit on the highway and he went spinning through the median and was hit head-on by a semi-truck. Traumatic Brain Injury became the main fabric in the patchwork of our lives. We had to take the highway to get to the hospital my husband was flown to on the day of his injuries. Without thinking ahead, we set out on the same path he had taken to get to work hours earlier. And there it was – our mangled Toyota Camry, sitting up close to a semi-truck, airbags deployed, roof cut off, and seriously dented. It would take us another 90 minutes to reach my husband and I had to hold that vision of our car in my mind wondering if David was even alive. Fortunately he was, although significantly injured. And unfortunately for me, those 1999 Camry’s must have been a huge seller that year. They are still everywhere, and many of them are tan. The sight of one can turn my thoughts upside down. I hope they all join Camry heaven soon.


A day like today reminds me of the many things that exist in what I call the “subculture of my mind.” They are those visions, snippets of memory, or even certain sounds that fight against my determination to keep melancholy feelings at bay. Many people have marveled at my positive attitude during this entire 2.5 year ordeal. My response is always that I think the opposite is really ugly. It scares me to have down days because I fear they will move in and take over my life. Over time, I’ve come to recognize that I have the ability to rise above these down days and that the key lies in taking the time to recognize what exactly is bothering me, thinking it through, and then moving on. Ignorance is definitely not bliss in this case – I need to face these episodes head on in order to push through the melancholy that accompanies them.


I do have to venture out tomorrow. All will be well, I hope. So long as I don’t see any tan Toyota Camry’s, or hear Have I Told You Lately That I Love You on the radio, or witness a tender exchange between a father and his children. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. It is big, it is deep, and it can be deadly. But I won’t let it sink me. The impact did not take David’s life and I refuse to let the repercussions claim mine.

 

Markers

Posted by Melanie Vadzemnieks on November 26, 2013 at 11:25 AM Comments comments (2)

Thanksgiving is in 2 days, Christmas is less than one month away, and in-between those two we will mark the two-and-one-half -year anniversary of my husband’s injuries. I’ve decided that it is simply okay to experience sadness amidst joy. We have so many things for which we are thankful. One of my favorite Christian songs is called “I Have Been Blessed” and contains the line, “If the pen of a writer could write every day, even this world could never contain how I’ve been blessed.” I agree wholeheartedly. And the Bible reminds of the hope we have in Christ with “No eye has seen, nor ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.” We have great thankfulness, joy and hope. I love, love, love Thanksgiving and Christmas and all of the festivities in between. And yet, I am sad. It’s just a part of me and there is no use in trying to deny it.

 

It does make sense that we use holidays as markers. Really, most of us remember what we did on Thanksgiving last year, but not necessarily on November 10th, unless that’s your birthday or some other sort of anniversary. When David went to rehab, I used the upcoming holidays as goal dates – that he would walk by Labor Day, and then Thanksgiving, and then Christmas. After Christmas, I stopped predicting when he would walk. We’re still waiting for that miracle to transpire and know that it will only happen if God chooses to work a miracle in David’s body.

 

Now there is an element to the holidays that reminds me of unrealized hopes, goals, expectations, and dreams. Please don’t misunderstand – I am so very thankful that David is with us and relish my role in helping him to have exceptional holiday experiences. I’m just also missing my old David and mourning the way things used to be.

 

I’m wishing all of you a wonderful Thanksgiving and bountiful blessings. And if you see me over the holidays, a hug would be great.

 


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