Silver Linings of My Brain Injury

The beautiful aspect of l ife is that everything has a silver lining if you look closely enough. Furthermore, if you take the time and effort, you can actually experience the beauty and appreciation for those silver linings. For instance, my oldest daughter, who is just shy of 23, asked me if I knew that I have changed. I indicated that I did know and that I was more angry, more appreciative, more emotional, a whole lot more playful and silly when possible, and more affectionate. My view of life itself changed along with experiencing some of my memories I’d put to rest, such as being a playful 7-year-old girl. You see, since she has reawoken, I have not nor will I purposely dismiss her and stick that part of my being back in a file with a label. When I was seven years old, my family lost my autistic and retarded sister from time to time. She would throw a temper tantrum which caused self-inflicted bruises. As a consequence of outsiders knowing only part of the scenario, “concerned” people would inform the state department for children and families of a possible home of abuse. When she was taken from us, Mom would talk to me. I wound up feeling like I should be there for my mother emotionally in the form of her sister or mother. So the girl in me all but died. However, this brain injury has caused her to return, and I am exhilerated to have that part of me an active part of my life.

After my daughter asked me if I knew I had changed, I asked her what she saw that was different. For a moment, she was speechless. However, as soon as she was enlightened, she responded. She said to me, “If someone asked if you had changed and how, I would say, ‘Mommy is more… more angry, more loving, more appreciative, etc.'” What beauty. She talked about my ability to empathize, show affection, be light-hearted, and many more positive attributes than negative ones that have turned into me being “more.” You see, I have a new perspective on life and appreciate some of my old files surfacing as well as welcoming being more proactively alive than ever. The best part is seeing that others are not demeaning  your changes but clebrating life with you more than ever.

As aforementioned, brain injuries take all the files/memories, throw them in the air, and have them strewn on the ground beneath us. ThERE IS a beauty in that. “What is it?,” you may ask. It’s that we have a new chance at closure or relabeling our life’s baggage. I fully believe that everyone in life has this chance; however, we become accustomed to playing the victims that we never become introspective enough to know that the problem is mostly if not completely a personal issue for which we can take the blame AND THEN CHANGE!

There is more than just that. There is also the fact that I fell more in love with my husband, and he fell more in love with me. I have always loved him so much that he hung the sun, moon, and stars. However, my Love placing lip balm on my lips, helping aid me reclining or arising and a plethora of other things performed by him for me has stirred my heart beyond my imagination. My last two and a half weeks of hospitalization, the highlight of my day was his visits. I even mentally paced the floor until he arrived. I even would take two showers per day, one to start the day and be squeaky clean for the handful of rehabilitation (and because I don’t like feeling unclean) and another one taken in anticipation for the arrival of my husband, Dan. The other highlight was after he arrived. When he was present, I could have deep, intelligent conversations. They were so meaningful on a daily basis that it felt in a since that we were dating and learning things about each other that we never knew.

Another silver lining is a greater appreciation for life and loved ones. One month, and eight days after I was released from the hospital was my 44th birthday. A couple weeks prior to the actual date, it was as if the celebration of my life internally began. Here, I was visited when hospitalized by people whom I did not know cared for me. On top of that, I was prouder than ever to have the husband and family that I have. I did not want THINGS for my birthday. THINGS may be used as tools; however, they are not worth what loved ones give you by being themselves, not to mention them pouring themselves into you and helping your well-being. My only birthday wish was to see the ones I love. I received a good portion of that, being my Love and I have four children still living at home full-time. Even though upon my return home, it was stressful, I see a greater love flowing through Dan and our children. I am flattered and honored to have a greater gift in my life than I ever imagined.That’s PLENTY of birthday right there!


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