Will I Overcome? Not This Time

via Daily Prompt: Overcome

 

My fortieth class reunion is tonight. I am not going. I would but the people I held most dear during that time on my life are not coming or have passed away. I thought about going but then realized that with a traumatic brain injury the band after dinner alone would be too much. I picture the reunion in my head and see the tables of people talking and laughing about old times. They are discussing their careers and grandchildren. I have grandchildren. I could discuss them. But my career is over and I miss it dearly.  The multiple conversations going on about me would force me to attempt to focus in on the one nearest to me and somehow attempt to hear what they are saying. That used to be so easy to do. But, now it is frustrating and it makes me quite anxious.  I have overcome so many things in the past forty years. I have lost dear friends, family members, loved ones. I have survived major accidents and more. Yet, this time I cannot beat this thing that has messed up my brain. I keep on trying. I cannot overcome. I cannot be successful with beating this injury. It has literally taken over my life. I cannot even go and enjoy my class reunion. I know I am venting. I seem to need to do that from time to time. I vent because when I looked forward in my life I did not see this one coming.

I sat at my graduation while over 400 students walked up to get their diplomas and pictured my future. I saw a family who loved one another, a good looking dude at my side, a house with the white picket fence, a dog, and I was working as a teacher. That was all I wanted. I wasn’t asking for much. God blessed me with all but the dumb fence. I was living my dream. Then came the accident. It all seemed to come crashing down little by little after that. No more career, no more being able to drive to go family or friends, no more dog. Why no more dog? I get sick if I bend over too much. To care for a dog and have to hook them on a line to let them out would literally make me ill. So, I visit them at the farmer’s markets and swoon over them there. I miss so many things. I miss having a dog to jump on my lap. I miss being able to drive to soccer games and to be at the pool with my grandkids. Yea, I smile and make people think it is all good. I am pretty good at wearing that mask, jacket, whatever you want to call it. Then days like today come along and I come on here and type. I type to let others know how I truly feel. How hard it is to not be the old me. I miss her. I liked her more than I like the new me I have had to become. She would have been able to go to the reunion. But, here I sit and read the posts of the people in town and sulk. I have not overcome. Not today. Some days I do all right. But just like when someone you love dies you have those days that rear their ugly head and remind you of your loss. You cry and move on. It is life.

I thank you Lord for my family, and my home without the silly picket fence. I thank you for my dude at my side and for all of the things you have blessed us with. I will overcome this day by day one step at a time with you by my side. But as for today, keep me busy and let me feel you near. I overcome only with you at my side. HUGZ

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Anticipation of the Unknown

via Daily Prompt: Anticipate

Ramblings on the topic of anticipation of the future, the unknown:

Carly Simon’s song Anticipation begins with the following words,

We can never know about the days to come
But we think about them anyway 

So true, we think on the future most all days and wonder about what is to come. This week we have watched as Texas has been digging out from the massive floods and see that more trouble could be heading toward more in the US. We hear predictions of this and that. Turn the channel and hear yet another prediction or commentary on the prediction of someone else.  Some people are rushing to gather needs as they anticipate what will occur over the course of the next few days. Will it hit the East coast or the Gulf side? How strong of an impact the trail of terror impact us all? Will my loved ones be okay? Will my home and belongings be lost? What will happen?

We can never know about the days to come
But we think about them anyway 

So, what do you do when you want to know of the future and want some input from an outside source?  Do you turn on the news? Go online and research the topic? Visit a psychic?  Pray and ask God? Worry and think of every single possibility that might occur? Call your friends and ask them what they think will happen? Most people do one or more of those things. So much of the time we spend our moments in the future. Is it an attempt to control it? Does it give us a sense of security?

We can never know about the days to come
But we think about them anyway 

What about premonitions and dreams that we have to tell us of the future? Do they come true? Why do we have them? Those are good questions and I would love to have input from others on this topic.  I do not know the answer. But, I hope I am making you think. (In my opinion those are to not so much warn us of things to come but to be able to pray for those situations in advance to alter them to lessen the effects on all peoples.)

We can never know about the days to come
But we think about them anyway 

We are not in control of much. Especially not the future. Yes, we can do things to alter our direction but we cannot control what will happen with those things we do. Take for example the impact of flooding on the good people of Texas. Many had wonderful homes, vehicles, belongings and more. All gone. They had planned to be ready for the future with said items and now … nothing much is left. They will be lucky to have their insurance companies replace those items. Another example-  I had taken several classes to advance my career and now have a traumatic brain injury and cannot work.  I do not regret taking those courses and still wish I could use the education but I cannot.  What about the loss of a loved one? How many times have you wondered who will go first – you or your loved one?  We are not in control of that unless we break the law. That is written by God.  We are not in control of near as much as we would like to be.

We can never know about the days to come
But we think about them anyway 

Those days to come are going to come (unless we die) and will be filled with all kinds of life. There will be bad times, good times, happy times, and sad times. There will be days that will feel as if someone grabbled hold of your heart and ripped it out. There will be days when we will feel love overtake our beings and we will weep with joy. There is no song, no dreams, no time travel to let us know what will occur. We try to embrace those who will predict, those who seem to know and hold on tight to hope. Hope that we will guess correctly and that all will be as on the happy ending movies or in the TV shows of yesteryears. But more than that we fear that a bad thing will happen and at times we dwell on it.

We can never know about the days to come
But we think about them anyway …… even though what we think never comes true as we thought it would.  Live for today. Be in the moment and place the things of tomorrow in God’s hands. Your life will be so much happier if you do.

 

Infatuated with Life

via Daily Prompt: Enamored

 

Enamored, a word not often used in day to day verbiage.  Defined it means to be filled with a feeling of love, to be in love with, smitten by, or merely having a liking for something is to be enamored with something.

As a young woman I would have stated that I was infatuated with the love of my life, my spouse, and although that remains true I would not be here to love the man of my dreams without life. Life, a word with only four letters and such a large meaning.  To have life, to breathe, to sustain a way of living is not a given. It is a day to day gifting.

Only yesterday a dear friend underwent an eight hour surgery. She is resting now and healing from the endeavor and she is alive. Alive to be with her family yet another day. Breathing and taking in air, enjoying a breakfast that only a hospital can make. 🙂 She has been given the opportunity as have all of us to reach out and touch people in a new way. As one who is fighting back at breast cancer she is a stronghold of the culture within we live. So many have fought the battle against cancer, so many have won the battle against death with accidents, illnesses, and on and on the list could go.  I have survived a few things myself but today I choose to focus on the fact that I live for a purpose, a reason.

What is that reason? I live to serve. I live to serve God and his church. I live to serve those who long to know more about what it is like to live with a TBI.  I live to love my friends and family.  I am infatuated with life.

This morning as I rose from slumber I came right to my PC to go onto Facebook. I knew that a post would have been made concerning the well being of my dear friend. A photo of she and her daughter greeted me as I slid down the page of entries. In that moment I knew she was okay. Joy entered my heart as I knew I would be able to talk to her again soon. We would be able to come together and make handmade cards for those we love and speak of our lives. We would form more memories and explore our lives. I am thankful for that opportunity.

In a few hours I will venture out to celebrate a birthday with someone who was in the rollover accident with me. We will celebrate another year of life. I will look at her and recall those moments wherein we were not sure we would make it. She will look at me and do the same. Then we will embrace and know that we are blessed to be here. To celebrate yet another year, to be there with those we love, and to serve.  To live, to celebrate life and to be enamored by all of its possibilities.

 

Homage to God and Nobody Else

via Daily Prompt: Homage

 

As days pass and the years go by I seem to see many things in a different light. Perhaps it is due to the fact that I have survived near death. Perhaps it is just a normal part of aging.  Either way it is something that needs to be respected in our American culture (but seems to not be). With that said I wish to pay homage to the lessons my God has shown me. I hope that you glean something from this blog. It is why I write.

Lesson 1 – People who you think are your friends will use you for the sake of gossip. There I said it. I hated to tell you that one, but it is true. How do I know? I used to talk to someone almost every day. Our conversations could go on for an hour or more. But, I came to realize that as she spoke to me she slandered, or cut down, the people in her life that she called her friends. After years of hearing this I thought to myself, “I wonder if she does the same thing with what I tell her about my life?” If she were in fact talking to me to get information to tell them!  I began cutting back on telling her things and grew more and more sure of the fact that she was. I hated that I had fallen for that. I was a part of a gossip roundup – gathering and spreading the herds of data – manure and all. Since that realization I have decided to keep my mouth shut more than I used to. I have given up gossiping and use words to edify more than I did back then. People will use you. You have to set boundaries. If you don’t you will have repercussions.

Lesson 2 –  Private matters should be discussed with someone who is a counselor or trained to help you sort it all out. This is a follow up to number one. Confide in those who must keep your private matters private. I have gone to a counselor and not am ashamed to admit it. I know that they have taken an oath and will guide you. Friends and family on the other hand might think they know what is best and want to help but they are not always right. I lean on God and pray more than anything now to get my answers.

Lesson 3- Set boundaries with those who need it – I am not real good at this yet, but I am trying. I have people in my life who seem to think that they can tell me what to think even though what they think it completely opposite of who I am. I cannot do as they wish nor will I. To me, if I do as they tell me to do they become a sort of false God. Especially when they are telling me to do things that are not in agreement with the Bible.  I set boundaries and will listen to the one true God, not anyone who is a wolf is sheep’s clothing.

Lesson 4- When You Change People Will Not See it and Think You Are Still the Old You – Change takes timeI have changed but most still see me as the old me. I let her go a while ago. I am a new me dedicated to God. It is okay that people do not see it. That is not what matters. What matters is that God sees the new me.

Lesson 5- People will judge you even though they have no right to – It is a natural thing – to judge others for whatever reason. Maybe your eyes are a different color or you are in a wheelchair. Maybe it is something not physical but spiritual as you are of a varied faith. The reason is not important. It is the action that is taking place. Judge not lest ye be judged. Speak words of love, not judgement. If you are offended by someone pray for them. But more than anything, if someone judges you do not let it bother you. By doing so you give them control over your feelings. Focus on what God knows to be true. That is the only thing that is important.

 

I used to give homage to so many things. Those were the things that I spent an enormous amount of time on. Now, I choose to give homage to God and what he asks me to do. Homage to God as his disciple is not always an easy path to choose. But I choose it.

 

 

Magnets – Small Bits of Inspiration

via Daily Prompt: Magnetic

A dear fried was explaining to me that she was going to have a mastectomy. Cancer had invaded her body and therefore removal of one breast and the reduction of the other had become something needing to be done. I listened as she explained the procedure including the part where a magnet would be placed into her breast during the surgery. At that point my TBI brain went aloof as to why a magnet was being placed in there. My brain was yet trying to understand all that she would have to endure.

We had not known each other long, less than a year, but this dear friend had become the one to drive me to most all of my appointments for therapy etc. When we had met her health was good, not great, and we talked of many things. Don’t get me wrong, our talks are wide in breadth but we do speak of our health issues with one another. It is as if God placed us together to help each of us deal with the hand we have been dealt. Anyway, back to the topic. As I sat listening to her it dawned on me that we each have storms in our lives. We have those mountains to climb and we have those times of pure joy.  With some storms you can reach out to those who have had a similar experience and with others it is not so easy. So many have suffered cancer and its impact on their body and the soul. But, as for me, I have not met so many with a TBI. To be able to hear from those who are victims of a common thing might be comforting in some ways.

This morning as my dear friend and I chatted on Facebook I watched a news story about a local race for the cure. Cancer was the cause of this race and the people were helping raise funds for research etc.  My TBI mind began to wander. It began to ask itself if there are races etc for the cause of those with a TBI. I would hope so. Looking online I find a bowling for the cause idea and that the Veterans get help as well. That was a good start! In the end I realized that I have an opportunity to attempt to be a spokesperson for the cause of those with a TBI and their loved ones. There are so many of us. It is not to say that the other causes are not good, it is not that at all. I am now connected to this cause. My dear friend is connected to her cause. It is what we know. It is what we live.

Tomorrow my friend will have a magnet placed into her body and it will be a part of her forever.  In addition, she has the means to be a magnetic personality for the cause of cancer. She will be able to help those in need of assistance if she so chooses. As for me, I am going to choose to do the same for the cause of those with a TBI.  I am going to choose to begin to seek ways to help with the cause and help others understand the ramifications of a TBI.  There are so many who have not a clue about what we endure with this injury as a part of who we are. They cannot see it, so we must be fine. My friend and her circumstances has inspired me to reach out to others. To be like a magnet in the sea of people wanting to learn and to help. I am so thankful for her in many ways.

God, I ask that you be with my friend as she undergoes her surgery tomorrow. I ask that you guide us in the days to come. Thank you for helping me to be able to serve you and to be a magnet for those in need. I thank you that my life did not end in that accident. I am beginning to see why. Help me as I go forth. Amen.

 

 

 

The Eclipse of My Being

Today as most focus on the eclipse of the sun I will be mostly inside. My TBI brain’s reaction to the light is extreme and so I will be only glancing up from time to time. Therefore, today I choose to focus on the eclipse with a twist on the content. I hope it helps illuminate my life and what is has become.

 

Full sun sun– The morning of the day of my accident and my entire life previous – Yes, there had been clouds and things along the way but my mind had its full potential and I was working in a field that I loved. I was bright, intelligent, able to learn and knew where I was going. I was on a path for the future that entailed enlightening young people in the classroom. I was a light for my grandchildren and dreamed of the day when I would be able to come visit them more often when I retired. I was traveling abroad and doing missions work as well. I was happy and my future was bright.

 

partially covered – partially covered  On the afternoon of the day of my accident the light within me began to become covered. I was throwing up and my head was killing me. I had been cut out of a vehicle and strapped to a board then loaded into the first of two ambulances that would take me to a  trauma center. Here I had the first tests and began the trek that would last for longer than I could ever imagine. My world began to shift into going to therapy and seeing doctors to help me be able to go back to work and to survive the pain of life. My life was still partially lit at that time as I truly believed that I would be able to teach again.  I went back to work for almost a complete year but began to realize that doing so was exhausting. I ended up having a nervous breakdown and entering a hospital to deal with the fact that I was having issues with being able to work. But, the light was still there as I truly believed that I would be able to complete my career and teach for another 5 – 10 years.  I was fighting to move forward but it did not work.

covered

My heart ached as I wanted to return to teaching and my school gave me the chance to tutor. It was then that I began to realize that multiple sounds in the room were quite distracting and I could not comprehend the material before me. Previously I had been using material I had been familiar with in previous years. It had been stored in my long term memory. But, anything new was not there to retrieve from. My short term memory was messed up.  As I began going to a new therapy place they revealed to me other areas of concern. It was here that I learned that my brain had not always let me know when I should not be doing things, like driving. My brain had experienced a diffused injury – not a localized one. They explained that a stroke is many times in one area of the brain. But, my injury was as if it had been shot with a pellet gun. The damage was all over the place and miniscule. The routes that various things had to take to get the messages to and from the brain were damaged. We were going to work on attempting to reroute some of them. My darkest hours were when it was suggested I not drive and when I was told that I would never teach again, not even part time. That crushed me. Not only would I ever return to my career but I would also not be able to drive to visit my grandchildren.  I sank into a deep depression and stayed home for months without even changing into street clothes. I began going through the house ridding myself of any memories of my days of teaching and giving things away that reminded me of my losses. As I cleaned out the house I was mostly unable to go visit the school. It tore at my heart to see the kids and answer their questions as to why I was not there. But, it also hurt to see how my co-workers seemed to not even care about my life and what it had become. I hurt in so many ways. I was feeling sorry for myself and attempting to bury the old me. I had even thought if having a funeral and ridding myself of thins from the old me. I sold my classic car. I hated to see her go. I threw out clothes I had work to work.  I became more negative and dark as time progressed. I had no dreams. I had no visions. I had lost my light. I was dark and soaked in all of its glory. I did not want to come out and try to find the new me and I did not like to be pushed to do so.

Light is returning – As I climb out of the death of my old self and move forward I am finding new ways to serve. I realize that I can tell others of my story through blogging, and I can serve from home on my PC for short bursts. I do crafts and talk to people more than I had for a while  but I am still in a muddled mess of letting go of the old me. I did go over to the school the other day and talked to one person that was there. I will return to full light one day. I know that God is with me and he is guiding me there.

As you watch the eclipse today know that for many it is a symbol of their lives as well. The darkness has enveloped so many of us at stages of our lives but then with the aid of many things we seem to move out and come back into the light once again.

 

( I was able to view it from time to time through a welding mask – I am so glad I could see the eclipse)

 

Dreams – real or imagined?

All of my life I have had vivid dreams. I have seen color in them and have flown to many locations in the world. Yet, lately (since the accident wherein I got the TBI) I have begun to notice that my dreams have become more detailed.  At times there are aromas in my dreams. I even can sense the temperature of the area I am in. For example, last night in my dream I was entering an area where there was a tunnel to another area that froze over right in front of where I was swimming.  rousing slightly from my dream I gazed up at the ceiling and saw crystals appearing in my room. They grew for a while and then began to dissolve from my sight as I dozed off to sleep. Returning to the watery dream state I had been in I swam more and more seeing all kinds of vintage items as if I was among the ruins of the Titanic. The last time I arose I came out of my room to see a very heavy fog enveloping our home. I told my husband that we were not going to be able to drive to church as the visibility was far too poor. We would not be able to see. He looked at me and told me it was fine out. I asked him about the fog and he restated that the fog was minor and not an issue at all. I looked again and still saw the pea soup thick fog in front of me.  Confused, I went on into the bathroom and began to prepare for the day.  As I walked I felt as if I was in a daze and waddled while holding onto the wall for a short distance.  By the time I was dressed I seemed to have come out of the state of mind I had been in. We drove on to church but my vision was still muddled and my gait was not yet steady a half an hour later.

Are dreams of those who have a TBI varied from those who do not? Or is it just a personal thing? Has anyone else noticed a variance in your dreams? I am curious about this topic. I am also hoping to begin to document my changes as to aid those who research such changes to those of us with a TBI.

Here again. I would love to know what you know. Please feel free to comment with any insights.