Sunday, March 31, 2013

Spring

I was born in the spring and seem to be re-born each and every spring…especially since TBI.  The depression and sensitivity to darker weather, isolation, inactivity, quietness all seem to leave me wanting to do absolutely nothing and not caring about much.  As if in my own cocoon or hibernation, I see winter as something to be endured rather than enjoyed.

This is what the First Day of Spring looks like on my calendar.  :)  

ImageThis spring, the Robins and Pine Siskins have returned, we’ve had an addition of the Redpoles and Red-Winged Blackbirds, to our year-round friends, the Red-Breasted and White-Breasted Nuthatches, Black-capped and Mountain Chickadees, Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers

Pre-TBI I enjoyed birds, but post-TBI, being more of a shut-in, I look for them and welcome them back as happy, feathered friends. 

Their songs, at times, are loud!  The bird bath has thawed, it was cleaned and refilled yesterday and the flying circus has begun! 

ImageI have also seen our first butterfly of the season and my crocuses are out!  The first two years out here my crocuses would bloom, we’d get snow and they’d be flat as pancakes, so much for the joy of spring lasting.  :)  

From a dark and dormant season, there is rebirth.  Amazing how the earth has its seasons that do not need mankind’s assistance!  :)  


Death has been a topic on my mind lately, with my kitty, Tux, and my 90-year-old Dad.  I think of what Will Smith said, that there is life, there is death, and there is always rebirth… 

Dad at Hospital Again

Got the call from my oldest brother last night at 11:50 MT, saying he was on the way to pick up ex-step mom, Dad had been taken by ambulance to the Emergency Room for seizures.  They called back around 2:20 this morning saying that Dad has been stabilized and we'll know more later.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Dad and Our Indomitable Spirits

My Dad has been moved from the hospital to the rehab center (he went to the same rehab last year when fluid built up in his lungs then too).

Something really sweet happened at rehab.  The same lady, Vicki, who had worked with Dad last year, was walking by his room and saw him.  She went in, hugged him and told him how much she’d missed him, she even showed him and my ex-Step Mom photos she’d taken of him on her cell phone last year.

One of the photos was a really nice picture of Dad in his wheelchair in a rose garden.  He remembers that trip to the rose garden to this very day!  I remember him talking about it, it is certainly a deeply planted memory (terrible pun intended!) 

Vicki said she’d ask her supervisor to see if she can work with Dad again.

It’s interesting what the mind remembers, but really, I think there are parts of our spirits that are untouched by age or trauma.  This is one more confirmation for my theory!  :)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Spoke Briefly with Dad

I called Dad around 10:30 this morning, after a couple of rings, he answered his hospital room phone.  It was good to hear his voice, it was raspy as my brother told me, he was quite tired and he didn’t talk long.

But here is the thing: I noticed it last weekend when we spoke last weekend, his words were slurred.  Slurred speech always means stroke from what I’ve learned over the last ten years.

I mentioned this to my oldest brother who stopped by to see him briefly yesterday and he said Dad has an infection, and between the low sodium and too much fluid in his body, that’s probably all it is.

That doesn’t sit right with me.  I saw it and heard it in my Grandmother’s voice years ago and wish I knew then what I know now.  It’s frightening for the person it’s happening to and it’s alienating because we don’t understand what they’re saying.  Regretfully, I was uncomfortable in her presence back then and didn’t know what to do. 

I found my notes from last year when Dad was admitted to the hospital, his speech was not slurred.  So it’s a mystery that only time will tell.  From the information I’m looking at on Dementia here: http://www.dementiacarecentral.com/node/540, slurred speech is not part of the disease. 

I am concerned for Dad, if he needs additional care, which costs exponentially more.  It is staggering the cost of healthcare for seniors.  And, I’ll admit, it’s heartbreaking to see someone who worked so hard and saved all his life, served two tours of duty in WWII, spend his whole life savings on medical bills. 

(Sigh.)

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Update on Dad

Wow, talk about a long, long day. 

Here is what I know: Dad is going to be in ICU a couple of days, I don’t have any specifics other than they have him on oxygen, he’s tired, and I’m told looks pretty good (all things considered.)

He was too tired to talk on the phone to my brother when he called earlier, ex-Step Mom suggested I call in the morning. 

Life is such a remarkable gift we take for granted.

Oh yes.  The ladies at the Assisted Living Community all hovered around ex-Step Mom asking about him. Now that’s got to help him feel good!

Life and love.  All that matters.

I’m grateful for your being here, dear readers.  Probably more than you know. 

Kind of a mess today...

This morning started with a voice mail message from Dad’s Assisted Living Community nurse requesting permission to call 9-11 for him.  The flurry of phone calls began and my typical screwed up TBI brain struggled to communicate over the phone.  Kind of goofy, I know I need to act NOW but figure I’ll have the words to say when I need them.  Not.

At any rate, I’d have to imagine hospitals and nurses are quite accustomed to people in shock and can’t talk right, so I’m probably in good company.

Pacing seems to help my mind get itself together, so I walk up and down the hallway.  I look out the window thinking I’ve been here not too long ago feeling this same, emotionally raw, way…when we first came to discover Dad would need Assisted Living.  I look at the birds and tell myself to focus, I am lost in the moment.  I am lost. 

All I know is he’s getting tests run, and when they know more, so will I.  I wrote frantic notes trying to glean all the details I possibly can, I then email one brother.

I look online for helpful information about the stages of Dementia and my heart is wobbly, needing to be strong, focused, calm, and decisive, I’m just kind of a mess right now.  I feel if I know what’s coming, what to expect I’ll be able to handle it better.  I am seeking solidity, security when in reality there is none to be had. 

I wrestle with my flight instinct, telling myself I need to be ready at a moment’s notice to go back home (with dread).  Can I let it go?  Can I let go of all of it?  Everything that has transpired in the past and just live within this very moment?  I must.  Time passes far too quickly as it is inside of this Brain Injured world of mine.

I’d already been thinking of what would have to be done to plan for a funeral, but damn it, are we ever fully prepared when the time comes?  I’m sure some folks are.

Ironically I had just gotten all Dad’s paperwork sent in for his taxes last week (that was a HUGE, huge, huge accomplishment), and, I only just sent Dad’s Last Will and documents to his attorney yesterday, as he didn’t prepare the originals nor had copies.

I think of loss and grief.  I think of the ‘between a rock and a hard place’ in these moments.  It’s painful to see someone suffer and struggle, it is painful to think of our own loss…but the pain of watching someone suffering trumps my grief.  No contest.

I think of the brevity of life, how in a split second your entire life can change and it’s all out of our control.  I think of all the things we believe, or are taught to believe, so we can somehow have the illusion of controlling our destiny, but strongly doubt it in my own heart of hearts.  All too often the very ones telling us what to believe aren’t necessarily doing it from a place of humility and unconditional friendliness or love.  They have an agenda of their own, their own ego to feed, security to seek, and there’s all too often a financial gain in there somewhere too. 

I suppose that’s what Brain Injury has taught me…and I’m sure it’s the same for each individual who has had a life experience that didn’t fit the textbook definition of how life is ‘supposed to be.’  These are the moments that define us, that make us who we are…they reveal our character, ‘good’ or ‘bad’.
I get a little weepy, I go get some water, look outside at the birds and squirrels.  They do not future trip, they live in the moment, they do not prematurely grieve.  I remind myself to do the same, to breathe in and out.  Deeply. 

It is a beautiful, bright sunny day here.  The temp is barely 32 degrees Fahrenheit, just above freezing.  I watch some birds trying to drink from the mostly frozen stone bowl, others drink at the heated water bowl.

Back at my computer, I sit in scared silence.  I quietly wonder, as I peruse the information online, is this what I will be experiencing, if indeed, multiple TBIs cause Alzheimers/Dementia plus the genetic link I already have?  I am 45-years-old, my Dad is 90 and I can relate to him in startling understanding from my own personal experience. 

Just barely above freezing…that’s where I need to be too…to function well, to be fully present, in this fiercely cold, swirling heart storm. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Amy Grant's Beautiful Quote about Dementia

I came across a quote I wrote down on a tiny piece of paper while waiting at the Doctor's office last year.  I started to type it up to keep here on my computer but thought it was a keeper meant to be shared.  :)

Here is the quote from the People Magazine article, Amy Grant said in, “Taking Care of My Dad”:
"A friend told me, 'This is the last great lesson your parents will teach you.'  That changed everything.  I've learned even tough situations are beautiful."

I love the wisdom and heart of this article because it not only deals with Dementia, but applies to a lot of other situations like TBI where we no longer have a map to go by. 

I hope you read the inspiring article.  It is a refreshing perspective of faith, empathy, compassion, acceptance, and living in the moment.  Yep, it's a keeper meant to be shared.  :) 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Google Reader Shutting Down July 1, 2013

I have to admit, I never got used to using Google's Reader and it appears I'm not alone.  As of July 1, the Reader will be discontinued as a part of Google's 'Spring cleaning' which began in 2011. 

Click here for the CNN article.

If you'd like to create an archive of your Google products, go to:  https://www.google.com/takeout/

Please don't be alarmed by my (or anyone else) unsubscribing to your Blogger blog(s).  By planning ahead I (we) won't miss out on posts.  Yeah!  :)

This blog is still available via email subscription (see "FOLLOW BY EMAIL" directly below the "The Fight Of My Life: Living with Traumatic Brain Injury A Candid Conversation: When Disability Strikes" banner).

On a side note, I have often wondered if Google will stop supporting Blogger too...we shall see.  At any rate, this blog will remain, as will the mirror blog on WordPress. 


Thanks for being here, dear reader!  :)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Kitty Update: 3 Vet Visits in 3 Days

Phew!  Thursday, Friday were local vet visits for subcutaneous fluids, and, yesterday, fluids and acupuncture 65 miles away. OMG, stressed and exhausted! 

All in all, Tux was pretty good about the shots.  I wish I could say I did as well, LOL!  Thursday the Vet took Tux without us being in the room and came right back out with her saying she did well.  Friday the Vet asked if I wanted to see how it's done so we could do it at home.  Sure. 

OMG.  I swear, my mind says I can do this for her, I can give her the shot, but then the blood rushes from my face and I feel faint.  Maybe not so much of a gallant pet owner... 

Here's kind of an odd thing about heading to Friday's appointment.  Richard had the chainsaw in the back of our vehicle since he'd been working in the yard.  I took it out and put it in the basement.  I know, I know.  How inconvenient of me to move it.  Three car accidents and I'm pretty pathetic how concerned I was for Tux and said I didn't feel like I wanted to be skewered that day.  Anything not secured in a moving vehicle becomes potentially dangerous projectile.

So, here we go, driving to the Vet's office in town and not even five minutes into the trip and a woman CLEARLY does not see us and ends up in the space where we were driving, Richard had to swerve to miss her.  I just kept saying OMG! OMG! OMG! 

Richard said he believes it to be the wife of someone who is often drunk...my anger rises for many reasons.  I don't care WTF someone does to mess up their own life, but I get pissed when people are reckless with other people's lives.  Grrrrrr!  To know this and not tell a cop?  WTF? 

Anyway, I am grateful all Vet visits were safely traveled to and from.  :)

I'll email the Vet to see how often we should get Tux subcutaneous fluids, and maybe I can try it at home.  We'll see!  Our regular Vet yesterday shared she had two dear cat owners who got all geared up to do the shots at home and when the time came, they just couldn't do it.  So, for three times a week for a year + they brought their cat to the in for fluids.  It's okay, there is that as another option.  Of course doing it at home is far more affordable, but we'll see.

We also got some new Kidney Disease kitty food from other manufacturers, and, we bought items at Costco yesterday so I can try a raw foods diet for her.  That can be high maintenance, because I did that part-time for my dog who died from Cancer, but it's quite miraculous what we can do when death is knocking at the door. 

I feel responsible for my dog's Cancer and my cat's borderline Kidney Disease.  Why?  Because we had pets growing up and they, all, but one, died of old age.  One cat lived to be 19-years-old and we only fed him Meow Mix!  So, I'm curious about what can be done to extend one's life as long as a really good quality of life remains. 

It has been a long day, I woke at 3am to the sounds of Tux hurling so we're still on kitty watch and probably will be until her final breath. 

I know we all die eventually, that's not where my heart breaks.  My heart breaks because of the years lost to TBI.  Tux may have lived 14 years already, but to my mind, it only feels like 4 because 10 of it was my living with a Brain Injury.  I have often said my memories are stolen before they even happen.

I think it would really break people's hearts to know the anguish we suffer every day of our lives.  Seriously.  We are living within every human being's number one fear: of losing our mental capacities.  Let that sink in to where it feels uncomfortable.  Then, magnify that by 365 days, years, decades...

I no longer hold any judgment towards those tortured souls who chose suicide.  They weren't weak in the end.  They were as strong as they could be with the light they'd been given in the first place.  I'll never advocate suicide or believe it solves anything...

And here's the other thing.  Whether it's TBI or whatever disability, animals know us, they accept us, and they become fixtures in our routines.  Remove them and you're not just removing a 'pet'.  These are foundational friends in fur, parts of our lives that cannot be replaced.  So yeah, it's a pretty big deal...especially when faithful friends are in such short supply post-TBI because I'm a lot rougher around the edges than I used to be (and wish I wasn't.)

Sorry for the rambling, hopefully this post makes sense!  I did want to update before the day ends and more details fade.  Thanks for being here, dear readers and friends.  :) 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Direction Received

I am really grateful I chose to email my vet instead of trying to communicating over the phone…especially since she’s out of the office the rest of this week! 

She asked a few questions I’d not thought of and I had to refer to my notes, she had me check Tux’s gums for moisture as they should be slimy and not sticky.  I’m happy to report slime! 

She suggested taking Tux, who, by her definition is borderline, not in full blown Kidney Disease, to the local vet and get subcutaneous fluids administered TODAY.  She also suggested bringing Tux in next week for acupuncture and she’ll show us how to administer the fluids at home.  She says a lot of people opt to do this themselves and it really is an easy thing to do. 

Before I made the calls to schedule Tux, I knew I needed to rest before making phone calls.  Oh my gosh, I slept for a solid hour and I slept hard.  Phew!  LOL, and then I had a little caffeine to engage my -we-need-to-talk-cohesively-on-the-phone-brain!

So, Tux is going to the local vet this afternoon for subcutaneous fluids and Monday afternoon to our normal vet.  She said she doesn’t believe blood work would be necessary, but if Tux is having trouble keeping weight on she would not sedate her because of issues metabolizing medication.  She said it’s counter intuitive to get the information we need but hurt Tux to get it. 

I asked our vet about starting Tux on a raw foods diet or trying another commercial brand of Kidney Disease kitty food since Tux is refusing what we’ve giving her now.  (Tux is preferring the turkey breast and chicken broth, but there’s no weight gain there or sustaining nutrition.). 

The vet said she recommends the diet in Dr. Pitcairn’s book for kitties with K/D.  I did a raw foods diet for my dog with Cancer and believe that made a huge change for her.  Really, I do have to wonder if we think we can ever beat nature with something man-made…

Anyway, I’m able to breathe a sigh of relief for now and know we have a supported path and wanted everyone here to know too.  I know it’s no cure, but if I can help Tux live well for as long as she has on this earth, that’s a success in my book.  I can’t express how grateful I am for your loving kindness, words of comfort, and support. 

You, my friends, are rock stars!  :)  

And I’m grateful to be at a place in life I can afford to pursue care for Tux.  That is one thing I deeply regretted with my dog who had Cancer.  OMG!  I was already broke and then add the cost of the surgery, wow, huge debt and then I could afford no further treatment. How heartbreaking is that, to want to do more, to know more is within reach, but be unable to afford it? 

A piercing heartbreak can open one’s heart to compassion.  We have better healthcare for our animals than people have for their beloved friends and families in their own countries.  Now that’s something heartbreaking for sure, and perhaps, something to pray about too.

Waiting for Direction

It took me two days to write an email to my vet but sent it this morning and just called the office to let them know to expect it.  I figure it's far easier for me to communicate this way rather than try to remember everything I need to, and, keep myself from crying!

I've asked for the vet's advice and put it writing I'd prefer she be sedated if we need to take blood.  It felt good to get that communicated.  I also needed to know if what we're feeding Tux right now is okay long-term or are we causing kidney damage. 

Tux seems to be doing okay so far living off of sliced turkey and chicken broth.  She's got a little spunk back, but she's still quite tired and sleeps most of the day.  She did allow me to love on her last night while she was lying in our bed.  I'd just been praying for her, sending her light and love, and she looked up at me.  So sweet.  I've not heard her purr much lately, it is nice to hear.

She now has a heated lap blanket under her blanket on the bed so she can be warm and comfortable.  All my energy is going toward helping her feel as good as is humanly possible.

Crying.  Wow, sometimes I cannot stop!  But then, I remember how much I bawled and cried when my dog was diagnosed with Cancer, my gosh, heartbreaking.  Is it better to know the end is coming or not?  I do not have a conclusion for myself at this point. 

I did go back and look at some photos I took of Tux years ago and I heard a voice in my head say, "You did have time with her, you just don't remember."  Kind of a sad revelation, but true. 

As the case was with my dog, I never wanted her to go either, but I'll tell you straight up, I'd rather suffer with the loneliness of life without her than to see her struggle or suffer.  There is a time, I believe, as they grow closer to death that they stop being themselves and start just surviving. 

I have seen Tux with that faraway look and I wonder if the kitty angels are calling her, or helping her get ready to go.  Well, I'm off again, I don't know for how long this time. 

Hugs dear friends.  :)  Thanks for being here. 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Time, TBI & Death

I hate death.  No.  Really.  I do.  I have not been on speaking terms with death since my Mom passed away when I was just 16, and she was in her early 50’s.

My kitty with Kidney Disease had a very, very rough day yesterday.  She started vomiting in the morning and anything she consumed, even water, got tossed up.  I couldn’t be strong for one more moment and started crying in the afternoon wondering what to do.  Vets aren’t open around here on weekends; would we have to take her 65-miles away to an emergency vet?

I needed time to figure out what to do, Richard was out working and I needed direction.  For me, it came in the instructions from a naturopath Veterinarian whose book is often referred to when dealing with cat or dog issues.  It was one of the first books I purchased an updated copy of as soon as I could after selling the house.  It’s “Doctor Pitcairn’s New Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats”.

This is another area where Brain Injury kicks my ass (sorry for being blunt or crude.)  But I HATE that I struggle to come up with not only a solution but try to look back at precursors that may have caused her to get sick in the first place.  It’s in these moments of desperation that the voice of doubt rears its ugly head and says maybe I’m not fit to own animals in the first place…

Then there’s the anger.  Angry at my Brain Injury, angry at God asking him why in the hell do people and animals have to die anyway?

I digress.  Back to the book.  It talks about giving chicken broth and I thought, “Great!  I can boil some frozen chicken and she can drink the broth.”  Nope.  We are out of frozen chicken so, looked at the container of organic chicken broth.  I’ve always been hesitant because it’s not 100% chicken broth, it’s close at 98%, but am deeply concerned when it comes to moments like these where I need to help her and not be a hindrance.

I warmed up the broth as the book suggests, and added water (my own idea), and she drank it.  Next came the waiting game of seeing if she could keep that down.  Success!  Then we tried pieces of turkey breast we get from Costco, and waited, waited, and waited.  Success!

She did climb into bed again last night as she’s done most every day of her life, she settled down on my sweatshirt at the edge of the bed and quickly fell asleep.  She must have been absolutely exhausted.  I did not sleep much last night, waking at every sound.  I’m suddenly brought out of the fog of Brain Injury to notice every detail, taking note of when she eats and uses the litter box.  This is how I used to be without Brain Injury…

I am in a quandary and most likely will take her to the vet 65 miles away when I can get her in.  Here’s the hesitance: she gets great care, she does well with the acupuncture, but they take her blood every 4 months and it’s of great difficulty each time.  I can’t stand or sit there while they fish around after shaving her neck.  Richard can’t stand it either, so it’s not just me.  I’m hoping I can ask them if they can sedate her this time…LOL…and maybe ME TOO!  :)

I really hate TBI too, for moments like this when I feel like the wind is knocked out of me and I have to do my absolute utmost for her.  She’s been the sweetest of kitty friends.  But I hate TBI because time passes and I have no concept of it.  It’s heartbreaking that 10 of the 14 years I’ve had Tux I have had a Brain Injury.  It feels like I’ve had no time with her at all.  I felt the exact same way when my dog got sick and later had to be put down in 2009.

I can look at the notes on my paper where I wrote Tux’s birth year, the math I’ve done showing me it’s been 14 years, but it doesn’t feel like that long.  I don’t know if any time with animals is ever quite long enough.

With all this I completely forgot about setting the clocks forward.  Completely!  I had it marked on the calendar but that was overridden in my brain.  I’m glad Richard had the wherewithal to start off by resetting the clock on the toaster oven.  I was really out of it…it usually takes me a while to adjust to the time change anyway.

I’ve wanted to stuff all these emotions away where they can be stowed for later…but later is now.  I have to ventilate or I will be unable to make wise decisions when the time comes. 

Sometimes I really wish I wasn’t such a mush ball with a wobbly heart when it comes to issues with pets.  Egads, even writing this is making me cry, guess there’s still more heart to be ventilated.  I have to be as prepared as I possibly can…and do the right thing.

I loved Tux even before we met!  At that time Richard and I were together, he came home and said someone he knows has a really sweet little black and white kitten with a little white on her chest.  I said I’d take her and I’ll call her Tux!  She is pretty much the embodiment of sweet kittiness.

For now, she is eating and keeping things down.  She has a buffet of food to choose from, this is exactly what I did for my dog with Cancer.  I know in my heart of hearts it doesn’t matter if I hate death, or am angry about my TBI and time.

What I learned from walking my dog through Cancer is as long as life holds her here, I will fight with everything I’ve got to keep her alive and well, but when her time comes to go, I will help her go.

But that still doesn’t mean I’ll be on speaking terms with death anytime soon!

Monday, March 4, 2013

This Beautiful Community

I had heard of this community’s generosity last year at a doctor’s appointment.  The nurse and I were talking and she said this community raised a hefty sum of money for a woman who needed a specialized wheelchair.  No one is wealthy, that’s just what they do here, she added.

This past Friday, Richard and I attended a dinner and auction for a local gentleman who has terminal Cancer.  Neither he, nor I, knew this man.  I guess because my life is so limited to the insides of these four walls, I saw everything through the eyes of wonder.  I could feel the powerful energy in the room.  It was a mix of warmth, respect, compassion, and the highest, most sincere, form of love…and the divine.

After the dinner, a couple folks spoke of this man who was seated at the back of the room in his wheelchair.  As they began to speak, their eyes teared up, as did most.  (I’m getting tears again just writing this!)  The gentleman in the wheelchair was honored with a plaque for having volunteered and served this community.  Thunderous applause and cheers erupted throughout the room, but he is loved for who he is and simply because he is a part of the community.

The auctioneer then took over and said that oftentimes with a diagnosis such as Cancer, the first thing that happens is you go broke.  In his earnest and forthright manner he suggested we do what we always do to help one of our own.  He said he’s seen this happen times before, where there’s a need, the community responds.  Much like a rock tossed into a pond, the reach goes farther and farther out into the community.

Friends, family, and members of the community had all donated special items.  There were some store bought treasures, a lot of gift cards, but most were heart- and hand-made.  Those gifted with the talent of sewing made beautiful, one-of-a-kind quilts, wall hangings, and table runners.  Artists donated sketches, prints, and paintings.  The talented bakers of the community made pies, cakes, scones, and cinnamon rolls.

Sweet sale!
[The child you see in this photo is an auction helper, further up the aisle, you'll see a teenager carrying a pie.  That ONE pie sold for over $100!  We were really tempted to buy some cinnamon rolls from a wonderful baker, but the prices shot up out of our price range fast!]

I happened to sit next to a woman who has (or had been) the gentleman’s neighbor.  She spared no expense in her bidding, it was incredible.  The gentleman had written a book and some were being auctioned off, she bought one for well over a hundred dollars.  Get this…she already has the book he signed and gave to her shortly after it was published!

Heart and hands
[The mirror you see in this photo was made by the gentleman pictured in it.  I'm really happy this photo turned out.  He takes vintage circular cut barn wood, stains it, embellishes it with vintage tack he's restored, and makes these remarkably beautiful one-of-a-kind frames for pictures or mirrors.  This one needed two adults to display it, another hand-made treasure to last generations.]

I didn’t want to leave but with it was loud!  A lot of stimuli all at once, people talking while the auction is going on, babies crying, lots of movement.  The trip back home was pretty quiet, my brain was so fried, but I was happy, inspired, touched, and peaceful.

Part of my tears were/are for the fact I needed a fundraiser to help me keep my home years ago.  It took everything I had to ask friends and family, I wrote to every non-profit organization in the U.S. that I could think of, I also wrote every Brain Injury Association in the U.S.  I wrote Oprah, I wrote Dr. Phil, even President Obama.  Nothing.

I clearly did not have the support this man has.  How does one do that?  To hear of another person’s struggle or suffering and do nothing but find creative ways to justify apathy and inactivity, or, as was most often the case, not respond at all?  I don’t want to be like that.

To do that would be to miss out on a truly remarkable piece of life…