TBI – Survivors, Caregivers, Family, and Friends

“Surprise!”

by

Miki Mashburn-Bailey

presented by

Donna O’Donnell Figurski

072715 Mashburn-Bailey Miki CaregiverA couple of years after my husband’s accident, I bought flowers for myself and gave them to him to “surprise” me with. I told him that I was going to walk out of the room and come back in and that he needed to say, “Surprise!” and hand them to me.

My husband thought I was weird. Pre TBI, I really couldn’t have cared less about the flowers, but my husband lost his knack for surprising me every once in a while with kisses and hugs, knick-knacks and treats, or flowers. I needed him to see that it was important to me.

I went out of the room and came back in. My husband yelled so loud that it scared my son in the other room. He was very sarcastic, and he gave me the flowers without a smile. But, I smiled and told him, “Thank you!” I said that I loved the flowers.8iAEyGerT

I placed the flowers on the table. Every time I knew that my husband would notice, I would deliberately stop, smell them, and smile. He would always say, “You really like those flowers.” I would correct him and say, “I just like that they’re from you.” My husband became convinced that he bought those flowers for me.

Thus began my husband’s new “routine.” He has done things like this ever since. He likes the idea that he can make me smile. He used to all the time before his TBI, but he doesn’t have it in him post TBI. The thought that my husband can do it had to be placed back into his mind.

(Disclaimer: The views or opinions in this post are solely that of the author.)

If you have a story to share and would like to be a part of the SPEAK OUT! project, please submit your TBI Tale to me at neelyf@aol.com. I will publish as many stories as I can.

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SPEAK OUT! Itty-Bitty GIANT Steps

presented by

Donna O’Donnell Figurski

Itty-Bitty GIant Steps for BlogSPEAK OUT! Itty-Bitty Giant Steps will provide a venue for brain-injury survivors and caregivers to shout out their accomplishments of the week.

If you have an Itty-Bitty Giant Step and you would like to share it, just send an email to me at neelyf@aol.com.

If you are on Facebook, you can simply send a Private Message to me. It need only be a sentence or two. I’ll gather the accomplishments and post them with your name on my blog approximately once a week. (If you do not want your last name to be posted, please tell me in your email or Private Message.)

I hope we have millions of Itty-Bitty Giant Steps.

Here are this week’s Itty-Bitty GIANT Steps

Gina Morin (caregiver for her ex-husband)

11698961_10200691336041375_5502012322701595071_oMy ex-husband’s accident was August 8, 2014. I am celebrating his first time to go out to eat at a restaurant. My prayer was answered that he could put the silverware to his mouth. Even picking up his food with his fork was amazing! He has come so far. 11141217_10200691335281356_1974107260734323069_nThe goal now is for us to get comfortable when transferring him from car to wheelchair and vice versa, so that his time in the nursing home is limited. It’s a taste of freedom for him. At some point, I want to bring him to my house for a weekend visit. But, he is two hours away, and he gets carsick. I’m going to talk to the doctor about that. For now, it has to be short rides in the car.

YOU did it!

Congratulations to all contributors!

(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)

(Photos compliments of contributor.)

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Please leave a comment by clicking the blue words “Leave a Comment” below this post.

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If you like my blog, share it with your friends. It’s easy! Click the “Share” buttons below.

If you don’t like my blog, “Share” it with your enemies. I don’t care!

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Survivors  SPEAK OUT!  Hayley Nichols

presented by

Donna O’Donnell Figurski

Hayley Nichols Survivor 0727151. What is your name? (last name optional)

Hayley Nichols

2. Where do you live? (city and/or state and/or country) Email (optional)

I live in Valparaiso, Indiana, USA. My accident occurred in Lafayette, Indiana.

3. On what date did you have your brain injury? At what age?

I had a traumatic brain injury (TBI) on November 16, 2014. I am 23 years old.

4. How did your brain injury occur?

Some background: I went home to Lafayette, Indiana, for my brother’s birthday dinner with my family on November 16. My brother does motocross as a hobby, and I had never been on a dirt bike before. So, that day I went for my first ride. We made it down the road, and then we wrecked. An eyewitness of our accident said that we were not speeding at all, but the bike started to teeter back and forth. My brother was able to dodge a mailbox. The bike then hit a drainpipe head in a ditch. The eyewitness said that the force propelled my brother and me ten to fifteen feet into the air. We were so high that we were in the tree branches before we landed on the ground.

5. When did you (or someone) first realize you had a problem?

As a result of our possible head traumas, my brother and I were rushed to two different hospitals. My mom told me that it was horrible to have us separated but that one hospital wouldn’t be able to handle us if we both needed emergency surgery for head trauma.

6. What kind of emergency treatment, if any, did you have?

I did not have any emergency surgery the day of the accident. I did have surgery to repair my nose. I hit my face so hard that my nose was completely flattened.

7. Were you in a coma? If so, how long?

I was not in a coma, but my mom told me I could only respond by moaning whenever a doctor or nurse performed a sternum rub. My mom told me that, after a few days went by, I was able to wiggle my toes and fingers. I was in the Intensive Care Unit for almost a week.

8. Did you do rehab? What kind of rehab (i.e., inpatient or outpatient and occupational and/or physical and/or speech and/or other)? How long were you in rehab?

I did rehab as an inpatient for about four weeks. I had occupational, physical, and speech therapies Monday through Friday. Once released from rehab, I had to continue therapy as an outpatient.

9. What problems or disabilities, if any, resulted from your brain injury
(e.g., balance, perception, personality, etc.)?

When we had our accident, I landed on the left side of my body, so my left knee is always painful. I am able to walk on my own, and I am even driving. But, I only drive down the road – I haven’t been on the interstate yet. When I was first released from rehab, I had trouble with depth perception. I still have trouble with balance. One of the biggest problems that have resulted from my TBI would be dealing with personality changes. (I become upset easily. I could be crying my eyes out over something someone said to me, then five minutes later, be completely happy.)

10. How has your life changed? Is it better? Is it worse?

My life has changed tremendously. A good thing that has resulted from the accident is that my family is much closer. The worst thing that has happened to me is that my entire memory of my life has been erased. I am now able to remember things if someone triggers the memory by a song or by giving pieces of the event. It is honestly scary not to recognize people whom I have known my whole life and who have known me. It is frustrating not to recognize people from school. I hate not remembering things that have occurred in my own life. The only way for me to learn about my life is through pictures. Sometimes, I feel like a stranger in my own life.

11. What do you miss the most from your pre-brain-injury life?

I miss being able to run outside. I love to do activities outside – like playing kickball with my family or walking my dog. I also used to be a cheerleader and a ballroom dancer. I don’t see myself being able to do those things anytime soon.

12. What do you enjoy most in your post-brain-injury life?

I appreciate life. I do not allow little things to bother me or make me upset. I pay attention to the tone I use when I say things and to the words I choose. I have had people in a joking manner say, “Your accident was months ago. Isn’t that memory-excuse getting old?” They say it in a joking way, and, in the context of the situation, it was not a direct attack. But, it was hurtful. My TBI is a silent disorder, just like PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), Alzheimer’s, depression, and so many others. I never want to offend anyone, so I have learned to be compassionate of anyone with any disorder.

13. What do you like least about your brain injury?

Memory loss is the worst outcome of my TBI. Some days, I look through pictures and feel like I’m looking at a stranger – and the girl in the picture is me. It’s an odd feeling to have everyone around you know more about you than you do.

14. Has anything helped you to accept your brain injury?

Honestly, what works for me is to have a positive attitude and to be able to rise above the negative things people say. I am also helped by reading blogs online to learn how other TBI survivors live everyday life. My family has been my motivation to keep going.

15. Has your injury affected your home life and relationships and, if so, how?

I live with my boyfriend, Travis, now that my family has allowed me to return to Valparaiso. He is my primary caregiver. He does everything for me. He is my whole world. He drives me to my doctors’ appointments, to therapy, and to school, and he even helps me with my homework. I would not be able to go back to school or even try to get back to a normal life without him. My mother and I are very close, and my accident brought us even closer. She helps me calm down when I get upset and frustrated. She is a great listener, even when I call to tell her the same story for the third time in the same day. My mother is a hospice nurse. Her background and experience working with patients who need her to do everything have helped her to help me. My mother has a positive attitude, even when I say I can’t do something. She says, “Not yet, but you can do….” She will then list all the things that I have learned to do again.

16. Has your social life been altered or changed and, if so, how?Screenshot_2015-04-29-22-30-34-1-1

My friends are wonderful. But, I would love for them not to be so protective of me nor to change plans because they think that I can’t do something. I want to try and be normal like them. If I can’t do it, I just think, “I know they mean well. I think they need more time to get used to it all.”

17. Who is your main caregiver? Do you understand what it takes to be a caregiver?

My main caregiver is my boyfriend. I live with him, so he helps me get to school and to doctors’ appointments. Travis is my everything. He has made possible going back to living my old life. My mom is also my caregiver. She helps me with all of my doctors’ appointments and life-decisions. She and Travis work as a team to help me.

18. What are your plans? What do you expect/hope to be doing ten years from now?

My future plans began with graduating in May from Purdue North Central with a bachelor’s degree in Biology. Ten years from now, I plan to attend veterinary school.

19. Are you able to provide a helpful hint that may have taken you a long time to learn, but which you wished you had known earlier? If so, please state what it is to potentially help other survivors with your specific kind of brain injury.

Don’t become overwhelmed with your current state. Don’t be afraid of the future. No doctor has all the answers, so don’t become discouraged if he or she can’t understand your TBI. No TBI is the same. Have faith.

20. What advice would you offer to other brain-injury survivors? Do you have any other comments that you would like to add?

Talk to those around you. Education about TBI to those who don’t understand will help spread the knowledge. Also, not being afraid to explain your TBI will help those around you understand and help you.

(Disclaimer: The views or opinions in this post are solely that of the interviewee.)

If you would like to be a part of the SPEAK OUT! project, please go to TBI Survivor Interview Questionnaire for a copy of the questions and the release form.

(Photos compliments of Hayley Nichols.)

As I say after each post: Please leave a comment by clicking the blue words “Leave a Commentanim0014-1_e0-1 below this post.

Feel free to follow my blog. Click on “Follow” on the upper right sidebar.

If you like my blog, share it with your friends. It’s easy! Click the “Share” buttons below.

If you don’t like my blog, “Share” it with your enemies. I don’t care!

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On the Air

“Another Fork in the Road” Menu of Radio Shows

presented by

Donna O’Donnell Figurski

images-1

Finding the show you are looking for is easy. Just scroll through the list of shows below. There are interviews with brain injury survivors and caregivers. There are shows with therapists and authors. Discussions of pertinent topics relating to brain injury are also included. I hope you find something that interests you.

If there is a topic that you would like me to address on my show, please send me an email at neelyf@aol.com. In the subject area, please write “On the Air” Topic.

                                                  See you “On the Air”

July 19, 2015

Guest: Tatiana Puckett, young mother of three boys and caregiver for her husband, Joshua

July 5, 2015

Panel: Catherine Brubaker, Julie Kintz, and Juliet Madsen – Topic: All Disabilities Are Not Visible

June 21, 2015

Guest: Daniel Mollino, survivor and cross-country bicyclist

June 7, 2015

Guest: Lisa Dryer, survivor of brain injury, multiple sclerosis, lupus, epilepsy, and Sjögren’s syndrome

May 17, 2015

Guest: Juliet Madsen, survivor, troop, quilter, author

May 3, 2015

Guest: Lisabeth Mackall, caregiver, therapist, author

April 19, 2015

Guest: Jeannette Davidson-Mayer, caregiver and military spouse

April 11, 2015

Interview of Donna O’Donnell Figurski by Shannon Marie of the Brain Injury Radio Network

March 15, 2015

Guests: Joshua Puckett, survivor, and his wife, Tatiana

March 1, 2015

Guest: Deb Angus, survivor and author

February 15, 2015

Guests: Jamie and Crystal Fairles, survivors

February 1, 2015

Guests: Bob Calvert (radio host for US troops), Jeannette Davidson-Mayer (spouse of a brain-injured troop), and Juliet Madsen (brain-injured troop)

January 18, 2015 

Guest: Rosemary Rawlins, caregiver for her husband and author

January 4, 2015

Guest: Allan Bateman – Preventive and Rehabilitative Therapist

December 21, 2014

Guests: Catherine (Cat) Brubaker, TBI survivor, and Dan Zimmerman, stroke survivor Reflections on Triking Across America

December 7, 2014

Guest: Christian Jungersen, author of You Disappear

November 30, 2014

Co-host: Julie Kintz – Holiday Stressors

November 16, 2014

Guest: Melissa Cronin, survivor – author of Invisible Bruise in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Recovering From Traumatic Brain Injuries

November 2, 2014

Guest: Dr. David Figurski, survivor – Segment 4 of Prisoners Without Bars: A Caregiver’s Story

October 5, 2014

Guest: Catherine (Cat) Brubaker, survivor – Triking Across America – diagonally

September 21, 2014

Segment 3 and Epilogue of Prisoners Without Bars: A Caregiver’s Story

September 7, 2014

Segment 2 of Prisoners Without Bars: A Caregiver’s Story

August 31, 2014

Co-host: Julie Kintz – Life Changes After TBI

August 4, 2014

Segment 1 of Prisoners Without Bars: A Caregiver’s Story

July 9, 2014

Interview of Donna O’Donnell Figurski by Kim Jefferson Justus of the Brain Injury Radio Network

(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)

As I say after each post: Please leave a comment by clicking the blue words “Leave a Commentanim0014-1_e0-1 below this post.

Feel free to follow my blog. Click on “Follow” on the upper right sidebar.

If you like my blog, share it with your friends. It’s easy! Click the “Share” buttons below.

If you don’t like my blog, “Share” it with your enemies. I don’t care!

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SPEAK OUT! Faces of Brain Injury – Sissy Smith and Alan Gammon

presented by

Donna O’Donnell Figurski

 Brain Injury is NOT Discriminating!

bigstock-cartoon-face-vector-people-25671746-e1348136261718

It can happen to anyone, anytime, . . . and anywhere.

The Brain Trauma Foundation states that there are 5.3 million people in the United States living with some form of brain injury.

On “Faces of Brain Injury,” you will meet survivors living with brain injury. I hope that their stories will help you to understand the serious implications and complications of brain injury.

The stories on SPEAK OUT! Faces of Brain Injury are published with the permission of the survivor or designated caregiver.

If you would like your story to be published, please send a short account and two photos to me at neelyf@aol.com. I’d love to publish your story and raise awareness for Brain Injury.

11195554_823391991029685_760869837_nSissy Smith (survivor)

I had a wreck in October 2014. It was caused by a stroke, and I wasn’t responding when they cut me out. I was airlifted to a hospital. They stitched my head in four Smith, Sissy Survivor Hospital 072015places and gave me a trach (a tube inserted into a hole made in the trachea to ease breathing).Smith, Sissy Survivor Pre-Tbi 072015 I was in a coma. I had facial fractures and broken ribs. I also broke my shoulder. I was in the Intensive Care Unit for a month and in rehab two weeks. But, I am a survivor – a miracle. I am blessed!

Alan Gammon (survivor)


Gammon, Alan Survivor 1 072015
I was coming home when I came upon a 1991 Ford Ranger that was going off the road. The truck over-corrected, came across the road, and hit my pick-up truck head on.Gammon, Alan Survivor Vehicle  072015attachment-4

It took the emergency crew over 45 minutes to cut me out of my truck. The guy’s Ranger had hit me so hard that the dashboard pushed my feet through the floorboard, pinning me in. If I had had my seat belt on, the steering wheel would have crushed my chest. I was cut out of the car, and during this process, I died. My heart stopped three times between the accident and the Med-Flight to the hospital. My injuries included a leg broken in two places, a broken jaw, a broken arm, two ruptured lungs, and a grade-3 brain trauma. The doctors said I was in the deepest “survivable” coma. I was not expected to make it through the night or to wake at all. So, they ushered my family into my room with a chaplain. Due to a lot of hope, faith, and prayers, I woke up a week later in the Medical College of Virginia Neurological Intensive Care Unit and recovered to the best of my ability.

The driver of the Ford Ranger later admitted to an officer of having drunk twelve-fourteen beers that day while fishing on the river. The man was given a reckless-driving ticket, which was later reduced to “improper driving.” Because of his decision to drink and drive, I had to be cut out of my car by the jaws-of-life.Gammon, Alan, Survivor  Hospital 072015 attachment-2-1

On that July 5th, I died, and ever since that day, I have woken as someone else. I am unable to work, and I have no short-term memory. Every day that I wake up is a totally different day – but all still a blessing.

To read the original article about Alan and see additional photos, go to Disabled Magazine.

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Disclaimer: Any views and opinions of the Contributors are purely his/her own.

(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)

(Photos compliments of contributor.)

As I say after each post: Please leave a comment by clicking the blue words “Leave a Commentanim0014-1_e0-1 below this post.

Feel free to follow my blog. Click on “Follow” on the upper right sidebar.

If you like my blog, share it with your friends. It’s easy! Click the “Share” buttons below.

If you don’t like my blog, “

Caregivers SPEAK OUT! – Tatiana Puckett

presented

by

Donna O’Donnell Figurski

Puckett, Tatiana Caregiver 1 0713151. What is your name? (last name optional)

Tatiana Puckett

2. Where do you live? (city and/or state and/or country) Email? (optional)

Palmdale, California, USA     tatianamdiaz@yahoo.com

3. What is the brain-injury survivor’s relationship to you? How old was the survivor when he/she had the brain injury? What caused your survivor’s brain injury?

The traumatic brain injury (TBI) survivor is my spouse (Joshua). He was 31. Josh was assaulted late at night outside our apartment building.

4. On what date did you begin care for your brain-injury survivor? Were you the main caregiver? Are you now? How old were you when you began care?

I began care on April 10, 2013, the day Josh left the hospital. I have always been his main caregiver. I was 30.Puckett, Tatiana & Josh 071315

5. Were you caring for anyone else at that time (e.g., children, parents, etc.)?

I was caring for my two sons, and I was pregnant with the third.

6. Were you employed at the time of your survivor’s brain injury? If so, were you able to continue working?

I was employed but gradually had to go from full-time to part-time, which got me laid off from that position. My mother-in-law moved in with us, which allowed me to continue working and accept a new job.

7. Did you have any help? If so, what kind and for how long?

My mother-in-law takes care of the boys almost around the clock since the date of the injury to now.

8. When did your support of the survivor begin (e.g., immediately – in the hospital; when the survivor returned home; etc.)?

I began care as soon as Josh got home from the hospital.

9. Was your survivor in a coma? If so, what did you do during that time?

No. Josh wasn’t in a coma, but he was given a lot of sedatives. Josh is very rebellious and antsy. You can’t tell him to sit still because, even prior to his TBI, he wouldn’t. Josh constantly tried to flee the hospital and the rehab center. I even had to go to the hospital one night in the middle of the night to convince him to stay. I drove between home and the hospital a lot, especially since the hospital didn’t allow children under 12 to visit. My mother-in-law and I had to take turns.

10. Did your survivor have rehab? If so, what kind of rehab (i.e., inpatient and/or outpatient and occupational, physical, speech, and/or other)? How long was the rehab? Where were you when your survivor was getting therapy?

Yes, Josh had inpatient rehab – occupational, speech, and physical therapies. It should have been a lot longer, but Josh managed to talk his way out of it in two days time. When Josh had rehab, I was right there with him.

11. What problems or disabilities of your brain-injury survivor required your care, if any?

I try to keep Josh calm, which can be difficult. It changes daily and can get really frustrating, but I do my best to keep aggression at bay.

Puckett, Tatiana & Josh 2 07131512. How has your life changed since you became a caregiver? Is it better? Is it worse?

It’s difficult. I feel guilty because I feel torn between work, the kids, and Josh. Josh requires a lot of my time. I feel like my kids are missing out on time with me because, when I’m not at work, I’m with Josh. And, sometimes when Josh needs me, I can’t help him because I need to spend time with my boys.

13. What do you miss the most from pre-brain-injury life?

I miss being able to depend on my husband for everyday things. I have to parent with my mother-in-law instead of with my husband, which isn’t bad, but it’s not ideal. Josh can’t be around the kids too long because they overwhelm him. It’s hard.

14. What do you enjoy most in post-brain-injury life?

I like watching Josh discover new aspects of his creativity. He has a newfound excitement for writing and painting, both of which have bloomed since his TBI.

15. What do you like least about brain injury?

I find Josh’s new personality to be overwhelming at times. He wants to share every poem, every drawing, and every thought with me, even when I just want a quiet moment.

16. Has anything helped you to accept your survivor’s brain injury?

Time. As time goes on, it gets easier, but some days are still really hard.

17. Has your survivor’s injury affected your home life and relationships and, if so, how?

Like I mentioned above for question 12, I feel stretched in every direction. I did before as a working mom, but even more so now. I feel like, in a day, I end up with maybe two minutes to myself, but, once I get those minutes of silence, Josh needs me to listen to a song, a poem, etc. I’m happy for him, but, between work, handling home finances, kids, and him, it’s so tiring.

18. Has your social life been altered or changed and, if so, how?

A little. I mean, maybe Josh and I go out a bit more. With his mom home, we get to go to open mics, so Josh can play music and read his poetry.

19. What are your plans? What do you expect/hope to be doing ten years from now?

I’d like to say that we will own a home in ten years. We all need space, so this two-bedroom apartment isn’t cutting it.

Puckett, Tatiana Caregiver 2 07131520. What advice would you offer other caregivers of brain-injury survivors? Do you have any other comments that you would like to add? 

Give yourself and your TBIer some space. Don’t let your emotions get the best of you. If you feel an argument starting, stay calm and, as calmly as possible, explain that you should both step away before emotions escalate out of control. Remember not to take things personally. It’s not you your survivor’s mad at. It’s a frustrating world, and it’s scary, and your survivor’s lashing out. Just keep calm and step away.

 

Disclaimer: Any views and opinions of the Contributor are purely his/her own.

(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)

(Photos compliments of contributor.)

As I say after each post: Please leave a comment by clicking the blue words “Leave a Commentanim0014-1_e0-1 below this post.

Feel free to follow my blog. Click on “Follow” on the upper right sidebar.

If you like my blog, share it with your friends. It’s easy! Click the “Share” buttons below.

If you don’t like my blog, “Share” it with your enemies. I don’t care!

Feel free to “Like” my post.

To My Husband’s Attackers – One Year Later

by

Jasmine Oldham

presented by

Donna O’Donnell Figurski

Oldham, Jasmine Caregiver 071115You’ve been on my mind lately. Frankly, you’ve been on my mind most of this year. Do you realize today marks a year since you attacked my husband while he was walking in Toronto? Doesn’t it seem odd that your actions almost ended my husband’s life, and you haven’t even seen it?

I wonder about you. I can’t help it. When we’re in the city for appointments (don’t you know that all the brain-injury specialists are in the same city in which this happened), I watch the eyes of the men we meet. I wait to see if they recognize my husband – if they are seeing the ghost of the man whom they thought they murdered a year ago. I don’t know that I’ll ever stop being curious or watching for you. It just makes sense that we will meet; the police assigned to this case are kind and smart, and the world isn’t as big as you might think it is.

My husband and his friends were out for his bachelor party. I know they told you. I know you knew I was waiting at home for the love of my life. And yet, my husband and his friends barely talk now. Traumatic brain injuries have a way of breaking up friendships. Our first year of marriage was spent in doctors’ offices and rehab clinics, instead of having vacations and adventures.Oldham, Jasmine 071115

I wonder at your group dynamics now, and I am curious if they parallel ours. Have you pushed each other away because you can’t stand seeing your friends as the monsters from that night? Or, do you hold each other close – keeping tabs on each other to make sure the secret stays secret? Which of you will be the next with a boot to the head for saying the wrong thing? And that girl. Does she worry each time you all go out that you’ll be arrested? Or beaten? I wonder if she struggles with panic attacks each time a phone rings? I did. For months, I relived the voicemails detailing your attack on my husband.

When we meet, I hope you tell me you’ve counted the days. I hope that night changed each of your lives and convinced you to spend every day paying penance for the life you hurt. I hope the aftermath – living with that secret – haOldham, Jasmine 2 071115s propelled you from the boys you were a year ago to men. I hope you’ve done something stunning with your life.

Of course, I hope you approach the police and confess. I’m not going to lie and say that’s not a wish. But, even on my most optimistic days, I can’t see any of you being strong enough to step up and accept the consequences. Nor, can I imagine any of you with enough compassion to want to put us at ease and offer us closure. (If you want to prove me wrong, by all means contact the police at the 52nd Division – http://www.torontopolice.on.ca/d52/).

At the very least, let this monumental, awful thing that rocked our world rock yours too. Don’t be so callous and immature not to realize the gravity of what happened that night. You stole the life we were planning on. Oldham, Jasmine 3 071115Let that change you. Become better. Make it up to the world. Instead of letting your actions of that night define you, choose to make it the catalyst for a good life. I hope one day you can look back and say that that night you realized how powerful you were and you chose to invest your life in helping others instead. And, I hope when we meet, you can tell us that we’ve been on your mind too.

(Disclaimer: The views or opinions in this post are solely that of the author.)

If you have a story to share and would like to be a part of the SPEAK OUT! project, please submit your TBI Tale to me at neelyf@aol.com. I will publish as many stories as I can.

As I say after each post:

Please leave a comment by clicking the blue words “Leave a Comment” below this post.anim0014-1_e0-1

Please follow my blog. Click on “Follow” on the top right sidebar. (It’s nice to know there are readers out there.)

If you like my blog, share it with your friends. It’s easy! Click the “Share” buttons below.

If you don’t like my blog, “Share” it with your enemies. I don’t care!

Feel free to “Like” my post.

(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)

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Sheri de Grom

From the literary and legislative trenches.

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...doing my best to live a life of grace...

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