TBI – Survivors, Caregivers, Family, and Friends

mansion-at-westport

 

David and I met on the dance floor when I was 16 years old. He was 17. We fell in love under a strobe light. Through our married years, we danced at weddings and at parties, but when David’s Traumatic Brain Injury left his body as limp as Raggedy Andy, I never dreamed that David and I would ever dance again. But, during a recent trip to Westport, Massachusetts, to spend time with our son, Jared, his fiancé, Emily, and her family, we found ourselves staying in a mansion … only feet from the Atlantic Ocean. Our host, dancers-thSusan, was beyond gracious, concerned about our every comfort. On our second night there, she threw a big family party on her extensive patio and even more expansive grounds overlooking the ocean; and she invited us. We stopped in about midnight.

 

The partygoers were huddled around the fire-ring … music still blaring. Jared and Emily began to dance on the patio. I swayed. David sat in a tall patio chair. Then the unthinkable happened. David asked me to dance. I hadn’t expected that! David can barely walk – dancing had not been on his radar for more than seven years. I looked at him expectantly. Was he kidding, being facetious? ballroom_dancing_stars_swinging_lg_clrNo! With a huge grin, I answered, “Yes!”

 

We didn’t Cha-Cha or Swing, as we had learned in our Ballroom Dance classes. We didn’t attempt the Fox Trot, or even the Waltz, though Paula, our dance instructor after David had his TBI (another story), would have been proud of us if we had. But, we did our own dance. We swayed back and forth – never moving our feet. We call it the “TBI Sway.” We swayed with my head resting against David’s shoulder and his hand gently placed at the small of my back. We swayed with David holding on to me for dear life … for balance. We danced under the stars to an old favorite, “Unchained Melody” by The Righteous Brothers, with the sounds of ocean waves lapping the shore, with smiles on our lips, and remembrances of days gone by … and the promise of our days ahead.

dance under stars

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Comments on: "TBI Tales: SPEAK OUT! . . . . . . . . . . . Mansion Dancing Under the Stars" (6)

  1. I like the idea of the TBI sway. I like the swing chair that we got on a recent trip. The gentle movement is kind of nice.

    Like

    • Marty,

      A swing chair sounds fun and I bet it’s relaxing. Kind of like a hammock – only siting up.

      Donna O’Donnell Figurski
      survivingtraumaticbraininjury.wordpress.com
      donnaodonnellfigurski.wordpress.com

      Like

      • IMG_2546

        It is. It’s very much a sitting hammock. I like the effects of gravity, and the support given in that chair. I like the way that the the brain sits in that chair, and how it moves just back and forth suspended from that one pivot point above.

        I also have a hammock in the back yard, and some swings, but I like the swing chair.

        Marty Salo msalo@verizon.net

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      • I imagine it is soothing to the brain and relaxing.

        Donna O’Donnell Figurski
        survivingtraumaticbraininjury.wordpress.com
        donnaodonnellfigurski.wordpress.com

        Like

  2. Joyce Bondy said:

    Donna and David, that is the sweetest story ! I am so happy you got to experience that in such lovely surroundings, although, I don’t think you would have cared where it was! Who knows, maybe there will be other TBI sways in the future, and if not, you have this wonderful memory! I am so happy you had this opportunity !

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    • Joyce, once when David and I were driving in Nutley, NJ near our home, (pre-Brain Inury) our song came on the radio. David swerved our little white Miata into an empty parking lot, opened the door for me, and we danced.

      Donna O’Donnell Figurski
      survivingtraumaticbraininjury.com
      donnaodonnellfigurski.com

      Like

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