TBI – Survivors, Caregivers, Family, and Friends

Thanksgiving Surprise


Kristina Hopkins

(presented by Donna O’Donnell Figurski)


Hopkins, KristinaI love my husband’s TBI. There are days when it frustrates me, but we go with the flow. Then there are days like today when we laugh about it.

My husband sustained his brain injury back in 2007 during his last of four deployments in Iraq. We ALWAYS open up our house around the holidays to the military/veterans and their families so they can have a home-cooked meal and be around other military.

This year was going to be a quiet Thanksgiving for us – just my husband, my father-in-law, and me. Apparently my husband “forgot” to tell me that families have been calling him the past couple of days to verify times. I didn’t know until I got a Facebook message this morning from one of the wives.

I asked him about it. He looked at me with the giant smile that I love so much and said, “Sorry, Babe. No more quiet Thanksgiving.”Thanksgiving-Turkey-Cartoon-Wallpapers

Never in all the years that I have been with my husband have I regretted my life. It does get hard and lonely at times, but it’s all worth it. He has overcome so many obstacles since his injury and is constantly doing so. I’m truly honored to be his wife.

Just thought you all could enjoy a good laugh today. Happy Thanksgiving.

Thank you, Kristina, for sharing your story in TBI Tales. I hope that your experience will offer inspiration to my readers. I know it made me laugh. It made me cry.


(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 donnaodonnellfigurski@gmail.com. I will publish as many stories as I can.

(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)


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Comments on: "TBI Tales . . . . . . . . . . Thanksgiving Surprise" (4)

  1. Well thank you ever so much for sharing.I believe that …with Love Alone…..We as humans can conquer all.Thanks to your words about your husband…I feel theres hope for me too.sometimes with ABI/TBI..we tend to think we are on the verge of a breakthrough meanwhile ,we made it through the break if you will…Our brain broke and we made it through.Laugh,Love,having someone…Is all we need…I got My Gf farrrr away n my lil doog…by my side…If iether one of us 3 have 1/2 the gumption of what we 3 have….Heck we are Family…I got all my Believers n me!!! What you think? You and your husband are the poster Couple….smiles and Smiles says it all,I thank yous,The Veterans,mother Earth and most of all the Creator…he gave us one another….Lets reallllly enjoy that because we are all exactly what the other 7 billion Are not!!!! Cheers and lotsa Love Everyone….Lets remember This…we may be subject to alot of challenges…but we are also aware that We are!!! Some don’t have that tool of moving forward….Lets show them we will honour them in the way of Respecting what we do have…not what we use to be!!!….Amen 😉


    • Slim,

      Thanks for posting against the Thanksgiving Surprise. I’m glad that it touched you. I, too, loved Kristina’s and her husband’s great smiles.

      Donna O’Donnell Figurski


  2. I admire those who actually HAVE someone to share these holidays with! I was selfishly discarded by former spouse who couldn’t handle me, nor cared if I even survived! She gleefully discarded me much like the carcass of the Thanksgiving turkey after three days. Hurts to know I never really meant anything to her, just as long as I supported and financially provided for her, I was “worth something”.
    So to those who have loved ones, or shared GOOD times this past week, I applaud you. enjoy the good times, smile at each other, try to remind one another of your feelings and disappointments, and remember to say LOVE YOU once in a while.


    • Michael,

      You are not alone. I know that knowing that will not solve your problem or fix your loneliness, but it might make you feel better

      The holidays are hard times for many people. People especially want to be happy during these days of celebration. Seeing the joyousness on every TV commercial or the fancy holiday decorations in neighborhoods and malls, makes one think that EVERYONE is happy, but if you peel away the curtains covering the windows of those brightly-lit homes and look beyond the smiling faces in the mall, I bet you would see disguised happiness.

      I can feel how hurt you are by your ex-spouse, but frankly, if she can treat you like that, she isn’t worth your concern. How can you find the happiness you so want? I think you have to look inward. I know that’s hard. But look to yourself to find what will make you happy. Choose little things that are in your reach. Maybe even by helping someone else, you may not only help them, but you may also help yourself. I don’t have any specific answers, I wish I did, but I hope I have written enough to make you dig deeper within yourself to find your value – because you are valuable.

      If you are in fact alone for the holidays, do something special for you. Make it happy. Buy some cooked shrimp and cocktail sauce, cut up some cheese and open a box of crackers and have a picnic in your living room while watching a special movie. (That’s what I used to do.)

      Donna O’Donnell Figurski


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