Courage, Perseverance and Change

© 2002 Michele Toomey, PhD


December 1, 2002

Four years ago today our lives changed dramatically and forever. This time has passed one day at a time, sometimes dragging on, day after day, sometimes whirling past us leaving us behind, sometimes uplifting our spirits and lightening the burden, sometimes frightening us and catching us up short, sometimes tossing us to the ground with set-backs and discouragement, sometimes leaving us joyful and proud...

Time passes no matter what transpires. Time is the constant. Until time stops for us, we still have time. Yet, time is precious. It is of limited duration. It is our most valued commodity. Illness takes up a lot of time. Chronic disability is relentless in its demand on our time. Four years is such a long time, yet, such a short time. At our age, however, four years is a long time. So it behooves us to assess where we are at this time.

To our credit, four years finds us still "creatively dealing with it." You are still faithful to facing the task at hand, namely going twice a week to Brooklyn to Dr. Ferreri to reorganize your neurological system. With courage and perseverance you "keep on keeping on," committed to trying to bring about what ever change you can to improve the quality of your life. We are encouraged. We are grateful to find a resource for neurological reorganization so that you can have some bodily ease and mobility We are hopeful, not in the same way we were those first couple of years. That was uninformed hope, based on the trite pronouncement of neurologists who pretend they know more than they know. They said brain injury took 2-5 years to heal, and you would not get worse, only stay the same of get better. We believed them. Our hopes were dashed.

Not only didn't you stay the same, on many levels you got worse. Seizures, greater loss of memory, bodily torment and wiredness, spasms and pain. We had no idea what we were in for or how you would progress or disintegrate. Time passed. We kept working at it and in many ways you are miraculously better. You can prepare your meals in the microwave, you can do your own laundry and dishes, you can look and really see, you can reach out to others and bring companionship and joy to them, you can drive yourself to the store, to your hair appointment, to the places you choose to go you can think creatively and be thoughtful and caring, you can go alone with only a driver to Brooklyn, you can maneuver sleepless nights and bodily spasms alone, you can basically take care of yourself and deal with whatever comes. Now we have a right to hope and know it is not fantasy but integrity based hope.

Time has passed. Much as happened. We can be proud, very proud of the way we have dealt with this time, with these past 4 years. We are older, tireder, wiser and prouder. We are in a better yet harder place and we are hopeful.

Marking this anniversary, we are grateful. That is no small accomplishment. We have every right to be proud. Proud to be grateful, that's what this time has brought us. Gratitude and pride. Let us embrace these feelings and each other, this 4th anniversary.

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