This is my son. Well, this was my son. He's changed a bit since then - five years ago. And...I miss him. This him. I'm quite grateful for the him that exists now - More than thankful for his life. I did not lose him to death! Thank you Jesus! Yet, I lost some of him all the same. A stolen identity. A body and a brain that simply act differently than the one we'd grown so used to after 21 years. Traumatic brain injury will do that to you...change you.
Getting to know him again has been a challenge. For both of us. I don't understand him and he certainly doesn't understand me - Not that either of us ever did as we navigated the shark filled waters of teenage-hood. But, this is different. I'd been a teenager once. I'd walked in those all-knowing, I've got it all figured out, too-big shoes. I could relate...at least on some levels.
But, this? Not this. I haven't walked in these shoes of his. Shoes that I liken to that of a clown in training - you've no idea how incredibly difficult they are to maneuver until you're the one falling on your face. A life changing accident. I've no idea how that feels or the tremendous obstacles he has faced to overcome the worst of odds. I cannot begin to put myelf in those bright red shoes that changed his life forever.
Likewise, he doesn't understand my own awkward, clumsy clown shoes. I, too, have been affected by his tragedy. My life has changed in as many ways as his - certainly quite different ways - but changed nonetheless. Every day is different. Often an emotional, mental, physical and spiritual challenge that taxes me beyond my abilities. I am worn. I am tired. And many days I have no idea how I'll get through one more day. But, God. And I am encouraged!
And, so, we are learning to get to know one another again. Creating new memories. Having new fights. Loving like crazy. Getting annoyed and frustrated and downright ticked off at one another. Asking for forgiveness. Beating our heads against the wall when one or the other just doesn't seem to get it. Hugging tighter than we ever had. And, believing. Believing that we've each been given a second chance. To learn. To grow. To love. To trust. Through the rough days. Through the blessed days.
Maybe I'll get it right this time.
"Not This Day"
My novel about this journey
will be published in 2017.
Please check back often for new updates and stories from our four year journey. Scroll down for more.