I've spent a lot of time convincing myself that if I worked hard enough, fought harder, and persevered I could somehow "fix" the cracked foundation of our new life. TC's survival was a miracle that led me to think we could miraculously glue the rest of the pieces of our life back together. I've spent a year frantically scrambling for pebbles, trying to create a mosaic from what was once a watercolor canvas. But that's not the way brain injury works. You don't "fix" brain injury. You don't "fix" people. You heal them. And you heal yourself.
It's easy to look at people's lives and say, "That could never happen to me" or "That's not the way to do it." The past year has been a very humbling experience in that respect. I thought we had it all together. And maybe we did. But none of us have total control over what happens in our lives. And none of us know how we'll handle a particular situation until we are forced to confront it head-on. The best we can do is reserve judgment in our examination of other people's lives and to practice self-forgiveness in our own.
I accept now that we can't glue our life back together. The cracks are permanent. Instead we can learn to live with the imperfections of our foundation, to look for new and creative ways to cross the divide, and to plant a tree wherever there is hopelessness or desolation. We can acknowledge the blessings along with the challenges and grow stronger at the broken places.
Before I go celebrate with my beautiful family, allow me to say thank you for everything you have done to get us to this day. Each message, e-mail, comment, and prayer was the inspiration that got us through another minute, another hour, another day of this experience. Thank you for being there and for not leaving. You'll never know the power of your kindness.