Today’s blog is written by Catz LeBlanc, a member of the ‘Amazing’ Brain Injury Support Group in Framingham, Mass. Originally from Madison, WI, a former Physician’s Assistant, collegiate soccer goalkeeper, ice hockey player, team handball goalie and mother of an “amazing son,” she suffered a sports concussion as a team handball goalie. Two months later, she suffered a more severe concussion when her Volkswagen Beetle convertible was rear-ended by a truck and totaled. Searching for a book to provide some comfort, guidance, understanding for her challenges with the fallout of a traumatic brain injury, she found none. So, she wrote one. She continues her rehabilitation four years since the injuries.
Everyone is so busy. No one has enough time, no one has enough money. Someday, someday, they will do what their heart and soul desire, in the meantime, so much needs to just get done.
Last week a woman said she thinks she has maybe five to seven decent years of cognitive function before she may succumb to her older siblings’ demise. There was urgency in her voice, tired of helping everyone else, everyone always needing something from her–she just wanted to live her own life–with whatever remaining quality she has.
If I could, I would fill Gillette Stadium to capacity, everyone shouting “Yes, you, do it! We give you permission!” If I could, I would have all the birds in Boston sing outside your bedroom window, “Wake up! Wake up! Today’s the day YOUR life begins!” If I could, I would have the planes at Logan fly over you, pulling signage, “TODAY! Yes, you, Today- GO FOR IT!”
It would be tricky, but we might be able to have you professionally kidnapped, to somewhere you can finally do what your heart and soul have been whispering. Trickier still would be to have all the family and people connected to your loathsome to do list- have THEM professionally kidnapped and dropped off with provisions to an island to care for themselves for the next whatever number of years.
Perhaps your next fortune cookie will read, “This is it. Last call-You have 6 months of quality left. Use wisely.” Would you change your priorities then? What’s it going to take to have you put you on the top of your list? Are you waiting for a parade with bells and whistles, a marching band, to let you know, OK-Now! Go ahead, FORWARD march!
Human illusion of time left in our lives, it’s funny how we somehow calculate it, as if a physics equation. Denial is a powerful thing. Human nature is human nature. “I’ll just get these two more things done and then I’ll sit down and give myself 30 minutes for me.” And then the door bell or phone rings, postponing again and again. Before we know it, another decade or more has passed.
We are delusional about our lives–Start today, tomorrow noon at the very latest. I’ve already been to the land of a compromised brain and it is a Godforsaken place. I’m still stuck there precariously living within my limitations, receiving punishing consequences if I rebel.
Will we be one of the lucky ones who suddenly dies peacefully in their sleep, self-sufficient until their last breath, life list completed in total? What are the odds of that?
How about listening to that inner voice? I can hear the resistance rallies revving up, all the reasons why you can’t do what you say you really want to do. No need to answer me. It’s your life.
P.S. Here’s a sample refrigerator note.
I have come down with a rare form of L.M.N.O.P. and am quarantined for a bit. Don’t bother to phone or text as my room doesn’t get the tower. Take excellent care of each other and don’t worry about me. I will be just fine.
Your spouse/Sibling/Parent/Grandparent/Neighbor/Friend/Friend of a Friend…
Catz’s book, Tell Me This: Encouragement and Hope after Brain Injury, a pocket guide for athletes, veterans and civilians, is being published by Lash and Associates and will be released this coming winter.