Rarely do I ever have a quiet moment to myself but when I do, I often find myself lost in thought. In those moments, I have a surreal feeling that I can’t explain. I think “did this [Isabella’s Acquired Brain Injury (ABI)] really happen” or I think “how did this all happen”. I of course know the answers to these questions but in my moment it is just seems like a nightmare that I will wake up from.
It has been almost four years since that fateful Thanksgiving night when I carried my sick Isabella into the emergency room. Never in my worst nightmare could I predict that my 4.5 year old daughter would go from sick to dying to fighting for her life. I still remember having Isabella’s distorted body in my arms as she seized. I can still hear the doctors and nurses talking to me. I still remember signing the papers to save her at all costs. I will never forget the horrible things I saw or that I heard.
As we get closer to the fourth anniversary of Isabella’s ABI, in some ways it seems like a lifetime ago and in other ways it seems like just yesterday. This anniversary is hitting me particularly hard because it is filled with its own set of emotions. Isabella was 4.5 years old when she got sick. With this anniversary Isabella will have had a brain injury almost half her life. In the next few months, Isabella will have had a brain injury longer than she hasn’t. That means that we are further away from the person that she once was. I miss that Isabella even though I love this one more than I could ever imagine. I worry that the further away we get from who she was that I will in some way forget that person. I don’t ever want to forget that Isabella.
As I fight back the tears that I struggle to hold in, I am reminded that it is ok to miss the Isabella that I once had. The tears certainly don’t mean that I love this Isabella any less. The tears that fall remind me that this is a very long journey on the never ending emotional roller coaster.
“It has been said, ‘time heals all wounds.’ I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone.” Rose Kennedy
Guest Blogger, Kristin Olliney-Apruzzese, is the mother of 8-year-old Isabella, who suffered sudden acute encephalitis when she was just 4. Kristin’s bi-monthly blog, Mommy of a Miracle, talks about the trials and joys of raising a brain injury survivor.
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