3 years ago, December 16, 2016; The day my reality changed. It seems like yesterday but it seems like a lifetime. A head on collision followed by meningitis was the beginning of a new journey. One I thought would be over by now and would not wish on anyone but one I have learned to be grateful for and, in it, found New Hope.
Over the past 3 years I have learned much about living with a TBI and all that goes with it. I do my best daily to focus on the most valuable lessons I have learned. And those lessons are to truly appreciate life & time, to love more, the gift of family, the treasure of true friendship, the Value of Gratitude and to hold on the promise of New Hope! These are lessons some never learn, or perhaps learn too late.
7 LESSSONS LEARNED
Life is so precious and we never know what moment will be our last. LOVE and LIVE every moment to the fullest, Be kind to all-including yourself, Smile more, Speak truth, Forgive quickly, Give of yourself and truly live the beautiful adventure life is with no regrets!
Life is too short to stress, be unhappy, and NOT take time doing the things we enjoy. Can we live on vacation? No. However, we CAN be aware of the small every day moments that bring us joy, peace and contentment… and create more of them!
This is one area I was not very good at until I was forced. I mean, I feel I enjoyed life but still missed so much of the simple pleasures. I would go.. go.. go.. morning til night. Always busy with something. Now, well now, I don’t have a choice but to take time for me and it has been an eye-opener as to what I was missing. There are so many simple beauties every day that I was passing by because of my busyness.
Remember, The greatest gift we can give or keep is our time. Make time for others; make time for yourself. Just do it!
Why is it we are hardest on those we love the most? Just me? Maybe, but I think not. Whether it’s our spouse, kids, family or friends we need to lighten up! I have learned to not fret the small stuff because compared to what we went through 3 years ago, it’s all small stuff! I am happy to say it has helped my marriage! We laugh more than ever, enjoy spending time together like never before and just love more! So, remember to demonstrate and verbalize love! Hug and kiss much; say I love you at every given moment; take time to share your love, it’s a gift!
THE GIFT OF FAMILY
I have learned not everyone has an amazing, wonderful, crazy, loving, maddening, fun-loving, perfectly imperfect, crazy, supportive family like I do, and this makes me sad. However, I have also learned we can choose our family but choose wisely! Family are those who love us unconditionally, carry us when we cannot stand, desire the very best for us, have our back, can make us laugh at nothing, grieve in our pain, protect our well being, always have a shoulder to cry on, make us feel crazy at times, support in good and tough times, encourage us to be better, and yes, call us on the carpet when needed. That is the gift of family.
Spend time with your loved ones because , like I said before, time it precious and you never know when it’s your time…or theirs. Find your tribe, Love them hard.
THE TREASURE OF TRUE FRIENDSHIP
T.H.I.S. This is a lifeline. Friendship does not mean you always agree or never get upset with one another. It does mean you communicate, love through it, stick out the good and bad times and learn and grow from it all. This is a treasure. I know it’s hard, in today’s busy world, but it’s so important to make time for friends. It’s important to them and to ourselves. You’ll be glad you did!
We have always told our boys to ‘surround yourself with people you want to be like, those who build you up & don’t tear you down, those who celebrate your victories & help you learn in defeat, those who encourage you to grow; to be a better you, those you can be real with and love you for you’. You find friends like this and you have found the treasure of true friendship and, I have found, some quickly become family!
THE BACK STORY
While I never expected to ‘die’ from the crash the meningitis scare was another story altogether! I don’t know how many of you have had meningitis on your brain but it’s scary stuff! While the head-on left me with undeniable challenges, the Meningitis was much scarier because it was unknown. After several days, every test imaginable, being hooked to IV’s, the tremendous pain & nausea, the fact that I could barely stand, see, talk or think (literally), with no answers fear had griped me but having my neurologist stand over me and say ‘This is very serious’ really freaked me out! I had a melt down…or perhaps a few! I have never been a fearful person but I battled fear, like never before, that week in the hospital.
What followed was high doses of very strong antibiotics, months sitting as still and quiet as possible. I kept praying and eventually the fear lifted and I had a peace that I would be ok and that God has a plan for my life. Even if it’s simply to encourage those struggling with this journey of coping and living with a TBI. I’m so very grateful my life was spared…twice (ha..lets be honest… some may know my crazy teenage years. So, I’m sure waayyyy more than twice! teehee)
VALUE OF GRATITUDE
I have learned to not make my struggle meaningless but find gratitude in it. Did I have pity-parties? You bet, and pLeNtY, but they are less and less. I remind myself that there are sooooo many much worse off. In the midst of this trial I am so very grateful for the lessons learned, faith and relationships built, for my family, friends, moments that I now notice, the beauty that surrounds me daily, the ability to empathize with others that I couldn’t before; to better understanding those invisible battles. I am so very grateful, thankful and blessed for the beauty of life and Gods plan for mine! I even wrote a blog Gratitude in Trials!
THE PROMISE OF NEW HOPE
I don’t know how people live without hope; or faith for that matter. Faith makes hope possible. It’s a daily choice to find it, believe it and live in it! For me, is a must; for without hope, I would be a crazy hot mess!
I do have a New Hope. A New Hope in our marriage. A New Hope in our future. A New Hope in my healing. And above all, every day, a New Hope in Jesus!
Some of you know we got to name our road and yes, we named it ‘New Hope Lane’ *Picture to come.
Do I have it all mastered? No! Do I still have months, weeks, days, hours, moments I struggle, wishing to be ‘me’ again? YES! Every day is a fresh start, a ‘do-over’ so to speak, to get it right, be better, continue the fight, and keep on keeping on in a New Hope of healing, happiness and a better tomorrow!
May your adventure, whatever it may be, be filled with New Hope! -Tami Dupuis
LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST AND FIND HOPE IN EVERY MOMENT!
Thank you for visiting and sharing your time with me! I would love to hear from you so please leave a comment below. You can also catch my story and other blogs here. *Disclaimer: I am not a professional blogger. It’s my therapy!
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. -Romans 8:28
*Due to technical difficulties (an unwanted update) I am not able to add the other pictures I wanted to. I will figure it out and add later. 🙂
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