Kara Swanson's Brain Injury Blog

March 7, 2019

Up To Us

Filed under: Uncategorized — karaswanson @ 3:50 pm

Our stories will be written, with or without us.  By those we’ve impacted.  By those left behind.

Some will measure us in a simple timeline.  This is where we started.  We did this then.  We did this then.  We did this then…

Some will measure, instead, using deduction from evidence of how we spent our time, where we spent our money and with whom we chose to be with the most.

Some will measure us through a narrow lens of their personal experiences with us.  Who we were to them, what role we played and during what decade or time period we were in their lives.  They will sum us up through their own perceptions and with their particular biases and slants.

Many will decide they don’t care what anyone thinks or that, hell, they’ll be dead when all those judgements are passed.  True enough, that.

But for those of us who wish to write the stories of our lives….for those of us who wish to make clear the intentions and choices, high points and struggles…for those of us who wish to leave no doubt in those we feel most strongly about…

Then that’s a great starting point for brain injury recovery.   For any recovery.

I’ve heard so many people tell me how they fear being remembered just for their brain injury, just for their nasty divorce, just for their felony conviction, just for their cancer diagnosis, just for their dead child, just for their horrible weight gain, just for their addiction…

Just for their failure, just for their loss, just for their bad luck, just for cruel fate.

For each of us then, before we go and before we leave the end of the story to others, let’s ensure that there is no murky confusion.   Let’s clear up and clarify and decide and own.

We can say someday, someday….and they will report that, too.  We can dig heels in after disappointment, after being cheated, after being damaged.  We can sit with our anger, our indignance, our stubbornness, our pride.  We can build walls around us that keep out fear and danger and the chance of being hurt.

They will report that, too.

Or we can work to ensure that, no matter the measure and no matter the measurer, we will certain the outcome.  We will trust the stamp.  Because we chose good people around us who read more than the headlines.  Because we tried at good and, even when we failed, we tried at good.  That we made sure and certain that the ones most important to us knew, undeniably, how we cared for them and cheered for them, supported and loved them.

If it matters to you then don’t let bad be the last thing they see, the last they know, the last that they measure.  Not brain injury, not dark intentions, not unkind words, not cruel actions.

They WILL remember.  In some measure, in some way.  It’s up to us how important it is to have a hand in what’s written, to color the timelines, to warm the memories.  To put good, positive, memorable, fun, loving distance between the darkest of our hours and the brightest of our days.










  1. Kara, wow! My mom was given your book when i sustained a severe TBI, she read it while I was in a coma and years later i was able to read it. It changed my life! I am now wanting to write a book to help people get on this bus bc as you know it’s not somethin that can be explained.

    Comment by Presley m — May 17, 2019 @ 7:33 am | Reply

    • You honor me with your words. I’m so glad the book helped you. Big heart smiles here. Very exited that you want to write a book now. Thrilled for you and cheering for you. That’s great news. Congratulations :))))) Kara

      Comment by karaswanson — May 17, 2019 @ 8:28 am | Reply

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