Kara Swanson's Brain Injury Blog

July 18, 2019

One Lonely Frond

Filed under: Uncategorized — karaswanson @ 11:28 am

When my Mom died back in 1998, we received gorgeous flowers and plants enough to line every room in my house along all the walls and on top of every counter, table and stand.   I can still remember how lovely my home smelled for so long.  I close my eyes and I can picture it and smell it even now.

After all the cut flowers dried and browned,  there were still many houseplants that I was terrified of.  LOL.  Terrified because, until then, I had never been much of a gardener or successful keeper of such lovelies.

But I learned.

Each plant needed different things.  Some wanted morning sun and some wanted cool shade.  Some required water every day, just a little, while others preferred a good dose once a week.

I tell myself they all loved my singing.

Bad, sadly, after ten years or so, one of the multi-colored plants had suffered and sputtered down to a lone frond.

One lonely frond.

She stuck straight up out of the dirt all by herself.  All alone.   Nothing I tried worked and I tried everything, it seemed.  Still she stood…alone.  She had lost her colors and she had curled into herself.  She looked more like a long tobacco leaf than part of the broad, fabulously-colored plant she had once been.

I didn’t have the heart to toss her.  I was prepared to live forever with my one sad frond.  Because she was left from a time of such generosity and love from my family and friends, I could not give up on her.

When I moved to my condo seven years ago, I brought her along.  Through the unforgiving breath of January in Michigan.  Into the car, into the house.

I repotted her and put her in the front window and then the back.   I told her how much I believed in her.   I brought some more plants back to be with her so she wouldn’t have to be alone.

That was seven years ago.

Today that amazing frond sits waiting for her afternoon sunshine.  Together with all her friends, she has grown from that one last, lost frond to a sassy, multi-colored beauty again.

She has three strong base limbs and I just saw the other day that she is about to have another baby.   A tiny new bright green sprout is fighting its way to the sun.

The original frond has now grown from about eight inches to nearing four feet high.  She reminds me, every day, that all of us feel lonely at some point.  All of us lose our colors and our activity around us and our like support.

All of us turn into ourselves, even sometimes for many years.

And then we regather ourselves and we are sparked by some glory-fed new day.  We  reach for that sunshine and we begin to bloom again.

July 3, 2019

You Can Spread a Good

Filed under: Uncategorized — karaswanson @ 10:19 am

I belong to several support groups on Facebook, both for brain injury and for survivors of domestic abuse and intimate crime.   While most sets of issues are distinct to their group, they do cross paths in some ways.

One of the ways I have seen that members of both groups can suffer is with startle response and trouble with chaotic and loud noise.  With 4th of July season upon us, this is a particularly challenging time for many.

I have posted on my FB page a plea for people to choose not to ignite personal fireworks in their neighborhoods.  Beyond those of us who suffer noise and startle response issues, there is valid research concluding the concussive and disorienting effects of fireworks on birds.  There is also significant data to back up pleas from veterans who have returned with PTSD (and anyone suffering PTSD), babies who show increased anxiety and stress, pets who suffer horrifically during fireworks season, people who are trying to sleep for odd work hours and others.

In my FB post, I encouraged people to visit any of the dozens of area fireworks displays that are registered and properly scheduled.   Those can be planned for.

You can do some extra good in this world by posting your own struggles with PTSD or startle response or noise challenges, if you suffer these.   You can share my post from Facebook or send out your own.

This is such a tough time for countless people and animals in our homes and in our neighborhoods.  This is a great opportunity to do some good by reaching out to your people and by reminding them how damaging close fireworks can be.

Hope you all have a terrific holiday.   Cheering for you.  :)) Kara

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