Kara Swanson's Brain Injury Blog

November 23, 2019

Choose Thanksgiving

Filed under: Uncategorized — karaswanson @ 10:18 am

You may prefer the grilled hot dogs of the 4th of July.  You might treasure a mouth-watering Christmas roast or Easter ham.  Ahhhhhh, the glorious smells!

And maybe you don’t even like turkey and pumpkin pie is not a favorite….

But choose Thanksgiving!!!  Make it yours.  Make it you.

Choose Thanksgiving every warm morning in August and every rainy evening in April.  Choose Thanksgiving on New Year’s Day and for Valentine’s.

Make it yours.  Make it you.

There’s not as much time as we think.  There’s not as much time as we’d hope.

Our time is now.

Wake up each morning and, even before that first cup of coffee, begin the recitations of Thanksgiving.   Leave not a smidge for those thoughts of doubt or despair.   Begin each day reciting to yourself everything and everyone you are grateful for.   One after another.

Leave no room in the morning.  Leave no chance at night.  Little by little and more and more, make grateful win over anger, over loss, over missing lives that are no longer for you.

THIS life is for you.   This life is FOR you.  This life IS for you.  This life is for YOU.

However you want to say it, just say it.  Take it and run.  Take it and dance.  Take it and soar.  Take it and love.

Be a great moment in everyone’s day.   Everyone you love.  Everyone around you.  Everyone you meet and pass.  Seek in them something to treasure, to compliment, to cheer and to love.  Express to them something on the sunny side of right.

Choose Thanksgiving.  Be Thanksgiving.

Love you.

November 5, 2019

Fighting For You

Filed under: Uncategorized — karaswanson @ 4:20 am

Imagine yourself at 99…

Picture the silver, shiny hair.  Thinning.  Imagine the colors less vibrant.  Imagine the sounds less clear.  Imagine the movements less spontaneous.  More measured.  More careful.  Imagine the activities not for you, then.  Imagine the considerations.  Imagine the knowing that the majority of life is behind you already and not much, realistically, is left ahead.


When so little is left ahead, most look back.  We look back and measure.  We look back and treasure.  We recall and we celebrate wonderful memories.  We judge our time.  Our time spent.  Our time lost.

In silence, surely, we regret some.

When time has all but entirely flown, we will surely regret the time wasted and lost.  Misspent, forsaken, given away to those we wish we hadn’t.

Though none of us can know how much time we have left, most of us forge on believing we have good amounts ahead of us.  Years and years and years.

We might one day, on a last day, regret time spent with a him or a her who mistreated us, abused us or took us for granted.  We might regret a relationship that was unhealthy or dangerous.  We might regret those we didn’t try to keep and those who we tried to keep but couldn’t.

Some of us will regret bellies too big and savings too small.  Bad investments, lousy jobs, rotten neighbors, fights with loved ones that went on for too long…

What will we regret of brain injury?

Let’s not regret one more minute of it.

I look back and I recall that early time of hopeful healing, of confused floundering, of determined learning, of re-making.  I don’t recall exact dates but I recall certain signposts, private moments, when I knew this particular thing or that had changed for good.

All told, was it more than a year?  I’m not quite sure but it was less than two.  Less than two and I was on my way.

On my way to better.

Too many of us regret it all.  Every inch.  Every day of this.  I fear there will be too many of us who, at 99, will look back and still regret everything that came after the day of the injury.

I hope not.

I believe the key in looking back from 99 is to know, right now, there is still a lot of living ahead of us.  When the colors are still vibrant, when the sounds are still clear…

I believe that, when each of us looks back, any of us, we may regret a bad relationship but we will never regret leaving it.  We may regret a fight, a squabble, course words…but we will never regret the actions we took to make those right somehow.

We’ll never regret fighting for ourselves.  That’s the whole difference there.

Are you fighting for you?

I know, if we do nothing after brain injury, we will regret that one day.  We will likely have a lot of time to regret it because most of our loved ones will have given up and left us by then.


Fight to keep the good.   Fight to make the good.  Fight to make better.

Of everything.

Strike out into each day without the injury.  Leave it behind.  No matter how it comes with us in terms of considerations and limitations and planning and strategies, leave the nag behind that tells you any of that matters to our loved ones.  Our best ones.

Fight to create a rest of days that you won’t regret.  Imagine what that looks like and start off in that direction.

People can be soured by lousy childhoods, terrible partners, rotten jobs, starving lots in life.  There’s all kinds of reasons to stop fighting for ourselves.

But all of that will be regretted then.  One day, surely.

Let’s, instead, take this time between now and the fading.  Let’s take this time and fight for ourselves, for our happiness and for the happiness of those we love.  Let’s fight to make everything better, knowing how sad and how disappointing it is to watch so many keep choosing to make it worse.

What’s the point of aiming for worse?


Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.