After countless words on the negative effects of brain injury, I’m going to say something surprising.

A brain injury isn’t all bad.

As life altering as it is, in some ways it made our lives better.

We used to take life for granted. Every vacation, every holiday, every goodbye; we lived our lives as if promised tomorrow. And we lived it in a hurry.

“Can’t talk right now, I’m busy.”

“Sorry we missed your birthday, maybe next year.”

“I’ll see Grandpa at Christmas. That’s only four months away.”

And so on and so on. We didn’t have time, but we had money and we were happy. Weren’t we?

But on June 6th, 2008, the accident stopped us in our tracks.

All of a sudden those bills we worked so hard to pay, that house I just had to keep clean, none of it mattered. Days of the week blended together in a cocktail of uncertainty. And that family we never had time for? They sat beside us in the hospital.

Five years later and they’re still sitting beside us.

While we wanted to race through the recovery, to get back on track with our sprint through life, the brain injury wouldn’t let us. We had to slow down. And as the world slowed and our eyes opened, we saw we had much to learn about happiness.

The brain injury taught us to be patient; to see the reward in the small milestones.

It taught us to embrace laughter, for there was a time when it forever eluded us.

We learned to be humble. To truly listen to the stories of others and not just wait for our time to speak. Everyone has something of value to share and our story, our struggles are no more great than anyone else’s. It’s all relative.

As cheesy as it sounds, we learned through this experience to be grateful for our life. We no longer have the money of our past, or take the vacations others envy, but we are grateful. Our house is warm, our children are healthy and our lives are simple.

After a chaotic five years of riding the brain injury storm, we embrace simple.

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