I am so grateful and I thank God daily that my son is still alive!!!!!! Do Not get me wrong on that! I could not imagine life without him!!!!
But, I do miss the son I used to have, before the wreck that caused his TBI. He’s still my son, but, yet, there are differences. His personality is a little different. He used to always want to go do things, now it’s not always very easy to get him out of the house. Even his looks are a little different. His voice is not the same. His laughter isn’t even the same. It’s hard to put into words…
It’s hard not to cry some nights, after everyone has gone to bed. It’s almost like I mourn the son I had, yet am so thankful I still have the son I have. I cannot imagine how he must feel, as active as he used to be, and now he’s stuck in a wheelchair or using a walker. His coordination is so off. I think about how he and I used to go deer hunting with our compound bows, how he and his Dad would go deer hunting during rifle and muzzle loader seasons, and wonder if it’ll ever happen again? We haven’t gone fishing or camping in almost 3 years now. I miss it all, but yet, I’m afraid to try, afraid he’ll lose his balance using his walker and fall, or not be able to get around in his wheelchair. Not to mention, the thought of trying to camp or fish with a toddler added to the equation, and I just do not feel up to the task.
Even trips are more difficult. We have learned that just because a place is advertised as “Handicap accessible” it may not be truly accessible for him. I have had to argue with motel managers while trying to make reservations to get them to actually tell me what the room’s bathroom is like because not all bathrooms are set up the same, and some will not work for him, even though they stuck a bar on the wall and labeled it “accessible.” We’ve been in one that his chair wouldn’t even fit through the door!
He, along with a lot of other people, think that their choices only affect their lives. That is wrong. His lack of sleep which caused him to fall asleep while driving which in turn, caused his wreck, has affected our entire family and even our friends. We used to get together with our friends, but now it’s so seldom, it’s pretty much nonexistent.
I am not looking for pity, this is not a “feel sorry for us” post. I just want people to realize that they have to take care of themselves, do NOT drive if you are overly tired. Don’t think “Oh, I’m almost there, I’ll be fine.” It is way too easy to fall asleep and not even realize it! In a moment your life, and everyone’s, has changed.