Onward….

“You can shed tears that she is gone
Or you can smile because she has lived.”

Over the years I have been blessed to meet and connect with some amazing individuals through brain injury… A brain injury almost took my life 26 years ago and its such a pleasure and very healing for my soul to connect with people going down this same path, especially the younger generation because I have been exactly where they are…. One of the amazing kids I had the opportunity over these years to connect with I got word yesterday, lost her battle with brain injury and it breaks my heart into pieces…
In fact, as I sit down to write this I must say my mind is racing along with tears flowing from my eyes. These tears are full of so many different feelings and emotions. It breaks my heart into to know this child lost her life to the same thing I fought through.

As any other heartbreak I have experienced in my life I knew it had something to teach me. So, I got quiet for a while and listened to all these feelings I was experiencing and then I knew. And I said an immediate Thank You, not thanking for this child’s death at all but for the fact that I was still standing today here to speak for someone who just passed.

“When life is sweet, say thank you and celebrate. When life is bitter, say thank you and grow.” ~Shauna Niequist

Over the past year I have had the opportunity to meet and connect with quite a few different children who have suffered from this injury that almost took my life. Through it all I realize so much on each one individually but also with them all as a whole. But what’s the most gratifying to my heart is the fact that they all show me and teach me something of my own injury. The questions I always had…

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Each child I have met has all had an inner light. And what I mean by this is they greet me with a bright smile and I can instantly feel love in their hearts. But what I also feel is those same questions I had at their age, the unknowing feelings. I remember vividly those nights of lying in that hospital bed in Albany Georgia praying to God above for answers all night long. Asking over and over is it always going to be this hard, will I walk again, will I always have a feeding tube in my stomach, will I always be different, will I ever think straight??? The questions were unlimited…. And here I am 26 years later receiving all these answers with such grace. And I have the luxury of sharing all these answers with these beautiful children going through these same issues, with these same questions.

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“If you learn from a loss you have not lost.” ~Austin O’Malley

I remember meeting this little girl two years ago at her moms home after she had been dismissed from the hospital. I remember it clearly because her mom was a single mom like myself and her name was Stephanie also… I will never forget seeing Haylee laying in that bed looking up at me as I spoke to her and told her how strong she was…

RIP Haylee Bug may your spirit soar high and strong and my Share Your Strong will honor you with our mission and we send you so much love…. Onward my girl….

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