My best friend Denise and I have been friends for 30 years. We have been through everything together. I was the maid of honor at her wedding. She named me the Godmother of her son. She was the first one I wanted to call when something happened. I thought we had seen everything….that is until that Saturday. I was getting ready to go back home for my sister’s wedding when the phone rang. I saw by the caller ID that it was my best friend so I answered it. What I heard stopped me in my tracks.
Her husband of 17 years was hit by a pick up truck while he was riding his bicycle. They did not think he was going to make it. She was sobbing hysterically and I could not find words that would console her. He had broken many bones, and sustained a severe traumatic brain injury.
Over the next few months her husband defied many odds and lived. He was finally transferred to a rehab facility and worked hard to try and regain the ability to walk, talk, and remember who his family was.
What was even more remarkable in my mind however, is what my best friend was going through. She was juggling the many appointments her husband had, learning as much as she could about brain injury, trying to help her son and daughter understand what was happening to Daddy, all while trying to deal with her emotions in private.
Five years have come, and my friend changed. She has become a big advocate for not only her husband and children, but for brain injury people in general. She stayed married to her husband, in spite of the fact that many people advised her to divorce him. She has become a strong person, and she does not dwell on the what could have been, but focuses on the good. Her family is together. This year they will celebrate 22 years of marriage. It may not have been where they saw themselves, but she is a true example that love conquers all.