Angela’s 3rd Quarter 2016 letter


Dear Friends,

The Fall kicked off with gusto as we started a new series called “New Life, New You.” The goal of each month was to encourage acceptance of yourself and to focus on gains, not failures. This is difficult when we only look at what we expected our life to be, when in reality it is different. Being different is good, and accepting the new normal takes time. Accepting the new you involves choosing to open new doors of opportunity, to pursue new friendships, to go out of your comfort zone and to look for ways to help others. At Friends of Brain Injury (F.B.I.) we encourage growth of the mind and the body. At every weekly meeting we stretch our inward thinking and peer out to acknowledge the changes in others. On of our survivors, Cristina, experienced an arteriovascular malformation (AVM) many years ago while she was in her twenties. She has a breathing tube in her neck called a tracheostomcj-dj1y tube. She has a feeding tube. Her inner spirit and her innate drive pushed her to share her story last week during our meeting. Because of her deficient breath support, her husband typically speaks for her or interprets for her. She voluntarily wanted to share her story but with loudness not heard in over 12 years. I had chills listening to her and you could hear a pin drop. That night Cristina offered to mentor another woman who also suffered an AVM, Kamri, a veteran who experienced this stroke while in flight to serve her country. A new door opened up for Kamri and a sense of mentoring was cultivated by Cristina.

Socrates, the Greek Philosopher has quipped, that change can occur when you stop fighting with your old self and start building the new self.

With that, I close this newsletter by inviting you to embrace change, witness the new layer of life with a childlike wonder and to attend F.B.I. to involve yourself in everyday miracles.

Happy holidays,

Angela Mandas, MA CCC
Speech Language Pathologist
F.B.I. Facilitator