Angela’s February 2015 Letter

Dear Friends,

After traveling to Philadelphia this month to visit my precious mama, I am once again reminded how fortunate we are to live in Southern California. I grew up with snow, wind, hail and humidity; however, since living in the sunshine and cool tropical breezes, I have become a wimp to cold weather. East Coasters are die-hard people; they know how to endure the weather and they even ride their bicycles in the snow to take themselves to work! The February Brain Rule for FBI was Gender: Male and Female Brains are Different. It was enlightening to share the fun gender facts like, women have over 100 items in their bathrooms and men have approximately 10 items! Both men and women on the East Coast shovel snow though!

Enduring loss, tragedy and pain is something both genders experience. We are not separated when it comes to that. I shared a message from Joni Erickson and Friends about suffering to a brain injury survivor, James Novinger and this was his response:

“I understand that life sometimes throws us a curve ball the opposite direction. But what I got out of it was that you have to make the best of your situation. Some people aren’t going to be the football captain who won the homecoming game with a Hail Mary and who had the prettiest girl to be his date for the party. Instead there was a kid who had an older brother with that exact life as he watched and heard from an institution. I was the boy living in group homes and psych wards just trying to keep my cool so I would not have to go into solitary confinement for another time. I have always loved football and when my brother and I were little boys we would always play together. But instead I got a major TBI and kind of went off the deep end for a minute, having to do some time away from my loved ones to fix my outcome. And I could have been totally mad about my life, but I know now that somebody who may hear my story may benefit from my situation. And the most positive note that I believe and could think of was God does not make mistakes. My life was this way for a reason and I cannot be mad at my Heavenly Father for anything. And if it was not for my TBI’s I would have never met the people at B.R.A.I.N. and would never have gotten the opportunity to work at B.R.A.I.N. for the last three years. So a lot of positive has come from a lot of negative and is still growing minute-by-minute, day-by-day.”

We don’t know what will be thrown our way, but knowing that there are resources available like B.R.A.I.N. and groups like FBI, people can have hope for their future. James is employed as B.R.A.I.N.’s maintenance person and he is proud to keep the headquarters clean and arranged each day. I am pleased with his growth since meeting him three years ago. Life happens and it sure is better when you surround yourself with people who care about and love you. I am blessed to be able to lead the Tuesday night FBI group each week. Join me to experience Life to the Max! I’ll see you at 5 p.m.

With Warm Hugs,

Angela Mandas, MA CCC-SLP
Speech Language Pathologist
FBI Group Facilitator