January 2014 Letter From Sue

January was a big month for me personally. As the prime leader of B.R.A.I.N., I went through a month of real introspection. 2013 ended with large encouragements. Year-end financial giving was over the top generous. A new Physical Therapist, Ola Akande came on board to help our brain injury community, taking our staff of therapists to nine!  New families were helped through the services at B.R.A.I.N. So why did I feel a little “out of gas” to start 2014? With so much good happening, why did I feel this way? I think I know.

December 19th was a date I had looked forward to for months, actually years. My friend and mother in law, Alma was due to arrive from Seattle to visit us for Christmas. She was now finally free to enjoy herself and travel to see us after the unexpected home going of Dad Rueb in May. She had her ticket, her new coat, bathrobe and other travel items. We talked every day planning the trip of how we would spend the weeks together. She even had an open-ended ticket giving her the freedom to be a Snowbird for the winter. The call on December 6th was a shock when we learned she was in the hospital in Washington. Jerry, Jana and I rushed to her bedside and spent a week loving on her and slowly realizing that we were saying, “Good bye.”

December 15th was Mom’s new arrival date…to Heaven, not Huntington Beach.  Everything dropped away from my importance list as we were on a journey of travel back and forth to Seattle for her memorial service in January. I found a note in her apartment reminding her of her Dec 10th hair appointment before her trip south. My heart ached. This is a real life event that all of us have experienced, when a loved one passes from this life. But today, this happened to me. Though Mom was well matured in age, she was vital and enthusiastic and was a monthly donor to B.R.A.I.N. She shared my vision for an adult community who has experienced brain injury. I longed to share my daily dreams with her, as she understood their importance. My friend and sweet mother in law moved away, but the dreams we shared are still very much alive.

When brain injury comes uninvited into a family’s life, everything drops in importance in comparison to serving a loved one. I admire all of you who consistently deal with this struggle in your life. May B.R.A.I.N. be an encouragement and a resource to you. May you find an atmosphere of love and hope when you walk through our doors. May you all feel special as you attend Think Tank 2014 and know that you are being thought of and cared for. Thank you for your love and support. Together, we can see dreams come true!


  1. Thanks Sue for sharing your feelings with all of the BRAIN family. Even though I have heard the entire story from you and Jerry at Church, and it is a phenomenal story of God’s intervention, it’s obvious your love for Alma and that same love overflows into the lives of so many with BRAIN.

    Love you…..Donna

  2. Sue as both my parents are still alive, Mom 91, Dad 87, cannot imagine the emotions and excitement of not being able to share further in this life yet the promise of eternal life. Where we will recognize one another! I can only imagine!!!!
    Thank you for who God has made you to be and for all you do for others. Deep love and admiration always

  3. so sorry, for the loss of you well-loved mother-in-law, Alma.
    and hoping your family’s sorrow eases even while all good memories
    of your times together and life together make the bond joyful , as surely as she lives so near her loved ones in her healthy spirit.

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