Sue's December 2018 Letter

Happy New Year, Friends of B.R.A.I.N.!

I sit here with the Pasadena New Year’s Parade broadcasting on television. It’s interesting how one float has stopped the entire parade as it has experienced some hampering of its transportation. As it sits in the middle of Colorado Blvd, everyone stops their conversations and waits patiently until finally, the tow truck is called to help the railroad float around the corner to the parade’s ending. Well, that was the objective. For some reason, the train float is still sitting in the exact place where it broke down. I am struck at the comparison to B.R.A.I.N. that whole situation brings. When someone experiences an unexpected injury, there is usually a full stop to that person’s lifestyle. It then takes a team of caring people to come to the side of the injured to help tow the person back to their usual activities. I am grateful to be a part of a team of skilled and compassionate people who give their time and expertise to helping so many. Injury causes chaos and confusion. Many in the community, even friends and family, cannot truly understand or are aware of their role in helping the brain injured individual. B.R.A.I.N. exists to be that helping arm to assist those whose lives have been unexpectedly altered. By the way, the Rose Parade ended unceremoniously. The last floats who looked forward to their moment in Pasadena on television were robbed of their opportunity. I think of the impact on family members of head injured or stroke survivors. I honor and admire all of our caregivers and family members who give help and hope to their loved ones 24 hours a day. May 2019 be a time of growth, healing and advancement in your families.  

I guess my heart is so full of gratitude to God this season, I cannot verbalize all that has taken place last month. I won’t talk about the year-end potluck that was our largest yet or our fundraising campaign that has surprised all of us with your generosity. I won’t talk about the countless hours of service that our tireless volunteers and therapists gave. However, I will mention the survivors who have spent most of their holiday season in the hospital hanging on to life. A daily prayer comes from my lips to God’s ears regarding Daniel, Jeanie, and Andrew. The very fact they are each alive to meet another opportunity here is a blessing for sure.

I end this letter with a thought about life: It is short and out of our complete control. The more time spent, the shorter it seems. Blessings to Angela and Joan as each said a final good bye to their sweet Mothers last month. They each lived a long life, yet no daughter is ready for that last moment. Love to each of you.

Another thought on life: It starts unexpectedly yet actually meeting the new member of the world makes everyone rest in a spirit of expectation. “Oh, you’re expecting?” “When are you expecting?” Again, the questions only bring an estimation. The youngest member of our family, our baby, is having a baby! We wait expectedly for sometime in the next few weeks of 2019. What joy this new little female blessing already brings to our family. With her arrival, her mom’s duties at B.R.A.I.N. changes. Thank you, Jana, for your hard work, skill, thoughtful strategy planning and overall cheerleading for me over this past 10 years. Few knew the giant footprint you have had. I knew and I appreciated you. We have a lot to look forward to.  

Happy 2019 with love,

Sue