Austin**•.¸♥¸.•**not-Texas, Texas, USA
May 28
♪♫ ♥ Diva ♥ ♪♫♥
Mom, partner, listener, healer of wounds large and small, dog-petter, writer, pie baker, star shooter, wine appreciator, hungry muse, part-time pirate and pole dancer.


JANUARY 16, 2013 11:42AM

The Remembering

Rate: 14 Flag

      Today is the fifth anniversary of my son's accident. Of his being hit by a car and having a severe traumatic brain injury. For the last four years, January 16th rolls towards me with insistence. January 16, 2008 is when we stopped being a normal family. It is where our Before ended and our After began.

       My son is alive. He is a beautiful specimen of maleness physically. Emotionally and cognitively, he is still the boy he was when the accident occured. The changes in our lives have been myriad and unexepcted. But he is here, alive and capable of love. There is still a silver lining, cracked and veined though it may be.

An excerpt from my upcoming memoir:

Yet Okay Family: One Family's Journey Through Traumatic Brain Injury

      Austin is ready after a week to be moved from the ICU to Acute Care. Really, what this involves is that Austin’s bed will be moved from ICU to Acute Care. We say good-bye to the nurses who have been so kind. Several of them hug us.
    “Don’t forget this,” says a nurse as she hands me a white plastic bag with a drawstring at the top. On the front is the name of the hospital and underneath that is line that says ‘client’. Austin’s name has been written on this line.
    “These are all his clothes from when he came in. His wallet is in the hospital safe. There’s a receipt in the bag to claim it.”
    Judy and I walk ahead and leave the team getting Austin’s bed ready for the transfer. We take the elevator up to the floor where Austin’s new room is located. It feels a bit more spacious, with a wall of windows and a door that opens onto the central nurse’s station rather than a hallway such as in ICU. I put the bag down, then think to look inside of it. What was Austin wearing that day? I don’t know, as the kids had stayed with their dad the night before.
    “Oh god.”
    “What? What is it?” Judy comes to my side to see what I am holding.
    “Oh no. Drema, let’s put these away,” she says gently.
    I look at the jeans I am holding. They are dirty from the pavement he landed on. And they are split up the sides of both legs. The scissors had also cut through his belt. I think of the haste in which emergency personnel must have cut his clothes off in order to get him stabilized. I imagine someone holding his head still as others work. I shove the jeans back into the bag, get up and shove the bag into the room’s closet.
    I will myself to focus on what I know: I know Austin’s body is weak from being in a coma, from the trauma, and from the lack of bodily movement for almost two weeks. He cannot stand without assistance, nor can he sit without support. He is sometimes able to focus on the person in front of him but often appears dazed. He gives a thumbs up now when asked. He remains awake up to two hours at a time. I know too, that the move to Acute Care signals progress, and that is a good sign. Austin is one of the ones who ‘made it’.

Author tags:

life goes on, trauma, family

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I remember some of your stories and cannot even imagine what you went through. In fact I pray I never have to, but I am always here for you and I am so relieved he made it. Sometimes there is a reason things happen and I can only think it is because he is meant for greater things.

I remember the beginnings of this written account, and heartbreaking as it is I know it paves the way for great things...for you both.
I am so glad to read you are writing your story, it will help so many and I hope it will also help you and your family on your way to better times.
Linda, thank you. I am working on finding that meaning.
Buffy--yes, I think we all hold onto this belief. And, sometimes, we gets glimmers.
LL2--seems like a long time since we've touched base! Thank you for reading and encouraging me.
I want a signed copy. xox
Joan, you will definitely get that! xox
I'm new to your story and much looking forward to it. I can't imagine what the last five years have been like for your family but I'm glad to know one thing in advance - your son is okay.
phewww.. . I can't begin to say how sorry I am for Austin, Drema, and for all of you...your fortitude is incredible.

I'm so glad you're writing about the specifics of your tragedy...I have a feeling there are a whole lot of lessons for everybody in there. Thanks for sharing this terrible story and its universal ramifications with us.

Overcoming tragedy is hard work.

Blessings to Austin and y'all.
Margaret, it's how I started in OS. I needed a place to start telling my story and found this place. It gave me hope and support that I desperately needed. If you want to see some, it starts under My Links with I will hold you, I will carry you.

Thanks for reading,
Emily, thanks. It's been a roller coaster and these one seems to have had a lot of downhill runs and a lot of flatline chugging! I appreciate your encouragement.
You have been through so much, and your attitude is inspiring. Look forward to your book, Drema. May it inspire others to deal with realities as you do.
Lea, thanks for your comments. As you likely know from your own experiences, what others call 'inspiring' we sometimes just know as 'getting through'. I appreciate your kind words.
I remember not knowing how you went through it. I wish time brings you solace and peace.
I am so sorry for what you and your family have gone through. I admire your thinking, realizing that your son is alive and still capable of thoughts and love - these are the most important things. Wishing you all health, happiness, and hope this year.
Posts like this remind me of why I've been missing this place . . . the heart, the courage, the writing about things that really matter . . . keep going, chica . . . keep going . . .
So glad to see you posting these stories here again Drema. We've missed you, and so glad to hear your book is under way.
And there it is. Proof positive of how very special this place was to so many of us. I will never, ever forget reading your incredible posts about Austin's accident and all that changed and morphed after that day.
What a thrill to read you here again... Love you, girlfriend.
OH. May you continue to receive and give consolation as you tell this story. Hopes and prayers for you and your family!
Thoth, thank you. It's one step at a time some days and some days we stride.

Alyssa, thanks for reading. I appreciate your good wishes and take them eagerly.
Owl, I have missed 'seeing' you. You have been a big support all along.

Trilogy, you are another person who encouraged me from the beginning and I am so grateful!
Caroline Marie--backatcha! xo

Ms. Unbreakable, you are one of the many reasons I was here. On this anniversary, I felt compelled to come back here because it was here that I first truly found my voice and learned how to tell my story. I love that you were a part of that. I heart u!

Eva, thank you so much. All hope and prayers accepted with gratitude.