You can live through many days thinking that you haven’t done anything to touch someone, and then you have a day like I did today.

Starting a new job and learning the ropes in a new company can be hard for anyone.  What I am finding challenging is starting from scratch without knowing any of the systems or people that I will now be working with.  The good thing is that I know how to be a speech therapist and a manager, and some days, I just fall back to those roles.  I look forward to the days when I feel confident in the basics, like knowing where the bathroom is, so that I can get back to working with staff and families again.

Today for me was no different – I was lucky enough to have some tasks to complete, plus a few meetings to attend.  During lunch I took a few minutes to check my email, and that is when I had my moment of joy.

In my email group today was a note from a young woman in Savage.  Every now and then I get an email from someone that has watched the blog from the beginning of the story, often times hoping to find out how Frank is doing.  As you may recall, testing results are pending and we are waiting for his department to make the decision as to whether or not he can return to work.  It has been a long wait – 35 months – and we are all done with the waiting.  We hope that there will be a result soon, and knowing Frank, he prays that he can just go back to the job that he has loved so much.

Today’s email was one that I will not soon forget, because it said so much about what someone can do for another person without even knowing that you have done anything.  This young woman lives in the town where Frank is a police officer.  She is a snowboarder, and this past winter, she was injured in a fall while snowboarding.  Doing the right thing, she tells me that she was wearing a helmet, yet injuries can still occur – even when wearing you seatbelt driving a car, as we well know.

This young woman’s insight into our world had new meaning after she got hurt, and although our paths are not exactly the same, brain injury has some common themes that often bring individuals together, regardless of the severity of the injury.  I am delighted that my ramblings over the last (almost) three years have helped others, because it is often difficult to find the meaning in the pain of life altering situations.  While I know that we are still in a storm of uncertainty, bright lights like this young lady’s email allow us to take a breath of fresh air, and realize that hope still lives in many people out there.

Thank you Katie for your kind words – you gave us both a gift today that has more value than almost anything we could receive these days.

I was reminded this week of the journey that is possible in our lives.  We don’t always pay attention to the passage of time, but if we step back and look at where we have been it can be amazing to see how for you have come.

My travels this week took me to Rosemount Minnesota.  Normally I move from appointment to appointment engrossed in music and thought, but today, while sitting at a stoplight, I was brought back to myself and to the past as I gazed out of my windshield towards the front of a restaurant.  I was immediately transported back to late spring of 2012, and to this place – Celts Pub.  It was here that our family received the first taste of what the support outside of the hospital would look like, and how many people were rooting for Frank to get better.

I had an appointment to keep, but after my visit I turned back toward Celts Pub and pulled into the parking lot.  As I sat there contemplating whether or not to go in, I thought to myself that I owe it to these people to say thank you.  I walked to the door and entered, turning to the right where the party had been that night in Frank’s honor.

The door was locked and the lights were off.

I paused, and turned to the left, hoping someone would be available for me to talk to – lucky for me, it was the lunch hour, and the bar was full of patrons and people working that morning.

I followed the man with the key, and allowed myself to walk back in time as my thoughts remembered the thick crowds of people, and the overwhelming fear and worry that I felt that day.  Worry for Frank being overwhelmed by the people, worry for me being able to face all of these people and faces, and worry that Frank won’t know what to do or say.

Worry was thick back then, worn like a wet blanket that weighed me down.  Walking into the bar and feeling the lightness made me re-evaluate those memories with a different view.

No one cared what Frank knew or didn’t know; no one cared what we said or did.  People just wanted to show us that they were willing to do whatever it would take to be there, and that we were loved by our large, extended family.

I glanced towards the ceiling and was thrilled to see the police roof and lights still hanging up high.  That night, officers and friends climbed a ladder to sign this memorial to honor blue blood.  At one point, much to my dismay, Frank joined them up high and signed his name as well, quickly followed by his loyal and trusted friend for so long, Officer Beckett.

The sight of those signatures brought me joy and peace like nothing has this week.  To know such love and loyalty, to see it exist in my own life, engages my spirit to do more, to be more to others, and to give back to this life that has given us so much, in the midst of a gigantic unknown.

Thank you Celts for giving me a look back – a look back that made me appreciate the months that have gone by since that time, and an understanding that even in the hardest moments of our lives, life continues on, even if we are unable to appreciate the time that is passing.