Dying, to Live Your Life

h Blog

Lisabeth has been writing blogs since January 3, 2012. At that moment, when her husbands life was hanging in the balance, she opened up her life and her heart to everyone. The blogs, that described her families journey and life living with traumatic brain injury, along with her own journey through Stage IV breast cancer, have opened up a world of heartfelt connection and inspiration for others.

Not facing my fear

I like to pretend that I have no fear, that I am fearless at all times. That I am not touched by the worries of the world, and that I live in harmony with the things that happen in my days. I strive to find peace and calm, balance and harmony, even on the days […]

I’m Lucky

I’m lucky – for so many reasons. I have amazing support in my life. I have a strong family, a strong will and a strong heart. I have people that will stand by me no matter what. I have a great job. I have great doctors. And today I got great news. A clean scan […]

The “Eve” of things

Last Saturday we were having our typical busy weekend. In the midst of it all Tommy declared the day Super Bowl Eve. Technically he was correct and with all of the hype it felt like a special day. Funny how the build up to things is sometimes almost as big as the actual day. For […]

Thinking about it all

But I do think about the future, and the time has come again for the future to be a bit worrisome. Every six months people that live in the cancer world are brought face to face with the “what if.” The six month scan. The first week of February I am faced again with a […]

A few minutes alone

I am spending a few minutes alone. In my car. It’s just about the only spot I am alone these days. It’s quiet other than the Christmas music playing. Well, there are car doors slamming. And the kids running by with their soccer gear and hockey bags. And some parents telling their kids to hurry […]

Beginning again

It feels like forever since I wrote an update. It isn’t because there is nothing to write (there is always something to write) but I have been very focused on life and living. There was a time that I wasn’t sure how much life I had left. We all realize on some level that a […]

My reality vs real reality

For someone that wants to be done with all things surgery and doctor related, a week with three doctors appointments and a call from the surgeon does not feel like things are done. What was interesting is that now that my head is above water I have to think about things like the eye doctor, […]

New twist

and why people say to me “can’t you just catch a break?” Typically when friends and family are upset about some other hurdle or sideways path that pops up I just shrug my shoulders and move on. Every body is different and heals in its own way. Sometimes the path to getting better is paved […]

Pain – 1 Lisa – 1

Some gains in my world tonight. Pain has been controlled since mid morning which means we may have figured out how to get through this tough healing process. With this gain comes the side effect of sleep. Sleep for me is always fitful – rarely do I sleep longer than 2-3 hours before waking up, […]

Pain – 1 Lisa – 0

Tight night. Pain is expected, even welcomed at some level, because pain is part of the recovery process. No one has a complicated abdominal surgery and reconstruction without pain. It’s the uncontrolled pain that makes it tough. Last night I lived in a large pond of pain, and it took hours of changing and shifting […]

Truth

It’s 0430 and I’m awake. I slept fairly well last night, which means I only woke up twice before drifting back to sleep. By 0430 I knew my luck had past and I started reading the news updates on my phone. It’s hard reading stories of such sadness like the one about a local paramedic […]

The next big thing

Yesterday brought me within one week of what is supposed to be the final surgery for reconstruction. I, of course, am not counting on it being the last as we all know I tend the follow the path of MOST resistance these days. However, next Friday I will head back to the hospital so that […]

Only posting the good

I find that I post less when I am feeling better. I find that I do not want to share only negative, so I only post the more positive. Today I find myself back in the hospital, with another infection, and wondering how I ended up here. Truthfully I KNOW how I ended up here […]

Happy One Year

I am happy to be one year out from chemo. Chemo was incredibly hard – people that endure chemo are reborn on the other side. A different person emerges from the ashes of chemo. Thank you for staying with me during this year. It means everything to have my village. Sometimes living your life while […]

Missed it

I completely missed it – did not update CaringBridge at all last week, even after hanging out in the hospital for three days. Apparently they didn’t count! Although not as serious as my other hospital stays, I had another round of IV antibiotics before a surgery to replace one of the expanders with an implant. […]

More of the good

I am happy to report that the good news keeps on coming. Today I met with my plastic surgeon to discuss the plan for surgery this fall. I have been preparing myself for another long recovery period since the initial conversations involved some major repair of this giant wound scar along with completing reconstruction. When […]

Moving On

Great news today – clean CT scan which means no current cancer in sight. With this news, I officially move on from the cancer fight. I know that it can return. I am a realist. But I will not let it direct or rule my life. The new question is the pain. My oncologist does […]

Thinking about tomorrow

Typically I will start my posts with some pithy commentary relating to my title. I start out with something sassy and build from there. Today I’ll I’ve got is that – thinking about tomorrow. See, tomorrow is scan day. Tuesday is results day. Not fun words for anyone that has been diagnosed with cancer. I […]

Impatient

I’m sitting and waiting for Frank to fly in to Chicago so he can help me drive back from a very long weekend of soccer and a work conference. Normally I would jump in the car and go, but my body just will not allow it. My brain is feeling betrayed by the abilities of […]

Can’t stop now

Things have been going well with just a little process issues. What this means is that every few days I had to have blood drained out of the expander site. Nothing to worry about, I just needed to be diligent about getting to my appointments. Yesterday I went for a walk with a colleague during […]

Boobs 2.0

So boobs. Yep let’s talk about boobs. So I’m trying to get mine back – a newer maybe slightly younger looking version than before. As part of that there are several surgeries. Putting things in. Inflate. Remove and replace. You get the picture. The goal is to be able to feel comfortable in my own […]

Moving on – Part 6

It is time to move on. I am lying in bed wishing I was asleep. The sun is shining right in my face which makes sleep elusive. But to me, sunshine is a healing joy, and I really don’t need sleep right now. I’ll enjoy the sunshine instead. I went to the doctor yesterday and […]

So far so good

I hesitate to post that things are okay as that has often been about the time when things go bad. I decided to risk it and say that I am doing well. I spent the last week recovering at my parents house. I figured staying at home and attempting to rest would result in me […]

It will be okay

I know you are worried. I know you are scared. But it will be okay. I love the hugs, the good lucks and the prayers. Each one warms my heart. The “Mom you scare me with these surgeries” are more real in their expression of fear. But it’s going to be okay. We can’t spend […]

27 Dresses – The Cancer version

27 Dresses – most of us have seen this movie or at least know what it’s about. A young lady is the caregiver to all, and has had that role for many years. In that time, she has been part of many happy events, mostly weddings, and with each one she purchased a bridesmaids dress. […]

This thing called lymphedema

I know it’s early. Sleep is often elusive in my world and I try to just rest when I find myself awake and alone at night. This morning I find myself awake and bored, so here I am again to bring you a glimpse into the cancer world. As I get closer to surgery next […]

Figuring it out

After living the last year with a cancer diagnosis I am never surprised when things change. The last few weeks have been different in that doing the daily day-to-day has become difficult. There is the ongoing pain, mostly in the joints of my legs, knees and feet, although sometimes my shoulders and hands like to […]

Sitting in the dark

I’m sitting here in a dark hotel room with my 12 year old son snuggled up to me. It’s quiet and I’m awake. I’m always awake. But that’s okay. I’m thinking about how I wish I had spent more time walking or on the treadmill yesterday instead of playing Tiny Tower on my phone. I […]

I love having cancer

I love having cancer – I really do. You know why? Because it truly puts everything into perspective. I have spent over a year fighting, being sick, living with pain, surgeries, toxic medications and hospital visits, and I can honestly state that I am very happy. This weekend I was lucky enough to spend five […]

Its just Cancer

The last few weeks have been a very slow return to what I see as semi-normal life. The days are filled with work, soccer, school and errands. I usually make it through the beginning of the week, but by the end of the week, I am wiped out. I hear that it is normal, and […]

A letter to my best friend

Lisa – I dreamed about you last night. It doesn’t happen often, but last night we were back together again. Although parts of the dream were fleeting, it warmed my heart this morning to know we spent a few more moments together, even if it was in the dream world. In the beginning I didn’t […]

What’s new

What’s new with all of you? I feel as if I haven’t been a good poster lately. It isn’t because things are going badly, on the contrary, things are moving along just nicely. I have 14 of 30 radiation treatments completed. I am working three days a week. I am able to go to my […]

I Quit

I quit. Well, not today, but I quit yesterday. I know you are thinking that quitting sounds like a negative thing, but for me, it is truly joyous. I quit radiation. I was scheduled for 30 sessions of radiation – 25 regular sessions, 5 days a week, and then 5 “bolus” sessions. I made it […]

Technology and Brain Injury – Friends or Foes?

When an individual suffers a brain injury, there is often a mad rush by family members to find every possible way to help in the recovery process. Technology is such a huge part of life these days that there are many people that see technology as the wave of the future for treating brain injury deficits – […]

The Things I didn’t know

There are so many things that I didn’t know when diagnosed with breast cancer almost a year ago. I didn’t know that things would start so fast; the visits, the appointments, the doctors. I didn’t know how well acquainted I would become with needles – so many needles that I lost track. The more months […]

Carrying Wood

Today I carried wood. So what, right? Big deal Lisa, you carried some wood. Well, it is a big deal. For months, I have been “resting.” Healing from so many surgeries, chemicals, medications and insults to my body. With rest also comes the reality of muscle wasting, and by now, my muscles have really deteriorated […]

Finding Balance – Again

Finding balance is a daily struggle – do more, do less. Rest and move. Do and Don’t. I am finding it hard to find a way to find the best balance between the need to rebuild my strength, and still allowing my body to heal. There is so much healing that has to happen before […]

Witness for the New Year and an Anniversary

The New Year is here for all of us – and tonight I am spending some time reflecting back on last year, and looking forward to what will come next. The”funny” part about today is that it truly has multiple meanings for our family. Of course it is the new year, and we all plan […]

I am Free

It’s true, in my own way, I am free.Free of tubes, drains, PIC lines, wound vacs.Free of something attached to me that was meant to keep me alive, help me get well, to make me heal.Finally, I am free of monitoring something constantly to ensure it works correctly, flows, isn’t clogged or doesn’t leak.With the […]

Where did we go?

I know, things were supposed to shift gears, change it up, and have a new person blogging on the life of TBI.  We were up for the challenge, and excited about the new impact that we could make in the world of TBI. Instead, life happened.  Again. In February, I was diagnosed with Stage IV […]

New Blogger

Hello out there! To start this off, I will tell you what I was doing at this time four years ago.  At 2030 hours, my partner Joel Karz were finishing up Chipotle burritos. Steak  burritos, mild and corn salsa, cheese, sour cream, black beans,  and guacamole. We can’t forget about the chips and salsa. We […]

Changing of the Guard

Change is a constant – many of us spend our lives waiting for change, hoping for changing, trying to make a change, or praying for a change. Change happens whether we want it to or not – life is not a linear path, but a continuum of breaks, stops, hitches, do-overs and mistakes. Life often […]

It is Okay to be Different

It is you know – it is okay to be different. It is Thanksgiving, and for many people that brings great joy and happiness when gathering together with friends and family.  Having time to cook all day, watch football, eat, play and be merry is what many families get to do today. For families that live with […]

Holiday Preparation

The time has come again to meet the holidays head on – as the holidays approach, many families that love an individual living with a brain injury being to worry about how to navigate the season. Parties, shopping, money worries and get-togethers can disrupt a carefully balanced scaffolding of organized life that takes little to push over. […]

Veteran’s Day Thoughts

Veterans are the reason we have the freedoms that we do. They fought our battles, they waged war in places most of us don’t want to visit. They gave their lives so that we can feel safe and secure, and have liberties that many others do not. Today we honor those brave men and women […]

A Solo Partnership

A Solo Partnership – those words do not really go together well, do they? I have been mulling over those words in my head for over a week and it was finally time to put pencil to paper (or fingers to keyboard). When you see those words together, what does it make you think of? […]

The Ride of My Life – Part 2

I am wearing dark clothes to try and blend in. I am fairly certain anyone could figure out that I am not a real cop, but at least I can sit in the front and pretend I know what I am doing. Tony jumps in and gives me a lesson in where things are, and what […]

The Ride of My Life – Part I

When my husband became a police officer, we both knew that sometime early in his career  I would be going with him to work to do a ride along.  It was important to both of us; for me to see what he did each day, how work “worked”, and to remove some of the fear […]

The Silence is Deafening

I will no longer be silent. I will no longer hold my tongue. It is not a matter of pride that I have remained quiet; not a matter of anger, loss or regret.  I have simply moved into a new phase, and focused on brain injury and recovery. But right now, I am going back […]

A Grain of Salt

We have all heard the saying “take it with a grain of salt.” This adage means to look at something skeptically, or to not take something too literally. Well that is how I am prefacing this current blog post – each of these posts are developed from thoughts, ideas, and conversations that I have had not just within […]

Caregivers: Your Insides are showing

Has anyone ever asked “How are you?” and you reply, “Fine thanks. Why?” Well, you look tired. Uh oh, it is the caregivers tell – when people not living in the world of caregiving start to ask questions, and may not believe you when you tell them that you are fine. It is when what […]

Where have you been?

Truly this question is not for all of you, but sent to me from many of you. I am here, but not HERE. I am being focused, but differently. I am present, but absent. But I am okay, and thank you for asking. I have followed the paths of many “life-stress” bloggers such as myself.  […]

Wisdom in the Journey

Wisdom  imparts itself on us when we least expect it.  Tonight, as I don’t find sleep coming to me easily, I think of all of the wisdom I have gained in the last few years, learning not only from others, but from myself. I know my blog has usually been either brain injury related, or […]

Police Week 2015

Police Week 2015 has just ended. Another week of honor and service remembrance for those gone too soon while serving their towns, state and country. The honor they deserve in a time when life as a law enforcement officer is more than a little complicated. Typically, I am full of words to describe what I […]

What is a crisis and what isn’t

It is easy to fall into the trap of “crisis mode.”. I am feeling that right now as I try to find a new house, pack up this one, finish up final projects, and finish out the school year for the kids.  It feels like a crisis when so many things are not falling into […]

Radio Show Tonight – 7:00 Central Time

You Are Invited Lisabeth Mackall: Caregiver, Therapist, Author When Lisabeth Mackall opened her front door at 2:30am on January 2, 2012, it changed her life forever. She learned that her husband, Police Officer Frank Mackall, had been in a serious motor vehicle accident while on duty, and had been airlifted to a hospital. When Lisabeth […]

Giving Up

Giving up. You might be thinking to yourself “this is not going to be a typical cheerful blog day”. Not that all of the posts that I write are cheerful, but I think that most of the posts that I write have a message of hope to them. When I talk about giving up it does […]

Friends in low places

So many friends in low places – and not in the low places like the Garth Brooks song. Just low, feeling bad, struggling with the reality of what a brain injury has done to them, to their family or to their loved one. Low because there are so many parts of this process that directly […]

Life seems to be moving faster

I noticed today that the weekend went by in a blur – time seems to be moving faster again for me, which is a clear indication that life is moving on.  As much as everyone tells you it will happen, and you don’t believe it, it eventually returns to a more typical pace. We seems […]

Compassion Fatigue

Compassion fatigue – do you know what it is? The textbook definition has many pieces depending on where you look.  The one that I think fits best for many people living within the world of brain injury goes something like this – extreme fatigue or emotional distress because one has spent all of their own […]

Time keeps on ticking, into the future…..

The future moves towards us whether we are ready for it or not. Today is just another day in the life, yet we can spend that day either dreading the outcome, or trying to make it a better place for yourself, your family, friends or colleagues. Knowing that the future is uncertain is a given, […]

The Invisible

Although not true in all cases, many times a brain injury is an invisible injury.  Just by looking and even sometimes talking to someone, you may not know about the struggles, pain, embarrassment and unhappiness that can reside in someone that has to work hard just to make it through simple tasks.  A brain injury […]

Brain Injury Awareness Month

So March is Brain Injury Awareness Month – I will tell you that many people I know have added green ribbons to their Facebook pages and are recognizing the life changing event that a brain injury can be. A brain injury changes many things – it can change how a person walks, eats, writes and […]

Thoughts can change the day

I am not a worrier by heart – I typically go along my day without fretting about things or obsessing about what might or might not happen.  I have never felt the need to worry, although like everyone, I occasionally do have immediate concerns about normal things – worries about the kids, money or about […]

Today and Tomorrow

So I haven’t written lately – no blogging, no articles, minimal Facebook posts.  It probably doesn’t help that I am in week two of my bronchitis fun, but I think it also has to do with the fact that I have no idea what to do right now. Someone asked me to write about resiliency […]

A walk down a hallway

Last night I was leaving work later than usual.  Most of the people I worked with had gone home for the night, and there were just a few stragglers leaving the hospital.  It was quiet, and as I turned to head down the hall to the parking garage I had a flashback to another time […]

Retirement information

As much as I thought we had posted the flyer to everyone, apparently there are those of you who have not seen it.  To all of you, thank you for your support.  We hope to see you there!

You Just Don’t Know

You just don’t know when it will come along… that feeling of intense worry, about things that you know will be fine, but you just can’t help the feeling of distress and anxiety. I have always been honest when I write about how I feel and what I see while we walk through this new […]

A future of possibilities

December 31st and January 2nd passed us by with little drama – although in our house we all know what those dates mean, we are currently doing our best to just lean in towards the future. Frank will be able to thank so many of you in person at the retirement events planned this month – […]

Almost a New Year

Remember when your “year” worked a bit different than the adult year?  For most of us, the year started in September and ended at the end of August when we had to return to school.  For me, that year calendar existed until I graduated from Grad school and had to enter the real world and […]

Living Without Regrets

It has been a long time since I posted to the blog but I have been following my own advice – taking the time to focus on what is happening with my family while transitioning to my new job.  Things have been difficult to say the least – the life of a family living with […]

A Door Quietly Closes…

Each journey begins with a step off of the regular daily path onto a new one; sometimes these steps are taken voluntarily – tentative towards a new direction – or boldly with a commitment to the future. Sometimes the journey begins without warning – a thrust out of the typical daily life plan towards a scary new […]

Happy Thanksgiving weekend

Another holiday has passed, and I am glad that it is over.  Don’t get me wrong, we had a really nice holiday with extended family, a visit up north to get our Christmas tree, and time with the kids to just be together.  But like always, there are additional challenges that have to be worked […]

A note that touched my heart

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 […]

A memory of the past

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 […]

Waiting Game – Take Two

In our world we spend a lot of time waiting – waiting for healing, waiting for insight, waiting for results.  Life often becomes a waiting game for us, and it is a game that we are all sick of playing. Patience may be a virtue, but it is sometimes difficult to remember that philosophy; we […]

A Month of Change

November for us will be a month of extreme change – change as the weather shifts to colder temperatures, change as I go back to work full-time, change as we head into the holidays, and change as we walk through the final weeks of testing and decisions regarding Frank return to work with the Savage […]

To Live Like You Were Dying

Today I had the honor of attending a funeral of an Officer that passed; an officer that died not from a gun battle, but from a battle that many lose to – his battle with cancer.  I am a firm believer in taking moments to stop and recognize things that happen in our lives, and […]

It’s All About Choices

Each and every day there are choices that can be made – we all make choices when it comes to what we eat, what we wear, where we are going and what we want to do.  When we make a choice, it changes the course of the day and where we are heading.  To get […]

Finding hope in chaos

No one has ever accused me of being quiet – of not having an opinion and sharing it. So here we are this morning, and I am recovering from an amazing weekend volunteering as part of an event that had lofty goals.  These goals were to bring attention and support to some very important families. […]

Opportunity to Honor

This weekend there is an event in Madelia MN to honor injured law enforcement officers from Minnesota.  I invite you to take a drive to this beautiful city and attend a banquet to honor these heroes, enjoy  a meal provided by Pub 500 from Mankato. Minnesota Banquet to Honor and Support Injured Law Enforcement Officers […]

Change is the only constant

Life keeps changing for everyone; no one gets to sit in a corner and live without the changes of each day, even if they are small changes.  For me the changes seem to come in waves – calm and then many things changing at once.  I am sure that part of that happens when I […]

Fall is here, time keeps moving

It is amazing to me that it is already October – I remember this spring thinking that I had no idea how I was going to make it through the month of March, let alone get to the fall where we might be able to find out what the future holds for us on this […]

A sunny afternoon

I am sitting alone in a parking lot waiting to see a patient – because I am early, and the weather is beautiful, I don’t mind a little time to myself to think about the shift that is occurring again in life, and to allow these changes to come as they will without fighting against […]

Silent but still here

Typical beginning to the school year and transition – absolute chaos for about two weeks, and then the calm of quiet hits the moment everyone transitions out of the house. I haven’t written for several weeks – it isn’t because there isn’t anything to write, but I realized that being overwhelmed to the point of […]

What I know

Today I feel like I am supposed to write about yesterday, which if you are here in Minnesota, was an amazing day of tribute to another fallen officer at the hands of an individual who has little concern for human life or the impact that taking that life would have on not just a family, […]

Reality

I am supposed to be heading out to see a patient, but I find myself watching the Facebook feed and the stories about Officer Patrick and those supporting his family. It brings a lot of emotions forward for not just me, but for all law enforcement families that face this reality every single day. My […]

Another blessing, another heartbreak

Sleep was elusive last night – although I had such a blessing yesterday, that blessing was paired with a senseless law enforcement killing that brings such a heavy heart to my LE family. My blessing moment came when I was finally able to meet in person a friend from PA – a friend that was […]

Friday night life

It is a Friday night and the evening is quiet, even with four kids in the house. It was a productive day for me, and that always makes me feel better. Trying to walk through the crazy process of disability paperwork, status checks, and medical documentation and signature forms can be daunting, and even though […]

You are not alone

It’s another beautiful summer night here in Minnesota. I am grateful for the warmth of the sun, the slight breeze, the flowers in the bloom, and the ability to appreciate the small things that exist in my universe. I have written so many posts in my head lately, but when I find myself doing it, […]

Friendship and kindness

The other night I had a dream, but at the time, it felt like a very real memory coming to the surface. I was attending the wedding of my best friend, and we were gathering and organizing things the morning of the ceremony. The feeling of the day was light and cheerful, and I felt […]

A New Outlook

Today I was able to attend church for the first time in many weeks – schedules get complicated and unfortunately, church is often one of those things that gives for me, even though I would like to make it to the front of the list more often. That is certainly my problem one that I […]

Last Call

I am in a familiar place tonight – sitting in the dark, a bit drained and sad, but comfortable in my own home, with the silence of my own space, and the peace of knowing that my family is here with me. I recall many nights spent like this, sitting in front of the computer, […]

Control

Control. Such a small word – seven letters, only one vowel – it would not seem that a word like control could mean so many thing to so many people. But like simple things that exist in our lives, control can be both useful and devastating, depending on your point of reference. I used to […]

This too shall pass

The weight of the world rests on me. If I am not here to keep control of all of the strings and threads of everyone in my family, life will fall apart. That is what individuals that are suffering feel like – as if life will end if they cannot juggle all of the pieces […]

National Police Week

Not a normal week – harder than most for some reason.  A week that feels cloudy, less sunshine, and filled with a heavy heart. Of all people I should know the triggers for these feelings, especially when they are so large and so over-taking.  But sometimes they are illusive, and when you finally do figure […]

Listening to others

Right in this moment I am in the breather before the storm – I just reviewed the week with kids trying to ensure that we all know what is happening this week, and the whirlwind that four kids, two graduations, baseball, soccer and boxing create is amazing.  Add to that volunteer work, clients, board meetings […]

Keynote Speaker at Mental Health Symposium

Here is my latest presentation announcement. My next event will be May 21st in Wilmar, MN.  I am the Keynote Speaker for the 23rd Annual Southwest MN Symposium on Mental Health, along with presenting two break out sessions – one titled Brain Injury: A Medical and Family Perspective, and the other one titled Caregiver Fatigue. […]

Small joys

Some days I have no idea why I still blog – I just wonder if the purpose, which was to update everyone on Frank and how he was doing, is over and it is time for this to be over. Life certainly hasn’t returned to the way it was, but I don’t believe that it […]

Another sharp turn

There are so many things that change in an instant – life changes without notice, without warning, and we have to decide which way to turn when the path in front of us abruptly ends. Our path following my husband’s brain injury did change – and when it changed, we chose to follow the path […]

Crossing that bridge

It is important to remember where you started so that you understand how far you have come. I try to remember this when I get locked into worrying about the things that I feel that I cannot control – working, money, recovery of Frank and worry about my kids.  It seems as things get a […]

Another doctor, another part of the puzzle

It feels like it has been such a long time since I have written any type of update on Frank’s healing and recovery.  To be honest, things have not been really exciting on that front as the healing of a brain injury takes years to recover.  We have just been living in the process of […]

Brain Injury Conference

What an amazing day yesterday – participating in a Brain Injury Conference is such a humbling experience for me.  Yesterday was no different, and I am so grateful that I got to be part of that conference. When I was looking at the speaker list for the day, the Keynote speakers name looked familiar to […]

Forward slowly

Spring is finally trying to make its way back to us – I am grateful that we have entered a time of new, not just in the weather but for all of us.  New does not mean all is just great, and it is an interesting place to be when what you have wanted brings […]

I am lucky

It is not every day that you get to spend time doing something with people that you think are great.  I was lucky enough to spend the last two days interacting with people that I would give my life for, knowing that all of them would do the same for me, and in some cases, […]

The Iron Jen Show

Really excited about being on The Iron Jen Show tomorrow morning.  I will send out the link as soon as it posts – what an honor! Living through and Surviving Traumatic Experiences as a Family. Busy time with transitions for Frank, new opportunities for me, spring coming (that may be debatable with the snow coming […]

Another good day

The day started fast and furious – kids out to school and work to be done.  I allowed the busy to take over for a while before I left the house to go to therapy with Frank.  I talk about therapy because therapy is not always rehab for us – therapy is also the marriage […]

Spring is in the air – we hope.

I will admit that I have been thinking about writing and updating for two weeks, but have not really done a whole lot about it.  I think sometimes that happens when I get overwhelmed and struggle with my own issues – too many emotions result in not a lot of updating on the world.  I […]

No one is perfect

Being real means I do not have to pretend to be perfect. I am glad that I know the difference, and understand that it is okay to be afraid, sad or unhappy, and that when I am those things, it does not define me.  The emotions come and go, like they do for all of […]

The Fear of Help

So I haven’t posted for a while, which is not my usual pattern. But, sometimes life get s really hard and then other things move into the place of writing and the posting. And that is okay. I am forever grateful for the people in our lives that will drop everything to come when I […]

Blessing in many places

When we are given the chance to meet with and educate First Responders, there are always people in the group that we seem to connect with – we never know who it will be, and sometimes it is many people, although we may never know what our message has done. Today we were blessed again […]

Faith makes the difference

As many of you know, I am a firm believer that you have to trust in things outside of your own “doing” to live your life, a life full of promise, and a life full of joy. I do believe this, and have always believed that Frank would be okay in this journey, wherever it […]

Life Coaching Workshop registration is now open!

Welcome friends! I wanted you to know the workshop registration is now open. Thank you for your patience! Sunday, March 2nd, 1-4 PM Country Inn & Suites (formerly Holiday Inn Express) 5653 Bishop Avenue, Inver Grove Heights How do you go on after life seems to have stopped? Do you ever wonder how people move on, […]

Feeling like old times

Home tonight with the kids – one in bed asleep, one watching TV, one at school and one at driver’s ed.  The most important one isn’t home.  Frank is at school tonight, taking some classes to improve his EMT skills, and to continue working on his recovery plan.  The house is quiet, quiet it like […]

Gratitude – from the other side

It is Sunday morning, and few in my house are stirring – yesterday was an incredibly busy day for everyone, and by nighttime, everyone was tired.  I am not surprised by the morning quiet today; I am appreciating having some time to think about the last 24 hours and to understand the depth of what […]

A familiar journey

I made a journey today that I can do with my eyes closed, my car on autopilot and one that I don’t have to even think about. A drive that I did over and over, in the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening, for 84 days. A journey to bring me to see my […]

Start of something new

It is a new week – today is 1-13-14 and for many it is the beginning of the focus for the new year.  In our house that is very true.  Our oldest heads back to class, one of the boys has his first math league of the new year, and both Frank and I begin […]

And the beat moves on

Life moves on around us even when we may not be looking forward.  I always found it interesting that life continued on even when I was buried in my own life trauma, unable to see anything in front of me.  One day I looked around and realized that not everyone had been swallowed up into […]

Another Year, Another Anniversary

It is hard to believe that we are heading in to the night that two years ago changed our lives forever.  Although I think that it is easy to say that we have all survived and worked hard the last two years to be strong for one another, it does not change the fact that […]

Restless

I think that is the best way to describe how I feel right now.  I talk with others that have marked an anniversary of some sort – a divorce, a death, a trauma or a life change.  When someone walks through their own day, you start to understand what that might look like on the […]

The end of another year

It is December 28, 2013 – in any other part of my life I would call this the end of the crazy holiday season.  The time where we try to spend some time with my parents (Happy Anniversary to them – 50 years today!!) watch fireworks over the ice, and wind back down and get […]

Remember to make a difference

Each connection makes a difference for someone else.  When you pay attention to the people around you, you will notice that the little things that you do each day can make a huge difference for the people around you. Today, we bought Caribou for the people behind us in line, held a door for someone […]

Feeling fine this holiday season?

A busy weekend before a busy holiday – I know most of you are running around crazy busy just like we are, trying to get as much done before the holiday as possible.  Some are surrounded by family and friends, some are traveling to destinations far and wide, and some are home, just trying to […]

New adventure – live radio!

As some of you may know from the Facebook page, I will be doing a live radio show on the Internet tomorrow night (Thursday) starting at 10:00 PM CST.  I invite anyone that would like to chat with me to be part of the experience – it will be a first for me, and I […]

27 Miles Kindle Book Sale almost over!

Final Days for the $3.99 Kindle sale!  Through December 19th 27 Miles: The Tank’s Journey Home is just $3.99!  Limited time offer! Visit www.Amazon.com for your copy today!

Amazing Grace

It is amazing to me that it is already the middle of December… again.  How these years go by so quickly is unreal to me; I think it means I am getting old, as someone once told me that as we get older time seems to go by so much quicker. I sure do agree […]

I believe…

I believe in so much these days – the inherent goodness of people, the kindness of a stranger, and the compassion from others that have lived where you live, walked where you have walked. I walk a path different from most, but similar to many.  I walk the path following a life changing event, a […]

Today, be the one…

I work very hard to not criticize others in any way – not their decisions, their motivations, or even their whining about other people.  However, I think that sometimes it needs to be said: Unless you have walked in someone’s shoes, you cannot possibly understand their path. Over the last 23 months, I have made […]

Don’t judge, these are not your shoes

I work very hard to not criticize others in any way – not their decisions, their motivations, or even their whining about other people.  However, I think that sometimes it needs to be said: Unless you have walked in someone’s shoes, you cannot possibly understand their path. Over the last 23 months, I have made […]

Thanksgiving

Today is a day for many to give thanks – thanks for their families, their health, their children and their friends.  Today many want to take a moment to remember what they have, and to be thankful for those people currently in their lives. And then they go shopping. I have no opinion regarding the […]

Lean in, lean out

The world that we all live in is fast and different and changing all of the time.  The world that WE live in is also fast, and changing, and very different than it was BEFORE. It is the word BEFORE that draws the line in the sand for us, as it does for so many […]

No news is … No news

There is no way to rush things, no way to make things happen faster, sooner, quicker.  Right now we wait for lots of people to make many decisions about a future that feels out of control. But truly, we never really have control over our futures anyway, but we sure do like to pretend that […]

Another Day

I am sorry that there has not been an update; I am not keeping people in the dark on purpose, but there is no true outcome that I can send out at this point.  As a family, we are just doing what needs to be done every day, and waiting as the process works itself […]

The reason for the season

It is funny to watch the Christmas stuff roll in everywhere, when we have not even worked our way past Thanksgiving yet.  In our household the transition occurs Thanksgiving weekend, when we bring home a Christmas tree, or two, from up north, and begin the transition to the big holiday in our house. Christmas in […]

Change is coming…

There is change in the wind. Not just change in the weather, but change in life.  We all have cycles of change, and if you have been following us for any amount of time you know that we are preparing for a change in our lives as well.  Change is important – life would not […]

It takes a village

You know the phrase “It takes a village.”   Do you ever really think about what it means, how it applies, and what you can take from those four simple words to make life a chain of moments that are memorable? I think some of us understand that living in the moments, being present, and […]

Still waiting…

Patience is a virtue – well, it appears that I am not so virtuous when it comes to being patient.  I know that many of you have messaged me asking if we know the results of Frank’s neuropsych test.  Unfortunately, it is typically a few weeks before those results are available.  If we are really […]

Una Stamus

24 hours.  In 24 hours Frank starts his testing phase to assess his recovery. The goal has always been for him to go back to work as a police officer, and there is no one (other than himself) that wants that for him more than me.  That is called begin the wife of a law […]

The waiting game begins

There are so many times throughout the day that I have things I want to write down but never do.  Then I get to the end of the day, and a day full of the typical crazy – church, grocery store, and soccer practice two-a-day – and I sit down to write…. And nothing. I […]

Humbling….

I am up early this morning – REALLY early – and I thought I would get some work done.  I started some research for the articles I am writing today, and then decided to take a break to update the website information.  We are still transitioning to the new format, and I wanted to see […]

We can’t always know where we are going…

Do you think I know what I’m doing?  That for one breath or half-breath I belong to myself? As much as a pen knows what it’s writing, or the ball can guess where it’s going next. – Jelaluddin Rumi   I saw this today in one of the posts that I get delivered to my […]

New Look – New Events – New Stuff!

Following the hacking of my website, we have transitioned to a new look – the goal of course is to keep the same feel as the old website, but to just step it up a bit.  There are a few tweaks left to occur, like the fonts, but I hope that you find it as […]

Happy Birthday Officer Frank Mackall

We are all busy with our day today – our day is busy with school, work and the usual crazy, but it is also Frank’s birthday.  Another day, but a day that we remember what almost wasn’t, and a day we can appreciate how hard we have all worked to maintain our family strength. Thank […]

Some Days I Just Don’t Know

I talk a lot about figuring it out, doing what you dream, and taking a moment to notice life around you.  I am finding lately that I can do that, but that there is also this inner anxiety developing in my heart.  What that is about I am not sure, but when I realize that […]

Laughter is the best medicine

** If you get any weird emails from me please let me know info@lisabethmackall.com. All should be fixed but I want to make sure no one is getting anything from me except posts – thank you everyone** So tonight I was reminded again about how scary life was, and how funny life can be now […]

Thank you for your patience

Well, let’s try this again.  Things have been quiet for a week as we try to get a handle on the hackers that attacked the website.  My hope is that we have fixed what needs to be fixed, and that you will no longer receive multiple emails from me in one day.  I apologize for […]

Day by Day

Some days I just don’t know; not that we ever truly know what is in store for us, but sometimes, I really wonder. The weekend was fine, rainy one day, sunny the next, with a retreat and some soccer games wedge into the usual grocery store and kid management.  I am never too sure how […]

An opportunity

An amazing day spent with an organization that brings a communication tool to those involved in a medical or traumatic event.  Caring Bridge was such a great tool for me to use when Frank was injured – it allowed me to communicate with everyone about Frank and how he was doing.  With so many people […]

Enough is Enough with the emails!

So you may have noticed a few extra emails in your inbox today – apparently the website was hoarding them for a few weeks, and decided last night enough was enough, and released them all to you. I apologize if it was a bit of an overload.  Hopefully you are now caught up on everything […]

A step forward and a step back

Happy day when you bring forward something that you have been working on for a long time – 27 Miles: The Tank’s Journey Home is now available for download on Kindle through Amazon.  I am very excited to have this story out and available to more people; this was a goal that I have finally […]

A New Beginning

It is through the internal understanding of yourself that you gain the ability to live through the unlivable.  Understanding of the why may never be reached; who can ever understand why things happen that crush our lives, our spirit, and our ability to move and breathe. I will never understand the “why” of the change […]

A typical day

There is no typical day in our universe, although there are more and more days that tend to look similar. It is a bit like holding your breath and letting it out, holding your breath and letting it out. It is hard to wait, as we all know, and only waiting, and not doing is […]

Have Some Faith

I have decided that it is time to change things up a bit – starting with the beginning. I have been labeling my blog posts as the date for 20 months, and sometimes, they included the time since I was making multiple posts per day. I think it is time to move away from the […]

Small things

Some day sit just pays to say “I am not going to shower today!” You know why? Because there is not enough time in a day to worry about small things, and today, I proclaimed a shower OPTIONAL! When I made that decision, I felt infinitely better. Funny, such a small thing, that made a […]

Finding happiness

I have a confession to make – not every day is filled with roses and happiness.  Surprised? Just because we choose to find the positive does not mean that we do not have hard moments, days, or sometimes weeks.  What the commitment has been, is to find the things that are good in those times, […]

The Long Wait

I am losing my time to blog and I feel as if I am missing the people that I have spent so much time getting to know.  I have not forgotten all of you.  I am here, living life with the chaos that is our household, and living in the world of brain injury each […]

Honoring the Path

I received an amazing email today from a friend of mine – a friend that has lots of boys in her house as well, and understands my day to day crazy living with so much testosterone at any given moment. The heading of the email went like this, “You are an amazing steward of pain.  […]

Oh the choices

Another start of “new” is coming – new school year for the kids, a new school year at a new school for Frank’s brother, a new therapy group for Frank, and new options for me as everyone is back to their regular schedules, and there will be new time for me. Oh the choices. I […]

This moment

The sounds of the lake are so peaceful – loons, boaters slowly driving by – a peaceful end to a busy summer. As the kids return to schedules, and we begin a new fall season, we look forward to the new possibilities in our world.  We hope that you all take the time this long […]

Let go of the past

You can dwell on the past and worry about the future, or you can strive for a great future and let go of the past. My daily plan is to strive for a future, but lately, it has been focused on the present, and just getting to the end of each day seems to be […]

Life changes – TO you or BECAUSE of you

The truth about scary life journeys is that they require one to follow a path that you did not want to follow. Life changed FOR you; you didn’t change life for yourself. Uncertainty, pain and scariness envelop the entire world, and many times, it feels as if there is no way to turn to find […]

Forgetting the real emotions

You forget. So much time has passed since Frank left for work, duty gear in hand – you forget. You forget the risks that law enforcement officers take every single day they begin their shift. You forget that when something bad is happening, they run towards the danger, as the rest of us run away. […]

Pay attention to joy

Joy comes in many different places. The important part about finding joy is that you must pay attention. Today for the Mackall’s was a busy day – working on the fence gate, cleaning out the garage, moving furniture in, moving furniture out, and sending off the minivan to get fixed once again. In that day […]

The Wall, the Sun, and the Break

I posted on Facebook the other day that fear creates such a wall for people – when we let fear lead our day and our thoughts, it essentially puts a wall in front of us that we can’t get past.  There is a children’s rhyming game about a bear, and the bear comes across many […]

Embracing the change

There are days that I feel guilty for not writing an update.  I remember so many nights after returning from a long day at the hospital, finally climbing into bed, only to realize that I had not done an update yet.  I wanted people to feel connected to Frank, to know that we appreciated each […]

The good that life brings

A day of reflection, a day of busy, a day that might not have happened. It is days like today, my birthday, that I tend to get more melancholy – not sure why, but it seems that days that you spend with family, focused on family, usually bring out the thoughts of what could have […]

Surprise video

So tonight I was setting up our video camera for my son – apparently he is going to play FIFA soccer on the Xbox, and talk to the camera and practice calling the game while he plays. Ooookay? I was flipping through the camera when I came across a bunch of videos on the menu […]

What could be

I am spending my quiet day (a day with only three kids in the house instead of four – I will explain number four at a later date) trying to catch up on some reading, doing some research on brain injury websites, and learning how to offer my services as a ghost writer online.  All […]

Find fun, find balance

Another weekend in the bag – how crazy these days can become, and time seems to be flying by at a record pace!  Days seem to blend into weeks, and before I know it summer will be over.  Seriously, the kids already talked me into getting their school supplies – how does this happen? I […]

Break day, not break down

It is a break day – I am trying to make sure that it wasn’t a complete breakdown day, although the definition of that may be elusive right now. Sometimes, the amount of things on the list is one too many. Sometimes, one negative thought can bring you to a screeching halt. Sometimes, you have […]

Finding some quiet

The end of another day, and I am grateful for the quiet in our house. A visit to the lake is always busy, even when we may wish for some quiet meditation in the hammock. In the midst of golf, parades, fireworks and sparklers was the mother of all temper tantrums lasting 3 hours tonight. […]

Writer’s block

I sat down this morning to write a blog and I am stuck. It rarely happens that I do not have the ability to sit down and write something about how things are going, where we are, or what is new, but today, I am stuck. I spent the morning working with many different people […]

Another Mackall day

Another day in the world of Mackall – you never  quite know how things will go when it starts with a thunderstorm at 2:30 am, Mom sleeping with the 8 year old, and a 6:30 am wakeup call for a soccer tournament in Wisconsin. All that aside, it was also my first book signing, and […]

Taking Another person’s blessing

Don’t take away someone else’s blessing. These were the words given to me last year by a very wise woman.   She was watching me struggle with accepting help from the many gracious people that wanted to help our family after my husband’s devastating injury.  Hour after hour people I would be approached by people that […]

Being the light

This has been a crazy morning.  It started with dropping off one kid at golf at 7:30 and never slowed down until just a few minutes ago, when I had the opportunity to sit at my computer to gear up and work on a power point that I need to submit for an upcoming presentation.  […]

Where I find my strength

It is from all of you that we have gained the strength to carry on every day.  The texts, notes, posts and emails make a difference in our lives. We look forward to the times that we can meet people that have been following our journey for so long. On July 13th, I will be at […]

Summer is flying by

It is amazing how fast this summer is flying by us all.  I know I am not the only one that is feeling like summer is half over and that half of the things on the list to do are not done. I started a post on the night of July 4th, but traveling took […]

Summer

Summer is such an amazing time of year – to me, it feels like anything is possible when the sun is shining and life is lush and green. Sometimes life present you with a puzzle that you cannot solve – you can worry it, try to fix it, try to work it out, but the […]

Book announcement

It is only fair that if I make an announcement on Facebook on our Mackall Family Journey page that I post one here on the website as well. First of all, for those of you that need instant gratification, there is now a PDF file version of 27 Miles: The Tank’s Journey Home available on […]

Night time thoughts

It is so late for me to still be awake, yet I feel as if I need to write some things down tonight. I have found that when I try to go to sleep without addressing the ideas or thoughts in my head, I am awake in the middle of the night thinking about them. […]

Super Heroes

The world is such an interesting place – a world that truly I whipped through, without thought, before life changed for all of us. There are so many days that I wonder if it was just me – was I the only one that never took a breath? Never listened to what was around me […]

Father’s Day

Father’s Day. The one day in the year that is dedicated to the men in our lives, and in our children’s lives, and to give us the opportunity to thank them for all they do every day. Or in our case, be thankful that Frank is here today to celebrate with us. I am grateful […]

First Day of the Summer Feel

A beautiful day in the neighborhood. Thankful for this day, for the sunshine and the breeze, for the cottonwood blowing through the air, and for my children having fun with their friends on what feels like the true first day of summer. Thankful for all of you – all the people that traveled along with […]

Faith is a strong word

Faith is a strong word. To some it means the trust in all, and to others it is a crutch to lean on. Faith can hold you up when the world is pulling you down, it can rally strength when you are feeling weak, and it can hold you until the wind storm passes.  Faith, […]

Sunshine

Sunshine. Such a beautiful thing to those of us that have been deprived of it for what feels like months.  I am sitting at soccer practice, listening to the birds and young men discussing blocking and kicks, and trying to settle my head that is going so quickly today.  I think the sun is a […]

The End and the Beginning

The end of the school year – one kid doesn’t care, one is in tears, and one is so happy that it is over.  How do you make this group of people happy in your home with all of the different thoughts on the beginning of summer? I should say, what is supposed to be […]

17 Months

The end of a good day.  I am grateful that I can call this a good day – as Frank reminded me just a few hours ago, tonight is the 17 month anniversary of the accident.  Amazing to think that this time last year I was acutely aware of each passing day, sometimes each passing […]

It’s here – and it makes me nervou

Today is a new day, one that I have been worrying and stressing about for so long, that now that it is actually here, I find myself at a loss for what to do with myself. Today, 27 Miles: The Tank’s Journey Home is available for purchase.  A new tab has been created on the website […]

Comparing thoughts

It is one of those nights when I am unsure of the nature of the blog.  It is Saturday night, quiet with one kiddo in bed, and the dogs lying exhausted on the floor.  Mariah and I are comparing music on our iPod’s, and I am clearly not good about adding music to my playlist.  […]

When a Day is just a Day

Funny when a day, is just a day. I think it has been so long since I have had a day that I just went through without feeling like there was pressure, push and worry that when I was at the end of today, playing Frisbee with the boys at the park, it struck me. […]

Why the Blogging?

I thought I would add another post this week since I have been sorely lacking in my communication about Frank and his recovery.  I feel for those of you that tune in to check on Frank, and what you read is a bunch of stuff about how I am doing, or how we are doing […]

Time Flies and Life goes by

There are so many things happening every day that I should be posting each and every night.  I remember a time when I did just that – got home, put the kids to bed, and wrote an update, although it was rarely the first update of the day. These days, the time flies by at […]

End and Beginning

It is amazing how frantic one can get while under the guise of slowing down.  I knew my end of work was in sight, and I knew that this would be the week for me to begin my slow down, and to take charge of things for the betterment of goodness – then why do […]

Wishing and Wondering

I came up north today so very tired.  I have been worrying and stressing about the future, and that is such a hard place to be.  Wishing, wondering, trying to predict the future – none of us know what it holds, so why do we spend time worrying about it? I typically do not worry about […]

Caregiver Fatigue

Caregiver crash Those two words define the last four weeks for me – and although it was a gradual process, now that I am on the other side, I am very aware of the consequences of allowing myself to get to the point of no return. Caregivers are heroes – many people do not realize […]

Unsettled weather, unsettled life

Amazing to look outside and see snow again on the ground this morning.  Friends only 15 miles away are sending me pictures of their green lawn.  Wasn’t it just a few short days ago that we were in flip flops and shorts, sitting on the deck in 70 degree weather? I try to look at […]

Caregiver fail

I have been holding on to an amazing moment that I had this week.  Not because I did not want to share it, but because I have again not listened to the wise words of many warning me of self-care, and I have gotten so sick I am unable to do anything now. It just […]

04-25-13

I am grateful for a few moments this morning to sit still and not think about all that I have to do.  I sometimes worry about how fast time goes, and at other moments, I think that the day will never end.  I have been very aware of my over-extension lately, and although I am […]

Announcement 2.0

Website issues last night – hopefully the link to this post stays valid! I want to make two announcements today for important events coming up in May. The first is an open discussion forum being held in St. Paul on May 14th.  This event will have two hosts – me and Dr. Janell Matz.  The […]

Announcements

I want to make two announcements today for important events coming up in May. The first is an open discussion forum being held in St. Paul on May 14th.  This event will have two hosts – me and Dr. Janell Matz.  The topics will include concussions/brain injuries, caregiver support and fatigue, and different options available during […]

Just breathing in the sunshine

The sun is shining today – it feels like a miracle after the snow, and more snow, and more snow these last few weeks. It is amazing how the weather can impact your life for the good, or in some cases, for the not-so-good. I know that this gift of sunshine, and slightly warmer weather […]

Finding blessing in hanging out

Sometimes life intervenes in our lives in ways that we have no control, no warning, and no way to prepare for the impact of an event.  Today, in the great city of Boston, this was more apparent for many than anything else that has happened in the last week or so.  A senseless act, injuring so […]

Public TBI/Concussion Discussion

On May 14th at 6 pm, I will be co-hosting an open discussion about head injuries and recovery.  This meeting will be held at the Martin Luther King Community Center – 270 North Kent Street, St Paul MN – and is open to the public. This presentation is hosted by me and my co-host, Dr. […]

True exhaustion

I have said it before and I will say it again – exhaustion is a tricky bastard.  One minute you think things are going to be okay, and the next minute you are knocked on your butt and still trying to recover a week later.  I know getting sick didn’t help, and neither did poor […]

Take back

Our family is finally recovering from whatever black plaque hit our family in the last month.  Crossing my fingers that the one person that has so far been healthy, stays healthy – Frank Mackall. Yesterday I did something selfish, something just for me, that I felt I needed to do.  I took back my Facebook […]

Plan fail

The best plans sometimes just fail – my goal this weekend was to get a lot of cleaning done, get a new post up on the website, send the book in to the editor, hang out with the kids, and to have a fun Happy Easter.  Well, very little of that actually occurred. I did […]

Poke

There is no declared winner in a tickle fight – sometimes everyone wins. Last night, there was a Mackall child pile on the couch.  Frank came around the corner to ask me a question, and Tommy, being on the end closest to Dad, leaned back as he reached out and said “poke.”  Each time he did […]

Thinking about the future

Conversations happen all the time – some in a rush while doing other things, some while sitting quietly in a silent room, in the dark, while others are asleep. Today I had a couple of conversations in reaction to the last blog I did, all of which gave me a lot to think about.  In […]

St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day.  I must say, in the past, this day was fun when at work because I could always count on my friend Kari to dress in green with shamrocks on her face.  Being a redhead, everyone asks if I am Irish anyway, and it is fun to tell them “Well sure, if you don’t […]

My Chief

I know – two posts in two days – but it was important for me to talk about today after it happened. A few days ago I was contacted by my Chief (yep, I still think of him as MY Chief) and asked if we were attending the annual meeting at the police department this week.  I […]

A check on CaringBridge

I have jumped back on to Caring Bridge today to look through many of the posts that were left for us over the past 13 months.  As I read and reread them, I am overwhelmed with the outpouring of love that was sent to us each and every day. I also noted that this site is not […]

Heroes Behind the Badge

Heroes Behind the Badge Friday night was spent traveling across town to attend a movie screening with other families and supporters of law enforcement.  This movie, made by law enforcement for the public, was a clear and concise presentation of the family views of our families as they leave for work each day, and put […]

Too much in a day

There are just some days that defy understanding or explanation.  Sometimes days are have so many emotions packed into them that it is almost like running a marathon, and when you finally slow down, you finally feel the affects of going so hard for so long. Last night after a busy work day, two law […]

Am I a whiner?

As I have said many times, there are days when I am just surprised at where my life has gone, and what I do with my days now, compared to the life I was living just 14 short months ago.  By no means do I feel that these months have been easy – in actuality […]

I am just tired

As I sit here trying to plan out my week, I have come to the realization that I am tired.  Tired in way that I have not felt in many months.  It took some time to figure out what had changed recently to make me feel that way, and once I figured it out, I […]

Ongoing transition

I am double posting today so if you are still part of Caring Bridge, and also registered with LisabethMackall.com, you may get this update twice.   Thank you to those of you that have transitioned to the new update forum on the website. Today started as a normal Thursday for us for the most part.   Getting kids […]

Knowing your limits

We all know that there are limits to what we can take – many of us take on one more thing, just one more thing, one more thing.  As the days go by, and you add one more thing. you realize that you cannot function any longer.  When you look back at why you are […]

Trust Issues

Apparently I still have trust issues.  I am aware that I have them, I even try to deny them, work on them, and sometimes I will even admit that they are there.  Trust for me is general given freely until I have a reason to take it away. But lately I have had a different kind […]

02-20-2013 – Also known as test day

This day is just hard – there is no way around it.  You wait 13 months to get to a certain point, and when it is here, and over – now you have to wait a few weeks for results, and it just plain sucks. Frank and I spent some time “debriefing” the test, trying to […]

The day BEFORE test day

I sit at my table this afternoon looking outside at the beautiful sunshine.  If you are in MN, you know that the sunshine is deceiving, as it is 4 degrees today.  I guess I am thankful that it is 4 degrees ABOVE zero. Today marks another milestone in our life – or I should say, […]

Trusting the move forward

So many days and weeks can go by without too much worry or overt concern. As the neuropsych testing moves closer, I become more anxious – and much to my dismay, Frank becomes calmer. I have faith, I see the gains, I watch with amazement at all he does. It still does not stop the […]

Our Law Enforcement family

I usually keep my postings to either my philosophy on life change or updates on Frank’s condition.  I try to be respectful of the many people that support us that are not directly linked to law enforcement. However, the last 24 hours have been so explosive in the law enforcement community that I feel the need […]

Supporting new fears

I forget sometimes – as time flows by, I forget how hard change and life can be even after all of this time has gone. by.  As I plan to attend a training out of state, I realize that there are sad faces, crying and unhappiness today.  I forgot.  I forgot that the life change, even […]

Finally settling down?

Such many things going on, but apparently nothing exciting to write in the blog.  Maybe that is a good thing – maybe I have settled enough into life’s routines that there is nothing to update the world on. Yeah right. Of course there are many things happening in the Mackall universe.  Frank continues with his […]

Another Super Bowl

Sunday night – the night of the Big Game.  I like football, I just don’t usually get a lot of time to watch it.  I try to watch the Super Bowl, or at least part of it, but mostly for the half-time show and the commercials.  This year is no different, although we were a […]

End of the month moving on

We made it through January – finally.  I have been waiting the entire 31 days for this month to be over.  It just holds too many hard memories for all of us – well, all of us except Frank. We made it past the anniversary day, celebrating with several different groups of law enforcement, and […]

Brain fart

I had such a brain fart the other day – I cooked a whole chicken in the slow cooker so I could use it in recipes this week. I was so excited that I would be far ahead as the week started. As I woke up Monday morning and headed in to the kitchen, I […]

Invading memories

I really should be sleeping, but as I was reading before bed a funny memory came back to me. That has been happening more and more lately, as days from a year ago drift by, and I recall where we were just one year ago. What I find happening at times is the memories of […]

Amazing moments

The life “after” the head injury is filled with many amazing moments. Amazing because you cannot imagine the changes that occur, how you will live through some moments, and the wonder of watching the brain heal itself.  These days I try not to focus on the head injury in our world – some days that […]

Decisions

I met with a friend today that is going through a devistating life change.  It is hard to see someone in that place – a place that I have been, a place that brings me to tears if I think about it too long, a place that I can now, on the other side, respect […]

Thinking about time past

I took some time today to think about how much has happened in just one year.  Since January 2, 2013, there are many days that I think “Last year I was sitting next to Frank in the hospital, wondering if he would ever talk to me again, ever be able to walk, and most of […]

Listen to the Thank You’s

When I hear the call to say thank you, I try not to ignore it. I have posted many times about the indescribable, humbling support that we have received since Frank’s accident, and how grateful our family has been for the ongoing support we still receive.  There are days when it seems nothing is going […]

Adam Levine

Adam Levine, from Maroon 5, is an important person in our house. Why you may ask? It all started many months ago during the previous season of The Voice.  Frank and I would occasionally watch it together, and he would have trouble remembering who the coaches were, and he worked very hard to remember Adam […]

Life’s Moments

Tonight, I had five minutes to myself.  I know, an amazing few moments for me; it was a good five minutes even if I had to chase everyone away from me to get it. During that time, I read an article that brought life back into focus for me.  This article, even as short as it […]

The Moment – Take Two

January 1, 2012 Like most days, Officer Mackall is asleep until about 4 pm.  He is back to work after a few days off, and this will be his first rotation  with his new team starting in the new year. As usual, he gets ready for work, trying to leave the house by 5:45 so […]

A Date Redo

So close, yet so far to go… Last night, just like a night a year ago, Frank and I went on a date.  Last year, the date consisted of a trip to the gym (seriously), dinner, and a trip down to Treasure Island casino.  It was not an eventful night, other than it was memorable […]

Reminder of Jack

As I drove back to work today after a very nice lunch with a close friend, I heard on the radio a discussion about hockey.  During the broadcast, they announced a video that had been made regarding checking.  While talking about safety in hockey and the awareness of being safe on the ice, the broadcaster […]

The First Christmas

It is our first Christmas together since that say so many months ago that changed our lives.  There was a lot of anticipation from the kids, and a lot of worry for me.  Although our family will be together, for two years in a row, it is bittersweet in that the chaos and stress of […]

Our friend Noah

I am sitting at the airport in Cleveland with Officer Mackall. It is a quiet concourse on a Sunday afternoon. There are flights coming and going, kids laughing trying to carry their luggage, adults with their phones texting as they walk by. Frank is tired. Even though the sleep at night was longer and uninterrupted, […]

Each day is a gift

You never know what a day may bring.  Each day is a gift – I have recognized that for many months now, trying not to take a moment for granted, because after Frank’s accident, I learned that I never knew which moment might be the last. Frank and I were up early this morning so […]

A privilege

Today was a very different day – a special day – but not in the way most would think when a day is deemed “special.” Today, I was given a privilege.  One that not many other civilians get to witness, let along walk alongside and be part of the process. Today, I walked with the […]

Reality comes home

I have struggled for days trying to get an update written. I know that we are now at 11 months since Frank’s accident.  Eleven months of stress, worry, joy and gratitude.  We have lived through so many trials, and fears, and come out above them.  We are grateful for our support, feel promise for the […]

Officer Down

Nothing is more chilling in Law Enforcement families than the words Officer Down.  Minnesota heard that call today.  God Bless the family of the Cold Spring Officer killed last night.  We are all here for you.

Thank you on Thanksgiving

I am taking this moment today, the day before Thanksgiving, to reflect back on this last year.  It has been a busy day, trying to get ready for the holiday weekend, organizing and planning food, and starting the pies needed for tomorrow.  This day, before the day of thanks, will be when I spend the […]

Undressing in Public

The sun is shining today – there is a hint of warmth in the air, and the sky is a beautiful blue.  It is Sunday, a day that can be restful and useful, if used wisely. I was recently accused of “undressing in public” by my family – I took that as a compliment, although […]

Putting Life into a box

I have strayed from my openness and my honesty. I have removed emotion, pulled away, put many things in a box of day-to-day and things to do.  It is not hard to do – if you focus on what has to be done in a day, the day goes by.  You can avoid what is […]

The 10 month mile marker

Today is November 1, 2012 – this day marks 10 months since Frank’s accident. It also marks 10 months since he has been able to live the life that he wants to live, be with the people that he wants to work with, and do the job he feels he was called to do. To […]

The days move forward, with or without us

Some days you can wake up, energized for the moments that will come each hour.  You know what you need to do, what you want to do – there isn’t even much planning needed.  The day takes care of itself. On other days, it is a struggle to just get out of bed; to face […]

Pay attention and find your path

When life took a dramatic turn in January, what I knew and what I believed all unraveled.  I had to look at each minute and try to live through it.  Each moment was just lived through, breathed through, just to get to the next minute.  I vowed to myself that when I could breath again, […]

Life is a journey

Life is a journey – so many of us try to direct and force our way through each day, just to collapse into bed with exhaustion and hope that tomorrow will be a better day. What did we accomplish today? Did anything worthwhile happen? What did I do to make a differene in my life? […]

Another day in the life

Each type of injury has its own recovery path – the type of injury, the severity, the support system and the type and skill of the medical intervention all impact the recovery process.  As the injury heals, there come a point in every recovery, especially a long recovery, where the person healing is frustrated with […]

Where does the time go?

The energy that we spend each day attempting to juggle all of our “to-do” tasks is tremendous.  Even now, reading a blog note, you are expending precious part of yourself and what you have to offe the world.  Each of us, often unconscously, get upp and face our day, our “to-dos” without truly thinking about […]

Comparing problems

I know there are people that have bigger problems and issues than we do – people are losing their homes, lost a loved one, children are ill, parents are struggling. I know that my problems can seem small compared to those. But some days, the enormity of this situation, the multi-leveled management of kids and […]

Traumatic Brain Injury Support

  Welcome to our brain injury discussion.  Following Frank’s accident, I learned a lot of new information about brain trauma, and the support systems available throughout the country. One of the biggest areas of support need is the family support at home.  This open forum allows people to ask questions, share ideas, and connect with others […]

So close

Another weekend, another list of places to be and things to do.  I am thankful that these things included a nap today, because as I have said many times, eventually, your body will just stop going, and force you to rest. This weekend is full of reflection for both Frank and me – a run, […]

200 Moments

I was going to just drop in a quick entry tonight when I noticed that there are 200 entries into this journal.  That is 200 moments that I shared of our life; 200 moments of crying, of laughing, of noting Frank’s recovery.  I want to thank all of you for sharing those moments with us. […]

Ongoing journey of recovery

We are back at Bethesda as always for our long therapy morning.  Frank is in PT first, running on the treadmill and doing his sprint agility drills.  We spent some time yesterday working on agility at home, and it is still so interesting how many things are easy, and then you find things that are so […]

Filtering of self

Over the course of the last few months I have found myself filtering myself more and more – I am not sure why, but I believe it is part of my control process, and feeling a little too much “out there” for my comfort.  Life was getting busy, and we were very much in the […]

Messages from fatigue

Some of the most important things that I learn come at the end of the day.  I don’t read them in a book, they don’t come from TV, or from the Internet.  They are born of fatigue, and true honesty in that time of fatigue. “It doesn’t matter what happened before the accident.  We can never […]

Another Frank Update

I thought I would do another update from therapy today. I know people continue to ask how Frank is doing and it is often hard to put into words the changes that occur week to week. Physical therapy is all about finesse. Trying to coordinate different activities with the brain is the ultimate goal. Think […]

The Impact of the Impact

I know I spend a lot of time talking about how this head injury has impacted our family.  I hope that I can describe how this event feels, in hopes of telling our story, and so that others can try to understand how different our life is now.  I know many other people, police officers […]

Face to face with the truth

I spend many late evenings allowing my thoughts to ramble around in my head.  Sometimes they make me think of the past, worry about the future, think about the why, when and where we will be. Just this week I visited the past, in a round about way.  I have been listening to the many […]

One minute of my life

The Traumatic Brain Injury   I haven’t changed – you have. I can do that – I don’t need your help. I want to do more today – my brain doesn’t need rest. I can finish that myself – stop asking me about it. I don’t need your permission – stop telling me what to do. […]

Coping

Progress is good, right?  I know sometimes people second guess when something changes – buying a car,  dying your hair – and sometimes there is remorse or fear involved in the change, even if it is good. But scary, so scary.  Control is how people, well, some people, cope with trauma.  I, 100% believe in control […]

One foot in front of the other

Have you ever tried to walk backwards on a treadmill?  I have, and it is not easy.  Even if you are a runner, able to rack up mile after mile, day after day, a change in direction can easily cause you to lose your step, falter, and quickly become tired.  I suggest that if you […]

A six month look back

Today marks a date in this journey – today, six months ago, on a very cold and icy January night, I was met at the door by a law enforcement officer bringing sad news to our family.  Six months ago, life had a scary uncertainty to it, more than tolerable fear and dread, with large […]

Emotional clarity

I am acutely aware of my emotions these days. I think in part because as a family, we have had to endure so many strong emotional swings in the last few months. When living through such intense feelings, the body drains itself of resources, even if you are not doing anything physically demanding. I have […]

Welcome Back Frank

Welcome back! Hey Frank, great to see you! It’s Frank! Welcome back Frank! These are the messages that we heard all day today as we visited Savage during Dan Patch Days. We started the morning at home, relaxing on an early Sunday morning – playing with the kids, putting gas in the car – normal […]

Real life vs Therapy life

I am writing this update today as Frank works through his three hour block of therapy. Today was a good example of therapy progress slowing due to over-scheduling of other activities. It is not that he won’t make more progress, but the end of school activities, vacation and general meetings and events have pulled us […]

Is protection necessary?

As a therapist, I can buffer a patient during a treatment session to allow them to succeed with a task.  I ask a question, give them a cue, prompt them with information – we are trained to give assistance, and not the answer, to allow someone that is having difficulty with a task the opportunity to […]

Let Go and Let Live

Another few days, continued need to let go and let live.  So hard, so scary to allow major errors, yet I feel that through difficulty, learning does occur.  Just because learning involves considerable stress on my part does not mean that it should not happen.  Making poor decisions, and seeing the consequence, taking directions and […]

Fear in my face

As a few days go by, and I have not update Frank’s site, I begin to feel terrible about not posting.  So many people pray for his recovery, show us deep kindness, and it makes my heart hurt when I cannot give everyone a daily update.  Sometimes it is just because things do move so […]

Never enough thank yous

The morning started with a quick trip to a soccer tournament in Bloomington.  We just can’t seem to get a weekend that does not result in rushing from one thing to another.  We all reconnected back at the house to head to the “We got your Back” benefit for Frank today.  This event, held in […]

Small moments are the most important

As we head into another very busy weekend, I made it a point this morning to just sit still and take in everything that is going on right now. It is sometimes hard to not just let the schedule rule our day, and it takes purposeful effort to actually focus on the small important events […]

Knowing where we stand

I know many of you come to this site to get a current update on Frank and how he is doing, and are often met with a tirade of my thoughts and rambling instead.  I will do my best to ensure that updates still occur regularly, and maybe a little less freedom of speech on […]

Life is full of second chances

As I sit in the dark in the dining room, waiting for the storm to roll in, I am thinking about this very busy day in the life of the Mackall family.  I woke up this morning to watch the news – a little unusual, but I had been prompted by my Jill the night […]

The Concept of More

Yesterday at church I was given another nudge – I often find that when I need to have guidance or focus it is handed to me if I just listen. At church, with Frank in tow ( which is a miracle in itself) we listened to Pastor James Brown ( yes, his real name) talk […]

City Heat

Another weekend sneaks by with a wonderful ending.  After planting, running errands, tilling the garden, and cleaning the house, we were given the great honor of meeting a group of officers and riders from the City Heat Motorcycle club.  On this cold, wet day, where the temperature dropped 30 degrees from yesterday, a large group […]

Driving – finding the limits

Since I had a few people ask me the same question, I thought maybe I would clarify yesterday’s posting for everyone. I certainly do not want to reduce the joy we have with Frank being cleared for driving again. However, we still have a lot of things to do before he is work ready. Getting […]

Driving again – another step forward

I asked for prayers this morning on Facebook, just wanting a little bit of support in the universe today.  As Frank and I headed out for a day of doctors appointments, I was hoping that the day would go smoothly. Frank and I arrived at Sister Kinney today and immediately ran into a therapist that […]

Just another day

Nothing new and exciting, I just know that I get worried emails and texts when there is no update for a few days.  I told Frank that I needed to get one done today, and he said “so, it’s been, what, two day?’ with that face that he makes. I often think that some day […]

Why the rush?

Have you ever stood in line at your favorite coffee shop, waiting for your order thinking “Seriously! Come on – how much longer is this going to take?”  Have you ever actually took out your watch, started the timer, and looked at the actual time it took to get your order? It is usually a […]

Finding some space

We pass through many fazes in recovery during a head trauma, and it is always important to watch for fear and sadness.  I have been ever vigilant with Frank to ensure that he did not dwell or worry about this process – fear can suck the life out of drive, and with his focus and […]

Healing assessment

Our days work around visits with hospitals, doctors and therapists.  Yesterday we had a follow up visit with the neurologist that treated Frank for so many weeks at North Memorial Hospital.  Both Frank and I were looking forward to meeting with him again, as he had not seen Frank in many weeks, and we knew […]

The Impact of Trauma – phone obsession

Frank asked me  a funny question – “Do you go anywhere without that phone attached to you?”  My answer – of course, really?  I don’t have my phone with me all the time, its just a phone. However, it did bring it to my attention.  Do I bring my phone with me everywhere?  It’s not […]

The real brain injury impact

As I continue to reflect on last nights events, I am amazed at the people that were there, the kindness of strangers, the friendships that were solidified, and the fun and joy that we had. It is still hard to imagine the number of people that attended, and how many people that are praying for […]

How to describe this moment in time

It is difficult to put into words the many emotions that we experienced last night at the benefit in Savage.  When we arrived, we were in the parking lot as people were already stopping to talk with Frank.  As our family entered through the front of the Legion, Frank and I went through the back […]

Four months

Today marks another anniversary in the world of traumatic brain injury. Today marks four months since Frank’s accident – four months since the knock on the door in the middle of the night – four months of tears, and joy, and pain, and sadness, and hope, and love. In that time, we have watched on […]

Small moments

I am sitting watching Frank warming up with the boys for soccer practice – laughing, falling to the ground, chasing balls and shooting goals. Who knew we could be here almost four months ago when I was wondering if we would ever be able to wean Frank off of the vent – and if he […]

Fifty Shades of Gray

There is a new book out with the title “Fifty shades of Gray.”  My understanding is that this is quite the read, and I know many people that have jumped on board to read it. I have a different perspective on fifty shades of gray – life has made itself lots of gray shades this […]

Honor

I have been struggling to find the words to express the last few days events.  I try to keep everyone updated on how Frank is doing, and it is often wrapped around the many different places we visit and things that we get to do. After 3 hours of therapy on Wednesday, where we learned […]

Quitting is not the end

I often wonder how many big changes one person can sustain in a short amount of time. Yesterday, I officially left my career of almost 17 years in the rehab field.  It was another part of this process – a choice that I made this time- but not one made easily or without fear. There […]

JUNE

An oddly normal day filled with dropping kids off at school, heading off to school, making bracket purchases at Menards, mowing the lawn, cleaning out the car and filling up the trailer.  Although the body is strong enough to complete the tasks, the mind struggles to solve the problems that come up.  Why doesn’t the […]

Hurt to the heart

Have you ever gone to the beach for the day?  Started out in the morning, high tide, feeling the sun on your face, the sand in your toes – everything is warm, and peaceful as the waves flow up and down on the sand.  You set up your chair, sighing in relief at the time […]

Am I still the wife?

So much is going on in our lives that I find it hard to write some days – I miss it, and I need to make it a priority for me.  As I was reminded yesterday at a shoot with the Savage PD (thank you again for letting Frank come down and be with his […]

Thank you

Sitting at therapy today thinking about Frank and how far he has come. His ankle is bothering him today ( and apparently it was bothering him yesterday but he never tells me anything).  He still ran on the treadmill this morning and is running stairs at the moment. He just wants to have this part […]

Subtle worries

Quiet – that is where I am sitting right now.  Frank is still sleep, I think all of his additional self-imposed rehab is catching up with him.  The house is still with the kids at school, the dogs are looking out the front window at the world, and I am sitting on the couch, laptop […]

The Heart of it all

Last night we attended the first of several benefits for Frank – this one planned by so many of the law enforcement personnel that assisted at Frank’s accident, and worked with him daily while he was on duty.  We arrived with our friend Jason, and were welcomed at Celt’s Pub by many friendly, familiar faces.  […]

Trickery

Brain injuries are tricky – they often have no face, no identity, because you cannot see them.  What you often see is someone who looks like you, walks like you, and maybe even talk and carry on a conversation like you.  What you can’t see is what is on the inside – the worry, the […]

Just funny

Each day continues to bring different challenges, and different moments of laughter.  Memory things can be such a challenge at times, and I sometimes forget that maybe the way he will do something is not the they might need to be done. I am trying really hard to step back a little bit and not […]

Easter Day adjustments

An Easter day that went by quickly for us – not necessarily going the way I wished, but the kids are ending the day playing together, and not fighting at the moment.  Early day starting at 6:40 with baskets and a front yard egg hunt, which the boys loved.  With a short night of sleep […]

Worries

Thinking that days of worry and fear are behind us – not a true statement or thought process right now.  What was a simple headache one day turned into a severe headache today, which lead to a CT scan at the hospital. I keep telling myself that headaches are normal, which they are, and having […]

New roles

This new role with my husband following his brain injury is different.  I am not just his wife any longer – I wish I could be some days, but that is not where we are right now.  Instead, I wear many different hats throughout the day, and some of them have surprised me, and not […]

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Pure Vitality LLC

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LOVE
HAHA
WOW
SAD
ANGRY

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Get in Touch

Feel free to drop me an email at:
info@lisabethmackall.com

or give me a call:
(651)319-1916