I took my, now usual, Sunday trip to Nashville to see Joe. It usually always goes the same way. I drive there with my heart happy that I get to see him. And I drive back in a daze of sadness and helplessness. But today as I drove back, I started thinking of all the positives of this whole situation. Not that there is anything too positive about seeing the person who used to be so full of life, lying powerless in a bed unable to speak or to move, but I have to believe that this is not all for nothing. So I tried to think of what good has possibly come from all of this. I was able to come up with a few things. The first thing is that he is no longer miserable and feeling desperate like he has been the last few years where he was. That’s a good thing. Although, he may be feeling those things still and just can’t articulate them. Another good thing is that I get to see him finally. I hadn’t been able to prior because he was too far away, I didn’t have a car and his visits were suspended for quite some time. Thing number three that I consider good is that if his furlough is approved he will be out way before he would have if he hadn’t been injured and he never deserved all the time they threw at him to begin with. And last, I have basically inherited a brother. Joe’s brother Michael has become my rock. I guess it goes both ways, but he’s really the only one who understands what I am going through because he is going through it with me. So when I tell him that sometimes I can’t stop crying, he gets it and he doesn’t think it’s stupid. And when I tell him that I would change every aspect of my life to take care of his brother, he doesn’t ask “do you know what you’re getting yourself into?” because he would do the same thing. It’s nice not having to explain my feelings or my actions. It’s nice just being able to exist in my world for a minute with someone who gets it. So I am trying to see the positive side of this very negative situation and I guess so far, I’m doing ok.
And I saw Joe today. I walked in and before I could even give him a hug, he started to cry, which broke my heart and made it sing at the same time, because I knew why he was crying. He doesn’t want me to see him like that, and even though I ached for him, I was also happy that he was able to give that kind of response to my presence. He’s teared up before, but today was different. And when I left, he raised his hand up to tell me goodbye. He’s still not talking or moving very much. He still needs therapy of every kind which he is not getting, and I am still waiting to hear about a medical furlough, but seeing him slowly recovering is amazing to me. I have all the faith in the world that when he gets to a facility that specializes in brain injury rehabilitation, he will thrive. So I will continue to look on the bright side and I will try not to let things get to me and I will continue to fight for him out here while he fights to get out of his head even though, sometimes, I’m sure all of this is easier said than done.