My calendar has been very full, and four months have flown by since my last blog post. Here are a few highlights and exciting updates:
I was recently nominated as the chairperson for the New York City chapter of the Brain Injury Association of New York State (BIANYS). I will assume the role and responsibilities beginning in August. I’m honored to fill the big shoes of our current chairperson, Laurie Rippon. Her hard work has doubled the chapter membership and tripled our fundraising efforts. Laurie led many exciting educational and awareness initiatives.
At the BIANYS 32nd Annual Conference this past June, I was invited to join four other presenters on the Ask The Experts panel. A video of my presentation will be posted soon! I spoke about how the power of meditation and prayer has greatly improved my recovery, and I shared this resource: http://www.brainline.org/content/2009/12/the-role-of-mindfulness-meditation-and-prayer-after-brain-injury_pageall.html
I was also recently invited to join the board of directors of the Brain Injury Association of New York State. The first program I’m excited to support is the 7th annual Journey of Hope fundraising gala. This year’s theme will be Hidden Thoughts, a Masquerade Cocktail Reception at the Union League Club of New York. Tickets for this fundraiser are $250. Stand by for an invitation!
Helen Hayes Hospital Reading
I have been asked to share a reading of Me Now – Who Next? at Helen Hayes Hospital on Friday, September 12th, ten days before what would be my seventh wedding anniversary. I know Rich will be with me in spirit on the emotionally charged day of September 22nd.
Everyone with a brain injury has a significant date when their old life ended and new life began. How do you mark the date? Many of us long for our former selves, and may sink into depression. We have no control over the past, and there is nothing we can do to change the circumstances that brought us to where we are today. What we can change is our feelings about the injury. Consider marking this year’s date as a celebration.
July 31st will mark the sixth anniversary of when the world lost my husband Rich Betancourt and when this healing journey for traumatic brain injury began. I consider it my “Re-Birthday” and my second chance at life. Angela 1 died on July 31st, 2008 and that same night Angela 2 was born. I share this philosophy in Chicken Soup for the Soul…Recovering From Traumatic Brain Injuries. Everyone with a brain injury has a second chance at life, and with acceptance this new life can exceed that of our former selves.
This year, I’ll recognize my “Re-Birthday” in California with my friend, Alvin, and will reunite with west coast relatives whom I haven’t seen since my wedding.
My prayer partner, Britt Hall, and I will be featured in the September-October issue of Daily Word magazine. The issue will focus on the World Day of Prayer (September 11, 2014) and our prayer partnership, and will include an article I wrote titled, Prayer Saved My Life.
Me Now – Who Next? is now also available as an audiobook on Audibles. I’m excited this format is available for those living with brain injuries who may have vision difficulties like I do. You may recognize a particular voice, as I read the sections that I wrote. For your listening pleasure, visit:
Chicken Soup for the Soul…Recovering From Traumatic Brain Injuries, 101 Stories of Hope, Healing and Hard Work was released in June. I am honored to be among the five stories chosen from New York state. To order a copy, visit: http://www.chickensoup.com/book/43274/recovering-from-traumatic-brain-injuries
I can honestly report that my life has never been better. I’m in the best shape, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, than I ever have known. It was a very challenging road to get where I am today, and the journey will continue to unfold. I pray to be able to support others on their healing journeys, and am grateful you’ve joined mine by reading this post.