One of the greatest gifts I’ve gained from the car crash is this present moment.
Before 2008, I lived almost entirely in the future. I was always planning for life’s next move. It seems like only yesterday when I packed for Orlando to attend the University of Central Florida. Then once more to New York City for my job as a Junior Account Executive at Hunter Public Relations.
In March 2008, my husband Rich and I moved again when we purchased the home we were supposed to build our family in. Four months later, that future came to a screeching halt. We were involved in a fatal car crash. Rich was killed and I sustained a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI).
It’s difficult to recall the past due to the TBI and it’s painful to consider the future that I have lost. I am left with this present moment, and consider it a gift.
My life is unrecognizable from what it was seven years ago. If it had unfolded as planned, my parents would be grandparents and I’d likely still be a partner at Hunter Public Relations. In this present moment, I am unsure of my future parenting plans. I am the Chairwoman of the New York City chapter of the Brain Injury Association of New York State, rather than a partner at Hunter PR. Although, I will likely hire them once I have completed my national bestselling memoir.
I have never been as present as I am now. I meditate now. I breathe now. Everything is now.
I have met many people personally impacted by brain injury and most had envisioned their futures very differently. Careers, families, spouses, physical health and talents are unlike what they once were. Each of us grieves these losses in our own unique ways. Being present in each moment helps me escape thoughts from the past and dreams of an unfulfilled future.
Learning to live in the present is not an easy thing, especially for those of us distracted by our brain injuries. We all find what works for us: strategies, support and advocacy. What I’ve found helpful is attending services, retreats, and classes at Unity of New York. Possibly the greatest gift I’ve received from Unity is the prayer partnership I’ve developed with Britt Hall, who is Unity of New York’s Co-founder, Spiritual Director, and our beloved Music Minister.
This healing journey is a constant work in progress and there may be bumps along the way. But I fully embrace today… now is where the healing happens.