Reprinted by permission from David Grant
It started in October of last year, this miracle I am about to share with you.
My dad had just turned 80. He lives in a small northern New Hampshire town of about 600 souls – Freedom, New Hampshire. Such an appropriate name as freedom from isolation for many local brain injury survivors started there. He picked up a small-town newspaper and his eyes scanned a classified ad that hit home. Having a son with a brain injury has changed his life perspectives as well. Brain injury is a family affair. But you already know that.
It was a simple ad. “Highly functioning traumatic brain injury survivor looking to form a support group with other TBI survivors.” With the ad was an email address. And so, like falling dominos, events started to click into place. Dad emailed me a copy of this lone survivors cry for help. I answered his email.
Though over 100 miles from here, when survivors connect, magic happens. And I waited, hopeful that I would here (sic) from him. He replied in short notice. We exchanged several emails, became Facebook friends, and the beginning to the end of isolation came to pass. The HI-FI Brain Injury Support Group was born.
There are 8-10 members who meet face to face every month in what we fondly call “the North Country.” Today, Sarah and I are taking a 200+ mile round trip to attend one of their meetings at the Conway Public Library I woke up today feeling a bit like it was Christmas. I have come to really LOVE time spent with other survivors. I co-facilitate a local TBI support group here in Salem, New Hampshire.
Our monthly get-togethers are just a blast. And today? Today it feels like I am going to a family reunion to meet a bunch our cousins I’ve never met. There is a grand and miraculous take-away here. Steve, the groups founder, took action in the form of a small ad – an ad that eventually lead to the creation of a group where so many others have found the end to isolation.
Not everyone lives near a support group. There is quite a lesson here. “If you create it, they will come.” I am grateful beyond words that my local group is only a short distance from our home. If you find yourself without a local group, there is quite a lesson to be learned by my new friend Steve’s actions. We never need be alone again. Ever. Peace to all who have found comfort in the presence of other survivors.
~David - Author of “Metamorphosis, Surviving Brain Injury”