One of my favorite movies of all time is What About Bob? I love the crazy antics and most of all as of late I love when Dr. Leo Marvin writes Bob a prescription to take a vacation from his problems. This sounds fantastic! Back in December, I made an executive decision to do just that, take a vacation from our problems. Should be easy, right?
Prior to John’s TBI we would take spontaneous trips to visit family and friends. It was nothing for John to come home from work and decide to travel for the weekend to see family. Once when my niece and her friend were visiting we even decided to take a last minute trip to Washington, D.C. It was a blast! Sure, sometimes we met obstacles but we always managed to make the best of the time we had together on this new adventure. We always came back with great tales and new memories.
We had not had a vacation since John’s accident and in December I decided that our little family needed to try and take a ‘vacation from our problems’. We have family and friend that live in Florida so I knew the only cost associated would be the gas expenses. Once I had talked the trip over with my Dad, he offered to contribute to our traveling for Christmas, which made our trip virtually free! I was so excited! Not only to be able to head south and see so many people we love dearly and hadn’t seen in nearly 7 years, but also to get a breather and create some fun memories with our daughter.
If there is one lesson I learned on our trip it was that you CANNOT take a vacation from TBI! It follows you wherever you go. The drive south was pretty uneventful. John would often get very anxious, so we tried to stop often and walk around the rest stops. Sometimes, I would make him rest in the back seat because in heavier traffic I noticed he would be more apt to be anxious. All in all, the drive went fairly smooth.
Once we arrived at our family’s home, John began getting very agitated and irritable. He refused to take his normal naps. He wanted to keep up with everyone else. Well, I finally had to tell him he had no choice and that he had to take a nap. This helped a little. When someone has a TBI napping, in my opinion, is nearly as crucial as the medications they may need. John simply cannot keep the pace with those around him. His brain needed a rest. Even though we all needed a bit of resting after the drive, John’s brain was completely exhausted.
Throughout the trip, I still had to cry out to Jesus for peace and guidance. I was a bit angry too. Why couldn’t we just have a rest. Granted, there were good points! To see our daughter create some new memories, to see family and friends we hadn’t seen in many years, and so on. There were definite benefits to my heart, but once we came home I was just mad. Mad at the reality that there is no escaping TBI. There is not an environment that I can create to put the reality of this condition on hold. It is there wherever or whatever we do to try and set it aside and take a break.
That is when it hit me. The only rest we have is in Jesus! Somehow, He can give me that rest in the midst of the daily drama of our new lives. I cannot escape this life I have been given, but HE can see me through the good and bad times.
I had stopped writing for a while, but one thing the Lord revealed to me on our vacation is that I need to get back into the business of helping others and part of that is writing. With that stated, I do hope you are all still following this blog because I am back! J