Monday, September 29, 2014

Seattle, 21, and Bobbie Lee

I went out to Seattle couple weekends ago to see my brother, Nathan, his family and Brian Regan.
My nephew, Gus and I
Even though I only got to stay there Friday night, Saturday, and Sunday morning, it was still a lot of fun. I love my nieces and nephew so stinking much.They had fun playing with their Aunty Shanny, and I with them. The other thing that really impacted me a lot on this trip was my brother. My mom has been sending emails to my family after neuropsychologist sessions explaining some of the things that she has learned about traumatic brain injuries. It meant a lot to me to see how much my brother had been reading them and really tried to apply all of these things to his interactions with me. For example, when I get too fatigued very quickly, he realized that it was simply because I didn't have the resources to deal with everything going on. What a difference this made in my relationship with him! On Saturday evening, we had the opportunity to go see Brian Regan. Of course, I couldn't go see him and not actually see him, like backstage. So I worked it out with his secretary to see him for literally like 2 minutes sometime before the show, because he had to leave right after the show. When I did get the opportunity to see him, I felt so bad for him! He looked exhausted! He had been traveling constantly all around the country for the past several weeks without a break so I was glad that he got to go straight home after this show and take a break for like a week!
     The funny thing about all of this though, is that of all of that, probably none of that was even my favorite part of the trip. My favorite part was quite possibly getting off of the plane in Seattle and helping a sweet gentleman named Bobbie Lee. He got on the plane during the time that someone who might need a little extra time or something would get on, which is also when I got on the plane. Bobbie Lee had a walker and some luggage on his walker, so when he got to the plane, the attendants had him leave his walker and wanted him to take his luggage, but he was unable to take his luggage as well as walk without his walker. So I stepped up and grabbed all of his bags. One of the ladies asked if we were traveling together and I said no, but I helped this older veteran back to his seat and put his bags in the appropriate places.
     The next little piece of the story is awesome. It's something that I felt like actually defined me, and was FINALLY a 21-year-old experience. The ladies are going through the plane serving drinks during the flight and one asks me what I would like. I look up and she recognized me. She said something to the effect of "oh, you're that sweet girl who helped that sweet gentleman! Are you 21?" "Yeah." "Can I buy you a drink?" "Oh, no, I'm okay" "Oh I'm sorry, are you not allowed to drink?" This is where I feel like it was defining. Because yeah, I could say no, I'm not. I grew up in a church that says absolutely no alcohol. But no, I chose the religion, I choose the actions, I make the choices every single day to stay true to what I believe in. Yes, I believe that alcohol is bad for you. Yes, my parents agree, but does that mean that when I am traveling on my own that I would be unable to drink, especially if it was purchased for me? Absolutely not! So I told her that I can drink, but that I just genuinely did not want anything.
     When I got off the plane, I made sure to wait until most everyone was off so that I could make sure that Bobbie Lee was well taken care of. I took his bags back to his walker and we walked out of the plane together where he then tried to call someone. That person didn't answer, and he knew he needed to get his bags and get a taxi so I decided that I would personally assist him. Somewhere along this point Nathan called me, and tried to give me multiple directions, I told him that I couldn't compute that many things, especially when I was trying to help someone else, so I would call him when I got to a certain point. This is one of those times when I saw him take in what my mom has emailed to my family. Back to Bobbie Lee. So we followed the signs to baggage claim and picked up his bag. Then we went towards the taxi place and Nathan came and ran into us! :) We dropped Bobbie Lee off at the taxi place, hoping that where he was headed knew he was coming, and we hopped on a train that took us to Nate's car then to his house.
     I felt so great. And I realized how much I need to just be in constant service. Forget about me, forget about all the pain, struggles and challenges I have to deal with, and just serve. That's the best part for me. It's how I survived before the accident (without consciously recognizing it until recently) and it's how I plan on living now.

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