Celebrate Life Day

Today is Celebrate Life day.

Three years ago, my husband was hit while riding his bicycle and suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury. He was in a coma for a week. And he spent many more weeks in the hospital and rehab center. The following months were very difficult, for both of us.

It’s really hard to believe that it’s only been three years. Because we’ve come so far, and we’ve done so much in these last three years. We recently got married. We bought a house. Last year we moved from Boston to Denver. We’ve had a lot of change in a short amount of time after a very traumatic experience.

I look back and wonder how we got here. This life, this recovery, wasn’t a given. In fact, early on, we were often given a much bleaker picture of what life would be like together.

On the first anniversary of the accident, we decided to reclaim the day. To make November 7th ours rather than a sad memory of something bad that had happened to us. It was a little ironic because Brandon had his first (and hopefully only) seizure exactly one week prior. Our balloons were deflated a bit. I was shaken. But we weren’t going to let our day be dampened.

We deemed it “Celebrate Life Day." Brandon wanted to do all the things he couldn’t do right after his accident, the things he was told he might never do again. So we went canoeing and climbing. And he and his best friend put on wetsuits and jumped into the freezing ocean. It was thrilling and exciting. We laughed instead of crying, instead of mourning the losses we’d experienced.

We never actually said it out loud to each other - but we both refused to accept that bleak future. Instead, we chose to fight. For our lives and for each other. And it’s served us really, really well.

Life is precious. And it’s too short. I feel so grateful for all that I have - for a loving and supportive tribe. For a relentlessly fierce partner who never backs down in the face of struggle. For my own strength I’ve garnered over the years. And for a love that’s standing the test of time.

This morning, we got up early and went for a sunrise hike with our dog. Brewsky ran happily ahead of us on the trail while we walked in quiet admiring the beauty of the sunrise. When we were ready to turn back around and head to the car, Brandon stopped and put his arm around me and said “Thank you for taking care of me.” With tears in my eyes, I hugged him and said “you’re welcome.” I said “We’ve done good.” And Brandon said “We’ve done more than good.”

Take a moment today to notice what you feel grateful for, and Celebrate Life.

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Brittany Bell /    Comments Share