Resilient Children and Hidden Blessings after My Husband’s Brain Injury in Iraq

Shannon Maxwell

Brain Injury Blog Resilient Children and Hidden Blessings after My Husband’s Brain Injury in Iraq

By Shannon Maxwell

My children were afraid of losing both parents

When my husband, Tim, was wounded I stood in awe of my resilient children. They accepted the news of his injuries and the need for me to go care for him with a quiet strength. Quite understandably, they were sad and afraid and had many questions. But they took everything in and moved forward without drama, without pulling.

It was for them that I began writing. Sitting in the waiting room of the ICU, I pictured their faces, especially their eyes, and thought about the last question that drifted from their lips when I left for Tim’s bedside in Germany. “What if something happens to you, too, Mommy?”

My little boy, seven at the time, found that his superhero had chinks in his armor and that meant we were all vulnerable. Our Daddy Is Invincible!  came out of the depth of that shattered childhood myth to instill in our children, and others, a restored sense of reassurance in the idea that invincibility goes beyond physical strength. Strength of spirit and hidden blessings evolve and are uncovered in the midst of traumatic injuries.

Bringing words to life

Liza Biggers’ amazing illustrations brought the words and concepts of injury and strength of spirit, love, and family to life. As the images began to unfold, our children oversaw the process with new understanding and renewed surety that life would continue for us as a family. New adventures – new normals – would evolve and fun times with their invincible Daddy were yet to come. It is a message of hope that we wish to pass on to all children.

When I read Our Daddy Is Invincible! from time to time to children at schools, it is amazing to hear the feedback and stories that they share. I am intrigued by the dialogue that this one book opens to curious minds. I am heartened by the impact it seems to have on the children who walk away with a new outlook about their own strength and those around them. Who knew that something so positive – such a hidden blessing could come from our traumatic experience?  

I hope you and your children open up Our Daddy Is Invincible!  and come to believe in your invincible spirit, too!


Recommended Reading

Our Daddy Is Invincible!

By Shannon Maxwell






Explaining Brain Injury, Blast Injury and PTSD to Children and Teens

By Marilyn Lash, M.S.W., Janelle Breese Biagioni and Tonya Hellard

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