Journey of Reflection

Brain Injury Blog

Journey of Reflection

by Daniel Thacker

Brain injury can be a lonely journey.

Brain injury can be a lonely journey.

An old man was walking down a long, lonely road one day on a journey he knew must soon come to an end.  As the days passed slowly by, his mind was reflecting upon his journey thus far. There have been many trying times and a lot of uncertainties along the way, but there were many happy and joyous times as well.

He could not remember the specific details of how he came to be on this road but he knew where he was going.”Yep, I’ve came a long way” he thought to himself. “It has been an interesting journey, to say the least. Why, I can even recall the first part of my journey through “Serenity Hills” and how pleasant it was there.”

Then his face lost its smile momentarily and his brow curled down over his eyes a bit as he remembered the trek across “Painful Creek” and the days he struggled in “Sorrow Valley”. He remembered, too, how difficult it was to just put one foot in front of the other and continue on.

Yes, he thought, it has been a tough ‘ol road at times and a person may wonder why anyone would have to walk it. Then he recalled his day’s spent in “Paradise Valley” for that is where the young child, walking beside him, joined him on this journey.

“Oh, we’ve had such a happy trip together”, he said to himself. “There were some uncertain days and a few spooky nights and we even fell down a time or two, but overall it has been wonderful just having the child beside me.” As these thoughts were going through his mind, he looked down at the child walking beside him and he could see a happy face. Bright eyed and smiling, the child appeared not to have a care in the world as she clutched onto his knarled, wrinkled hand as they continued their journey together.

Turning his eyes back upon the road ahead of them, the old man could still see the ‘footprints’ of all those who had traveled this road before him, as reflected by the graveyards they passed. Some of the ‘footprints’ had faded with time, but he could see others that appeared to have been made only recently. He wondered, too, if those that left the ‘prints’ had reflected upon how they came to be upon this road and where their journey would end?

Looking down beside him once more he could see the child, still happily holding onto his hand, seemingly very content with their journey together. He remembered feeling that way himself, way back down the road he had traveled. He knew, also, that soon now, he would have to let go of the child’s hand and allow her to walk alone.

Those thoughts troubled him greatly because of the uncertainties which may lie around each bend of the road.

“Sometimes you can finish the journey together” he thought. “We both had become so cold, sick and feverish but huddling together for warmth and sharing our love; we made it through the tough times”.

Gazing down once more into the child’s eyes and seeing the happy confidence in the smile, he thought,”you will be alright. We have traveled a far piece together and I have taught you the best that I know how, so hopefully, the rest of the journey, which you must take alone, will not be so bad”.

Suddenly, as the ‘old man was thinking these thoughts, he stopped, his eyes focused upon the road just ahead of them. He could see what appeared to be the figure of a man standing there. “Who is it?” he wondered, as he began to tremble and his thoughts tumbled one upon the other. Joy, peace, apprehension, worry and fear, all beset him at once! His mind was in turmoil and his heart began to beat faster and faster.

Then, ever so slowly, he saw the man-figure raise a hand and motioned for him to come forward. Still beset with the feelings of doubt and fear, the old man stepped toward the figure and in doing so he immediately saw a bright light come over the man who was waiting there on the road. Upon seeing the light and understanding it’s implication, he breathed a long sigh of relief. He now knew that his long journey had come to an end.

The old man could now rest easy and he felt a kind of peace and happiness come over him such as he had never before experienced! The child by his side looked up at him and said,” what’s wrong, Grandpa, what do you see up ahead?” “It’s alright”, the old man said to the child, “it is just someone that I have wanted to see for such a long time”,

“I must leave you now, he said, so you will have to continue your journey without me by your side. And as you do so, I hope that you will remember where we have been together and that you will reflect, in a positive way, on all the things that you have learned on your journey thus far. You will have many happy times ahead for you and the Stones that can trip you will be as small Pebbles if you only believe.”

Hold my hand as we travel this journey of loss.

“But, Grandpa,” said the child, “will I ever see you again? Will we ever be together again?” The old man could not answer the child’s questions. He turned his head to look upon the face of the man-figure standing there on the road ahead of him; his eye’s asking the question that his lips could not. He saw the man-figure look toward the small child and very slowly nodded his head forward. Realizing that the question he was unable to ask except by the plea in his eye’s had been answered, the old man’s face became very peaceful and serene looking again.

“Yes”, said the old man, as he happily hugged the child for the final time on this road. “We will be together again, just believe that, and remember to look toward each Sunset only as the promise of a new and brighter day instead of one filled with loneliness and despair. Your time of being without me will be long but there will be many sources of comfort to enjoy and my own separation from you will be for only a short time.”

All the memories of what is past and concerns for what the future may bring are over now for the old man. His job is finished. As he stepped toward the light, he turned for one final look at the small child on the long Journey of Reflection…

 

February 5, 2013

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