I was born to teach. More precisely, I was born bossy, and I learned to channel that productively to become a pretty good teacher. Given my insatiable drive to help people, plus that music seemed to be my native language, it followed that teaching music and working in church music was the ultimate life goal for me. All my life I’ve done both of these things, in varying combinations. It was the very air I breathed. It was never a job. I would gladly have done it for free, but unfortunately you have to have money to live in this world, and that I was able to help support our family by doing this was just pure joy to me. Sure, I got tired. But what was a healthy body for if not for working hard? I didn’t realize it at the time, but the harder I worked, the more proud I was of the picture of ME: the hard-working, talented, nice, little do-gooder always rushing around helping people and making everything better. Oh, and I had a very cute. sporty, second hand little car with a stick shift that I was doing all this in. But I was very conscious that you shouldn’t be proud, and that it was all coming from God’s grace, and I was always very insecure and vulnerable, and willing to demonstrate that at a moment’s notice. Or less.
And then, in Sept. 2014, a truck hit me. It changed everything. Two and a half years after the accident, I took stock. I was home. I was beginning to be able to read 15 to 20 minutes a day, to listen to music occasionally (maybe 1x a week), to walk around the house by myself. I still couldn’t even walk outside by myself or make many decisions on my own. I definitely would never be able to work full-time again…I was praying that God would prepare me to someday be of use to someone, in some capacity, again. Maybe leading a children’s choir in a church, or something like that?
I still wasn’t driving myself, and I was staring into the very bleak prospect that, quite possibly, I would never be able to drive again. So any possibility of employment would have the added complication of transportation. We don’t live in the city or the suburbs, so driving has always been somewhat of a necessity.
I had to start all over with piano, and after almost 2 years of almost daily practice, I was still struggling to learn the most elementary level of classical songs. So possibly I would never be an accompanist again, because my vision didn’t seem to getting any better. Reading music is essential for an accompanist, unfortunately.
It was as if I was walking down a long hallway of closed doors, and I was trying them one by one, only to find them all locked.
Or it was like a nightmare of being back to middle school again. I was extremely unpopular (which had actually started in elementary school, and lasted clear through high school, but who’s counting?). Several classes I had no friends in that particular class. I would walk into the room, and every time I would try to sit down, a student would shake their head “no” and tell me that seat was saved, or move their books onto that seat. I would end up standing until the teacher came in and saw me, and made the students move their books off the “saved” seat.
This latest feeling was reminiscent of one of those awful memories, of trying and trying and trying to find a way to make it better, to get out, to find a seat, and running again and again into a “no”, or a wall, or a locked door.
I went into another depression. My counselor says that a good thing about brain injury is that it forces you to face your “stuff” and work through it more quickly than healthy people, who can mostly just keep going until things get really unhealthy. Alcoholism, divorce, etc. God spared me from those by breaking my body and brain. Thank you God. I mostly mean that now. I really do. Sometimes more than others.
Anyway, I feel as if the main way I can help now is just tell my story. I might never be a “teacher” again in the traditional sense; I might never be an accompanist again. I will never sing again so that anyone but God will want to hear; but I have learned to type and write again, and I can tell my story. And I do have a story now to tell. So I’m going to do it. Again, thanks for listening.