By Janice Tindle
I’ve always been a person who likes to have her ducks in a row. And just like a good mother duck, I was constantly checking, going back when I needed to, keeping all my little ducks in line. It was an exhausting job, really; but at the end of the day, I slept soundly knowing all was well. On those occasions when things weren’t well, I would always have a plan on how to make my line straight again. And I always got my ducks back in a row.
When I suffered a brain injury, it was like someone threw a giant boulder into my pond. All my ducks scattered. Some were tossed high up into the sky and some were thrown onto dry land. Others were slammed against the shoreline and others still remain unaccounted for.
For the first year, I was frantic—trying desperately to collect all my ducks, honking and squawking, searching, and grabbing onto any duck I could find. I couldn’t keep the ones I found together and some were too far off in the distance to be reached safely. I hoped they would find their way back to me on their own and I held onto the three I had.
They were and remain the three closest to me at all times—Faith, Family and Friend. Faith is a healthy, loving duck that helps me out when I am low by moving out in front and taking the lead; and I am only too glad to follow. The other two, Family and Friend, are scruffy runts, but never have any trouble keeping up with Faith.
I’m still in the same pond, hoping to one day soon be reunited with my lost ones. I know when I do, they won’t be the same as how they would have been had I been taking care of them the whole time. Oh, they probably won’t look as good or be able to stay in line as well; but still, they’re mine and I’ll be glad to have them back. A few, I fear, are gone for good, and it’s sad to think I’ll never see them again. But the first three, the ones who are always with me, make me feel truly safe and warm at night. When I look behind me, my reflection is still murky; but I can see three is all you really need.
Note: This article was first published in 2012. It has since been in four publications and is the current title of Today’s Caregiver Magazine eNewsletter, April 2015. http://us4.campaign-archive2.com/?u=3a9dceeae152c6cd205d8a038&id=f09f7f0ad7#guest