Over the past 14 months I’ve had tons of people come up and ask me how to be prepared for a trauma. They haven’t used these words but it’s usually a mom who has wide eyes and says something like “is everything going okay?” Or “How do you know what to do?”. I’m reading a book called GOLIATH MUST FALL and as I’ve soaked in chapters on anger and anxiety I felt like it was time for a post on being prepared for something unexpected. A complete oxymoron, I know.
- Have a complete will/living will. I yelled at my sister about this all the time, we even had a conversation about it the week of her brain injury and she didn’t listen. This made everything harder the first few months! I can’t express this enough, call a lawyer and leave a message TODAY. Ive got a great one if you are in Towson. This has nothing to do with who gets your pearl earrings and everything to do with who gets your kids, what to do if something terrible happens to you, whose in charge of medical decisions, etc.
- Get life insurance. Again, I have a few awesome contacts if you need them in Baltimore. We obviously haven’t needed life insurance but we all will at one point or another.
- Have the terrible conversations. My sister was super clear with who was supposed to care for her kids in the event of an emergency. Everyone knew what to do. We went out and bought a van and that was that. She believes deeply in Gods sovereignty and didn’t want to be attached to a ventilator for life. Luckily we never had to make that decision but I was prepared.
- Listen. This seems silly but it’s true. Katie and I talked daily. I knew it all. I knew how she felt about spanking, school choices, clothing brands, her favorite soaps, etc. I have the privilege of reminding her babies of their mom. I can go on and on about her and answer all the questions they could have. I hold the memories they try to keep. It’s hard to admit but Vera probably doesn’t remember her mom pre-brain injury. She was only one! What she needs from me is to be the storyteller and for me to do “it” (whatever that may be) like Kate would’ve. There’s nothing that brings a smile to those sweet faces like telling a story about the day they were born or how pleased Kate was when they learned to walk or talk or giggle. So listen!
- Repair broken relationships. There are a lot of hands in the pot. There are relationships I have that I wish were really healthy before all of this happened because now there is not much time and energy left to try to fix them. Katie needs a well oiled machine in the people that love her most and that’s not always possible if we have our own junk in the way. So repair relationships! Not just in case crappy stuff happens but because you’ll never regret it! It’s time well spent.
Sorry to be a downer. I hope this helps you in some way to be prepared for life!