A time to speak

The following post is my story in a nutshell which a dear friend has strongly encouraged me to share. We all have a story. We all need to share. There is healing in sharing. There is healing in reaching others with our brokenness and pointing up to Jesus who heals and restores. Thank you for reading and blessings on your 2021!❤


I have often heard it said that brain injury comes in all different shapes and sizes. Whether it’s mild, moderate or severe brain injury, they all hold a very similar characteristic; they are all traumatic.

My traumatic brain injury occured as a child of barely thirteen years old. On the summer of 1991, the minivan full of us five church youths rolled down a steep embankment after missing the guard rail by just a few feet. The seventeen year old driver spaced out at the wheel. Tragically, two beautiful girls went up to heaven that day due to massive head injuries. The investigators of the accident guessed that the 1980s van didn’t explode due to a malfunction in the van’s interworkings, but I know it was God who spared us passengers and it was a miracle any of us survived.

My vague recollection of that frightening day remembers passing out when we finally came to a stop but how long I remained unconscious I do not know. Being the last person to be pulled out of the wreckage and the first to be put on an ambulance, I was taken to a small hospital in the middle of nowhere to be looked over. Surprisingly, I could walk, talk and though suffering a few bumps and cuts appeared to be relatively normal. However, the discovery of my brain injury came many years later.

Fast forward to a mother of four in her mid-thirties who was starting to fall apart physically but had no idea why. Sure there were plenty of signs that something serious was going on but where do you start to get to the bottom of so many crazy symptoms?

I went to the Dr. who ran a plethora of tests and said it’s hypothyroidism. Okay, that’s easy enough to deal with, just take a small white pill and there, no biggy right? Nope. While hypothyroidism is a very serious condition in and of itself, for me it was just the tip of the iceberg.

In 2016 I went completely numb from the waist down. My husband dragged me to a chiropractor who after tests and taking imagining discovered the root cause: head and multiple spine injury. She told me my condition was progressing and we began the journey towards healing through cranial and spinal treatments. These gentle care adjustments for accident survivors are designed to restore healing to the central nervous system while drawing out the injury so the body can heal and gain strength, mobility, and function.

Nothing can fully prepare a person for the emotional, physical, and spiritual impact a broken brain and body brings into one’s life. The hard months of physical pain, exhaustion, and frustration are not the only challenges but also how a TBI effects a person socially. Therefore arriving at the discovery of my head trauma in 2016, I had no idea then that the overall response from others would be……indifference. Thinking maybe it was because in my case my injury went undiscovered for so long, that people just didn’t or couldn’t understand that yes, there are cases in which trauma shows up years later. Yet, upon further reading and researching I’ve learned that sadly the majority of TBI survivors live socially in solitude. This is because friends vanish, relatives are distant, and acquaintances judge which is heartbreaking.

Taking all my emotional and physical pain and sadness, I decided to begin blogging my thoughts in order to speak out in the hope that it would help people understand and offer support. This did not work either because then I couldn’t get anyone to read or follow my blog except for my best friend and parents who always supported me anyway. After a few posts my mom, being my number one fan, told me that reading about my faith was an encouragement to her and gave her hope. It was at that point my mom’s words spoke to my heart whispering gently that my writing endeavour wasn’t about me anymore. It was about bringing hope and encouragement to others and that was when my blogging purpose changed.

Writing words of encouragement in a blog to others who battle brain injury, MS, Chiari, and other chronic illnesses or injuries has been a amazing way to help others which in turn has brought the same to me. While old friends vanished like soap bubbles, I found a few amazing new friends through the blog who have been overwhelmingly supportive of me and a huge blessing to my life.

I don’t know why God allowed me to survive the accident that tragic day when my two friends died, yet I do know God is good and wise and has a plan for my life. I thank Him every day for a chance to grow up, marry, and have my four beautiful kids who bring so much joy. While there is no known cure for a TBI, I have heard that there can be improvements with proper therapies and treatments which gives this brain injured mama a whole lot of hope.

Written December 27, 2020 by vivjoywriter

Dearly Beloved

I wanted to share a bit of happiness today: Last Saturday, August 3rd, my nephew and now brand new niece got married. Hooray!!👰🤵 The ceremony took place outside and everything was absolutely gorgeous. The event went well except for the fact that the minister got the times mixed up (they are so busy and rightly so) and was late so we sat there wondering what the hold up was. The viola and violin players did a great job continuing to play as if nothing was askew. I saw one muscian mouth to the other “again” and they just kept on playing. At last, much to our relief, the minister finally arrived and the wedding went on smoothly.

As we entered the ceremony there were fans with our program printed on them and bug repellant. So very smart and helpful as it was very humid! It was wonderful being able to attend and take part in the celebration.

My niece has Celiac Disease so the reception was catered by Zoe’s Kitchen which made almost all the food gluten free. I tried falafel for the first time……it was ok. 😁 (A bit of beans and a tad awful.) 😂 The gluten free ravioli was delectable. (My oldest daughter and I are still talking about how good it tasted.)

We had family fly in from California our native state. My parents are originally from San Francisco and had my brother there before my dad decided to move to Philadelphia and attend Seminary.

Here I am with my handsome nephew and darling new niece! Love, love, love them!!

They had popsicles at the reception provided by a vendor because of the heat which was an excellent idea!! My kids and my hubby and I sat inside where it was a bit cooler.

Here I am with my big brother! Love him tons, obviously.😍

My precious niece eating the yummy gluten free carrot cake she and her mom made. Can you see the sweetness in her angelic face? 🤗😍

Here are my four all cleaned up and polished. My heart nearly breaks as I look at my oldest two (on the right) because they’ve had to make up for all the times I’ve been unwell by running the household together. God is good though because they can cook and clean doing everything I do yet, I think even better! Xoxo

On the far left is my beautiful and cherished Mama. My beautiful Californian aunt “Auntie Jo” is on the right.

All the desserts were gluten free. I was naughty and had a chocolate chip cookie and four bites of cake. (I don’t eat much sugar because of blood sugar issues.) It was well worth it and I have no regrets. 🍰🥂

This picture turned out so well! I was so busy capturing it so I forgot to throw the flowers but isn’t this just great?!

I’m so very thankful we could be a part of the happy couple’s wonderful day! They are truly a blessing in my life and in many others lives too. Both are the sweetest, kindest, and most compassionate souls ever and I’m oh so thankful for my adorable family.🤗😄

Much love,

Viv 😃