I saw my son drive past me.
We've not spoken since 2012. Like so many others, he didn't know what to make of his “new dad,” so he simply left.
He walked out of my life without explanation. After two years of phone calls, texts, and emails – all unanswered—I am still bewildered.
He’s not a kid. Earlier this year, he turned twenty-eight.
While out for my daily bike ride, I spotted his very distinctive Jeep: the jumbo, over-sized tires, and an out-of-state plate were dead giveaways.
Not too many people cycle in my neighborhood. I know that he spotted me as well.
I did a quick U-turn so I could catch up to him at the intersection near me. My simple intent was to say “hi,” to see how he looked, nothing heavy.
I am a big believer in fate and saw this as a sign from a good and friendly universe.
As I pedaled back to the corner, a smile starting to creep onto my face, my hope was that our period apart was about to end.
Apparently, he knew it was me.
He gave his Jeep all it had and sped out of our neighborhood. I saw his back bumper getting smaller by degrees.
His message was painfully clear – not today, Dad.
Family life after brain injury?
People walk out of your life without explanation, without just cause, leaving you to wonder what the heck happened.
I am healing.
The shock of what he did, of his aggressive attempt to not see me, the feeling of complete loss and uselessness only lasted a couple hours. Today I am OK. That alone is a sign of growth.
If he ever chooses to come back into my life, I will be ready.
In the meantime, maybe by sharing this, you will realize that you aren't the only one. You might be thinking: Some of my family left me as well
These days, family is no longer defined by shared DNA. In fact, these days, shared pain is stronger than most anything.
Peace to all who have lost loved ones after brain injury – and peace to my new TBI family.