A friend who lasts through TBI is a hero, nothing less. No matter how devoted one is to a friend, having a TBI turn them into another person is the ultimate test of that love. This new person may be a shadow or a caricature of the warm, loving, funny, passionate human you knew so well. Even if his appearance is no different, he will say things he never would have said "before." He will wonder aloud why you bothered to stop by, or refuse to speak to you altogether. He may not respond to your enthusiastic suggestions, and act like he's doing you a favor to go somewhere with you. He may not even remember you from visit to visit.
But if you hang in there, find time for that extraordinary effort and keep coming back, you can make wonderful things happen. You can bring a breath of outside life and normalcy into his often solitary existence. You can relieve the sting his wife has felt as so many friends no longer call or stop by. You can help encourage him into being, not "what he was before," but all that he can be from now on. And someday, his wife may greet you wide-eyed at the front door with the news that upon hearing the doorbell he said, "Well, it's Tuesday. That must be Lisa."
Thank you, Lisa. We love you, and know you'll never believe how important you've been.
Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.
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