The ‘new’ townhouse!


Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more.
Melody Beattie

We’ve had it for 2 years, but HEY-it’s new to us!  And it’s a dream!  A dream to me; it feels as if I’m ‘playing house,’ up-keeping this super cute place and making dinner and everything.

The townhouse needed many improvements, as it was built in 1981 (the same year I was born!), and had not been updated very much since then.  My Dad is part owner of a construction company, Chamberlain Construction, and he loves doing home improvement projects.  (Personally, and for me; the company that he owns does commercial construction) He knows how to improve things, make them up-to-date and beautiful, and if he can’t do it, he knows who to call who can.  First it was work on the tiny, dark basement.  Sure it has a door to walk out to the backyard, but it had this ugly 70s style paneling up!  Uggh-a decorating NIGHTMARE!  My Dad and cousin tore that down, put drywall up, and knocked out a wall to make the room much bigger.  Then there was painting, on all three levels, new carpet in the basement, and the stairs. (we can’t have Chazz the dog slipping down steps!)  There are beautiful hardwood floors on the middle level (with consciously placed oriental rugs), and the upper level.  On the middle floor we remodeled the half bathroom; tiled the floor, bought a new vanity and mirror and painted the walls in a soothing shade of blue. The upper level also has hardwood flooring (3 bedrooms); a master bedroom facing our gorgeous backyard, with a bathroom.  The second room is used as a study, with the third room belonging to Chazz the dog furnished with a futon that guests can also stay on.  (Not at the same time as the dog of course!)  There is a full bathroom located across from the Chazzy room, the room Chazz stays in while we are at work, yoga, the pool or running errands.

And the yard! The front and back yards are beautiful!  In the back, my Dad and cousin built us a new deck, we hired some men to put on stairs leading down to the backyard, and affix the guardrails to the deck.  Beautiful, spacious deck, with a beautiful walk out backyard, and a porch swing underneath.   We even had a patio built under the deck leading to the side gate.  Our backyard has grass for Chazz to run through, and a flower bed on the side.  Our front yard is just as cute with bushes and flowers underneath the window of our living room, and a seasonal wreath out on our front door.

I guess the word would be appreciative.  I am very appreciative after all that I could have lost in my car accident and knowing how precious everything in life is.  All my prayers were answered when I met my husband, the wonderful man who truly cares for me, and even puts up with my tossing and turning at night, without complaining too much if I accidentally elbow him.  Each night before bed I constantly thank God for all the blessings that have been bestowed upon me, this wonderful house that I live in, with the wonderful community and great neighbors, wonderful husband and the cutest doggie in the world.  As I lay in bed, I am perfectly content.  Who would have ever dreamt that this great life would be given to me?  While writing this, my husband notes that he has a dream of getting me to pick up after myself!  I’m trying not to brag, but I am amazed of how much I have overcome in the past and how things have worked out great for me after that hiccup of a traumatic brain injury.

I have tried to ignore it in the past, having tried to forget about those 2 years in rehab and the time after when it was still physically apparent because of my cane.  I have since tried to blend in and appear normal, or just like everyone else, until I have recently decided to share my story for the benefit of others that may be struggling through this “invisible injury.”  It isn’t over when things are better on the outside, or when 33 years have passed by (as my friend has recently expressed).  Once you has a brain injury, it is something you are stuck with FOREVER.  Sure, you learn strategies to make life easier for you, but there are always the lasting effects.  Take hope whenever you or someone you love is afflicted with a disability, because it will always get better if you are in the right state of mind.  Although I know getting to that positive state of mind is somewhere hard to get.

My husband likes to remind me that although I try to keep a positive spin on things, I oftentimes find myself being very pessimistic.  Especially when working at the nursing home- its just the stress of the coworkers, plus the administration and the confusion of authority.  And then come in the residents, trying to get out the door and get to the train station.  I find myself constantly putting the pressure onto myself, to keep things exciting and thinking that only I can do it right.

Ever since I have learned of my position as the ‘weekend girl,’ (every other weekend, and the weekends I don’t work, the surrounding Friday and Monday) I have been less caring on how the activities department on the floor are run.  Maybe one of these times I should actually give myself one of the pep talks I try to give to put in my blogs.  Sigh, but until then I’ll just have to trust in my own and my coworkers’ ability to get through things. (Which is something else hard to do.)




About Danielle!

A young professional Longwood University alum, with a traumatic brain injury having previously worked in the Therapeutic Recreation field with the elderly at nursing homes in Fairfax, VA. Now as a TBI advocate, trying to help others learn more about TBIs is involved in support groups, as well as very involved in my church, child care, and working part-time at a library
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