This past month I was fortunate to have help at home with Tom and Samantha to take a trip to Scotland for business.  It was a welcome opportunity to take some much needed time off from the daily care.  I have never been to Scotland and I was looking forward to visiting.  It was so much more than I expected but also a much quieter lifestyle.  Everyone was so very nice and accommodating and welcoming.  Also, a much slower pace of life there.  The countryside is beautiful, lush and green, lots of sheep and farms.  You could just feel the calmness around you.  Being away also gives me time to reflect and to take some time to evaluate my situation with our family and put some thoughts and words together to share.  Being gone does give you a sense of self again, but then coming home, you realize you have a whole reality to return to.  It made me sad to come home to the same situation.  Tom didn’t know who I was, or where I was, or how long I had been gone.  That is sadness you can’t get used to.  No matter how real it is.  As I wrote my thoughts while I was gone, I really thought that we are all stories.  We don’t know what anyone’s struggles are.  We don’t know anyone’s story.  But we all have one.  Some are more tragic than others.  We are all stories in the end.  Just make it  good one.  Everyone’s story…friends, family, acquaintances…everyone struggles at some point financially, health-wise, in your career, work, keeping your head above water, soul, heart-wise.  I just want to say that social media also makes a good story for everyone….everyone seems like their life is richer, more fun, more successful.  It simply isn’t true.  Who would want to share the bad stuff anyway?  I don’t.  I want to always focus on the good stuff out to the public.  Not the private struggles to care for someone with a severe brain injury.  Life can be hard.  Life isn’t always fair.  But, you have to show up – day after day.  Show up with a good heart, with humor if you can, a good spirit, strength, hope and determination.  You will fail.  But you will have to try again each day.  Those that do , are hero’s each day.  We that are caretakers are life’s warriors.  We have to be a success each day no matter what the challenge is.  Because if we aren’t, we not only fail ourselves, but those we care for.  Everyone suffers at times.   However, we are not alone.  There are so many out there with stories the same…we can and we will win, but we have to stay in the game all the time.  That is the hard part, is being in the game, all day long, every day for the long term.  Thinking that we can stay in the game that long, is hard to think about.  But, you have to show up, game face on every day and know in your heart, that it will all be OK.