I was in the mailroom of my building and I saw a sign that said, "Free chair-Apartment 615". Since I just moved in to my new apartment I thought, "I could use a nice comfortable chair like that, " then proceeded to the apartment listed on the flyer.
The lady of the house noted the Handle With LoVe t-shirt I was wearing and inquired after its meaning. I answered with "I had a TBI in 2010". The couple exchanged a surprised glance at each other, and their jaws dropped. They explained that their son also had a TBI. I was only slightly surprised to hear their story because life is filled with divine moments if we bother to step out of our own personal clouds of worry and pain, and take notice of them.
I went on to tell the rest of my story. They shared that their son had also undergone the same spinal fusion I had, and was 5 years into his recovery journey as well.
I’ve learned that this unassuming t-shirt, imprinted with a simple message can have a huge impact. Wearing it is not just a visual reminder that we all should handle each other with love, but it creates a new awareness. It has taught me that our words our important and can provoke a thought, and thought provoked can inspire change.
The most important effect that the Handle With LoVe t-shirt has had is a bit more personal and closer to home; it has create lifelong connections and relationships with other survivors, caretakers, and others within this community.
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