Nostalgia as defined by Webster includes a definition stating: "a wistful or sentimental yearning for return to the past". We all have memories we cherish and those we'd like to forget, but nostalgia can also be a healing practice. How often do you take the time to consider the progress, Caregivers?
Was your life truly simpler “before”, or simply different? Though difficult to view from today’s vantage point, are you proud of the changes you have mastered (or weathered) to sustain yourself and your veteran today? Helped your family to adapt? Or, if a veteran, have you grown through the (perhaps unwelcomed but everpresent) challenges placed in your path? What was life like before you knew the terms PTSD,TBI, and PolyTrauma so intimately? Have you learned new skills of organization, persistence, digging into research, and feeling accomplishment?
Someone once said, “As long as you’re learning, the experience will be valuable”. Have you considered that many years from now, you will have built new memories to base your nostalgia on? Conversely, maybe you'll feel nothing but freedom from those older memories once you've progressed to a higher functioning level. And, just maybe, you’re so darn glad to have an Alive Day to celebrate in your home, that you now view that date with nostalgia and gratitude.
As we enter this busy season and end of year, please know the great pride and strong support and care we feel here for your service. Your ENTIRE family serves, and we applaud Caregivers, veterans, service members, parents, spouses, relatives and friends, and especially the children for the obligations they carry daily. Nearly all of us are nostalgic for the time prior to 9/11 – a time of innocence lost. Though deep reservoirs of trust have been misplaced, please know how honored we are to connect, correspond, and support you.