Illness - Encephalitis

I Live Here? (Part 1)


What do you think it would be like for a twenty-three-year old to forget what Christmas is all about? Go back a few years, and that’s exactly what happened to me the Christmas of 1990.

A severe brain injury called encephalitis hit me hard December 20 that year, causing me to forget a majority of everything. (1*)  Working on getting my brain to move toward normality was taking place in the second hospital about three weeks after that brain injury hit. Thankfully, while in that hospital, a special afternoon outing took place about four weeks after Christmas. I got to visit my home for, what felt like to me, the first time.

Now I don’t recall who was with me besides my husband, who, of course, did the driving. No way could I drive, being I still had to get used to understanding how cars even worked.

My family of four lived in a six-plex apartment with two levels: the main level had the kitchen and living room, while the bottom level had two bedrooms and one bathroom. I can describe it now, but when getting out of the car that day, I hadn’t the faintest idea what to expect.

“Well, here it is,” Chris said as we pulled up right in front of our door. “Here’s the place we’ve been living for about two-and-a-half years.”

“This is where I live?” I quietly asked myself as the car came to a stop.

What do you think I did? Jump out all happy, smiling ear to ear while skipping to the door? Far from it. Instead, I slowly stepped out.

“This . . . is our place?” I calmly asked while insecurely folding my arms as I began walking toward our apartment I didn’t recall ever seeing. I stared up and down that front door and its surroundings. “I live here?”


As Chris began to open the door, I asked again, but this time just whispering to myself,  “I live here?”

– To be continued.

1*  – Click here and read what took place just a few weeks before. 

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