My Notebook

Sometimes, our brains don’t cooperate with us. We search for the words we want to say, but they’re lost before they ever make it to our tongue. Or, a bunch of words jump to our mouths as smooth and rich as ice cream. But when we listen to our own voice express them, what we hear are the halting, incomplete thoughts of a stranger.

For a long time after my accident, doctors couldn’t predict my progress. There’s just too much about the brain and the way it works that they still don’t know.

But for anyone who struggles with memory and speech, we know what happens. Those who desperately want to connect with us offer us their words. It’s a powerful, loving act. When I couldn’t find my words, people who loved me offered theirs.

Until I could find my own words, my family gave me theirs. My mother started a blog. When my dad was in the room with me, he recorded notes about what was going on in my recovery to help her with that blog. They quickly realized that, once I regained consciousness, they would need to help me remember. So they took their notes from my perspective so that they could read them back to me and help me remember what happened the day before, or even moments before. My brain had taken a huge hit and the files of my mind were scattered. My family helped me pick up my thoughts by giving me their words.

But as miraculous as my recovery was, I was still impatient.

I wanted the words to come. As I recovered, I started to engage with people again and the more urgent that need became. People wanted to hear from me. They wanted to understand what I’d been through and what it felt like to be part of a miracle. They wanted to know that I was going to be okay.

But “okay” is subjective. How do I even know I’m okay if I can’t hold two thoughts together or remember huge pieces of my life?

How do I know I’m okay if I can’t remember anything about the trauma that made my brain not okay?

This blog is about that journey. It’s about the dream I had when it was hard to sleep through the night, let alone dream. It’s about the screenplay that I painstakingly wrote in longhand just months after I had relearned to write my own name.

That screenplay, supported by notebooks and a blog my family kept after my accident, culminated in a movie, The Favorite, in theaters this fall. The Favorite is a family film about how love triumphs, heals, and restores.

I welcome you to join us as we share how this movie came to be. Other people will also join me on this website to share what went on behind the scenes during the production of The Favorite.

But this blog is my notebook. It tells my story.

My story is sometimes sad, sometimes happy, often reflective, and never boring. But that’s what God has done for me.

He not only gave me a story, but He restored my ability to tell it.