I stood on the side of the road, not sure how I got there, or if I did it alone. I wondered if I was alive or dead, for I spoke to no one, and no one spoke to me.

A severe pain hit my head, as if someone had stabbed a knife straight through my skull. I reached up, placed my hand flat against my head, holding it there until a watery substance ran down my arm.

I was afraid to move my hand, afraid of blood gushing from my brain, but when I pried my fingers away, it was only sweat, covering every crease of my palm. …

July, 2010.

My husband and I drove the roads of rural Washington, meandering past rose gardens and long grass that bent beneath the sun. The Cascades rose in the distance, casting shadows over the valley. I lay my head back, imagining the highway as an old dusty road, carrying families to church, and the local general store. Now it was busy, two lanes of noisy trucks and cars, their intoxicating smells drowning out an otherwise quiet community.

In the distance, I saw a fruit stand. “Can we stop?” I asked.

“Of course,” Randy replied.

As we waited to turn, Randy tapped his wedding ring against the steering wheel to a made-up of ‘life is good.’ He looked over and smiled his large crooked grin, the same grin I had fallen in love with twenty-seven years before. …

Brush Strokes and a Brain Injury

In the corner of my study, a large canvas leans against an easel. Swirls and brush-marks, soft shades of yellow and gray, dark splotches filling empty spaces.

You can find me in front of a canvas, usually on stressful days, pulling bottles of paints from a big box, removing piles of brushes I’ve accrued over the years.

I’ve always loved art, which is why, in my last house, a craft room was created for me. …


Vicki Nelson

Brain injury survivor. Writing my story in tiny clips, sporadic moments that stood out amongst the rest. Captivated by true stories.

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