Till the Cows Come Home: One Man's Story of Triumph Over Adversity and 48 Years of Life After Traumatic Brain Injury
For those of us who sometimes feel that the light at the end of the tunnel really is an oncoming train, J.T. Blakemore is living proof that we don't have to simply stand on the tracks and be run down. This is the story of a man who faces down a great deal of adversity and lives to tell the tale.
In 1963, J.T. took an ill-advised ride in a '59 Hot Rod Chevy and regained consciousness twenty-eight days later. He was 21 years old. "You might say I threw my life away for a dozen cans of beer. My bell was rung really well, and I've had one I gigantic hangover ever since. The prognosis was simple: brain damage. The effects were not so simple. Not by a long shot."
J.T.'s past provides him with the tools he needs to meet the challenges of learning to walk, talk, and see all over again. The product of a tempestuous couple who met and married on the same day, J.T.'s often humorous journey from orphanage to U.S. Marines and beyond teaches him that adversity is a fact of life. His unflinching description of his ongoing recovery and his unique insights into the thought processes of someone with "drain bamage" will be uncharted territory for most readers, but well worth the trip. In spite of his many obstacles, this consummate storyteller is one of the most positive, enthusiastic men you will ever meet.
"Damage to my big USMC pride would be an ongoing occurrence. On more than one occasion, I have found myself, for no apparent reason, sitting squarely on my posterior. But I have learned two positive things about falling. First: getting back on my feet has become easier with every fall. Second: living with embarrassment won't kill you."
His belief in "patient, prayerful, persistent perseverance" and an unflappable faith in God have served him well during his unusual journey. He has gone on to earn several college degrees, meet and marry his wife, and raise two equally strong and determined children. At first glance, you might think he's just an average guy.
Till the Cows Come Home is an inspiring account of triumph over adversity -- the sort of triumph that J.T. sincerely believes could be achieved by anyone of us if we have faith, a healthy sense of humor, and (although he never comes right out and says it) a certain level of practicality.
"I have had to learn to accept the fact that everything is constantly changing, and, in many cases, remains different and difficult. That sounds almost normal. Doesn't it?"
J.T. Blakemore is a remarkable man and after reading this book I feel like I know him. This factual account does not include only the after affects of learning to live with a traumatic brain injury. J.T. already had an interesting life history before that tragic accident ever happened and he shares it here.
This account is written in a matter of fact way, not over emotional, not seeking sympathy. J.T fully admits he was not always easy to get along with during his recovery and that he has issues to this day. This was an honest look at one man's struggle to recover. 4 out of 5 stars from me.
I received a complimentary copy for review.