The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Catching up with the resilient Brittany Kanmore

 

February 5, 2020

Betty Williamson

Brittany Kanmore with her nephew, Braxton Park.

A year after the accident that almost took Brittany Kanmore's life and landed her on many local prayer lists, I caught up with this resilient young woman over coffee to hear about how she's doing now.

There is plenty of good news to share.

This ambitious 21-year-old is in her final semester of classes at Clovis Community College, working part time in Clovis, and preparing to open a business of her own in Portales come the end of May.

"Everything happens for a reason," she said Friday morning at Sweetwater's at Landall's, the Portales shop where she was working until Jan. 31, 2019.

That's the day she was involved in a collision west of Clovis - an accident that changed her life and the lives of her whole family.

Kanmore is adamant about using the word "accident" when she looks back to that day.

"It was an accident," she stresses, "not a wreck. Accidents happen all the time."

Although she is not an official employee at the coffee shop, Kanmore is still right at home there, comfortably ducking behind the counter to fill her water bottle and make her own drink.

"People who see me here say I'm either a very confident customer or someone who works here," she says with a grin. "I love this place."

When she walked in to meet me, two people from a nearby table recognized her and came over to say hello. Neither had met her in person before, but both had been among the thousand or so folks who followed her story online for the past year.

In the nine months she's been back in her home community, encounters like this are common, although they took some getting used to.

"At first I hated even going to Walmart," she said, "but now I love the encounters. People I don't know come up to me and say, 'Can I have a hug?' and I say, 'You sure can!'"

Before she embarked on her unexpected medical journey, Kanmore was a student in Clovis Community College's cosmetology program.

Her education took a detour with the accident and accompanying traumatic brain injury, but she's right back on track again with a May 8 graduation date written in ink on the calendar.

After that, she plans to open her own business - a full-service salon - in Portales with a name that her followers will recognize in an instant: All the Love: Brittany's Beauty Bar.

"All the love" became an immediate catch phrase for Brittany's family and friends last Jan. 31. She had those three words tattooed on the inside of her right lower arm shortly before the accident.

"I always say you deserve all the love this life has to offer," she said, explaining the origin.

She's not sure who first had the idea to take that phrase and turn it into a "hashtag," but "#allthelove" was soon on bumper stickers and bracelets and t-shirts being sold in fundraisers to benefit the Kanmore family.

"I still get to see them all over town," she said. "It will forever mean so much to me and just warms my little heart."

Although she's missing nearly a half-years' worth of memories (from about three months before the accident until more than two months after), Kanmore is nothing but grateful for where she is now.

She's no longer doing any kind of therapy, takes no medications, can drive solo again, and is living on her own next door to her sister, Ashley Park.

"Her own space with a safety net," is how Park describes it.

"I don't want to say I'm full-time adulting," Kanmore says, "but I'm trying."

Friday evening - one year to the day after the accident - the extended Kanmore family was gathered again for a much happier occasion.

They were in the Dora school gymnasium enjoying homecoming festivities and watching Brittany's almost-7-year-old nephew, Braxton, carry the crown for the school's homecoming queen.

"I missed Braxton's birthday last year," Kanmore said, tears in her eyes. "There is nothing better than the fact that I get to be here with my family."

Betty Williamson loves living in an "#allthelove" kind of community. Reach her at:

[email protected]

 
 

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