By: Tonya Stevenson
I could write a dozen stories of the many simple blessing of our busy lives this last two weeks. As each rushing day comes to a close, the shadows fall, we stop and rest to resume tomorrow’s run. I could tell of going fishing with my daughter’s family for my birthday; or of helping our son gather two high pastures then driving the steers twelve miles over the mountains on a beautiful fall day; another daughter’s ranch rodeo finals; keeping my three grandchildren (ages 4 to 1); two old treasured friends who walked back into my life this week. God fills our lives with so many blessings every day. To me, the best have to do with relationships. Relationship with God and the special people he has placed in our lives.
How good God is to us that the one thing we can take into eternity is those we love. Often busyness pulls our focus from the presently vaporizing treasures of loved ones. Life has a way of knocking us up alongside the head, bringing priorities to focus. This last week dealt us such a blow.
A few weeks ago, I wrote a story about how God had brought a wonderful young man (Taylor), into our lives, who married our niece. They now live near my son, Lane’s family. Taylor and Lane often do their ranch work together, as well as go to church and Bible studies. They too have become very close. Taylor has just woven his way into the fabric of our families in so many wonderful ways.
Last Wednesday night, as we were walking out to go to my sister’s house for a Bible study, my husband’s phone announced a text from her husband. Before he could read the text, a call rang from Lane. Both told us the same thing…Taylor had crashed his motorcycle while helping his dad on their ranch. He was being helicoptered to the hospital. Tennie, leaving their two small children, drove 60+ miles by herself to be by Taylor’s side. Tennie’s parents rushed to join them. For all of Taylor’s family, life now centers on a small ICU room.
He is busted up in his upper torso, his face bruised, some swelling and bleeding on the brain. Praise God, his spinal cord was not damaged. One of the first big concerns, his oxygen was so low when they found him. He had probably lain there over an hour. Though he was unconscious, they sedated him, shoved a breathing tube down his throat, and inserted IV’s.
The elephant in the room… how is he mentally? They backed off the sedation Thursday morning to try to wake him up. He began to squeeze Tennie’s hand. Thursday night as he opened one eye, he panicked, biting down on the tube, and lapsed into respiratory failure. They almost lost him. Again they sedated him, this time inserting a pick.
Early Saturday morning they stopped sedation. Last night he seemed agitated, this morning he is calm. He has not regained consciousness. His oxygen is better now.
We wait. We pray.
Tennie muses, “I am not used to being on this side of it.”
We call her our miracle girl, twice we nearly lost her from horse accidents. God intervened miraculously on our behalf.
Brittany (another niece) and her husband Tyler came up. Tyler was bucked off a horse fracturing his neck and causing his brain to bleed in June. He spent five days in the hospital before resuming work. Though, he remembers nothing for more than two weeks after the accident. When in the eighth grade he survived a kick in the head which left him unconscious for eleven days.
Randy (Otie’s brother) just came through another brain surgery to remove a tumor and is to be released today.
I could go on… God has been gracious too many times to count.
Are we invincible? No! We’ve also know the other side, losing our loved ones in their youth and prime. We know God is good. We have promises, gracious promises for eternity. However, we have no promise from scripture that God will raise Taylor to be Tennie’s husband, Revada and Spade’s dad now. We do hope.
God has promised he will be a husband and a Father to the fatherless, that he will never leave us nor forsake us. He is faithful. We pray that whatever he chooses we will be faithful also.
Update: It has been eleven days now since Taylor’s accident. He had another setback with the breathing tube so they replaced with a tracheotomy. His feeding tube has been surgically transferred from his nose into his stomach. Taylor opens his eyes, but he does not really engage in eye contact. He has taken Tennies’ hand and signed to her he loves her. He recognizes his daughter and reaches for her hand. His back is broken, though not misplaced, so he will need to wear a brace for three months. He moves himself in his bed, but cannot hold up his head or sit by himself. Honestly it is hard to see him like this still. However, tonight the nurse said that he is doing amazing for what they expected. They are hoping to transfer him for physical therapy this week. Today they moved him out of ICU.
Brave, little Tennie stays by his side, with a smile, trusting God’s hand on their lives. They have been blessed with so many filling the waiting rooms to visit. Many more are praying. They do have a long road so a fund has been set up on their behalf for anyone who feels led to help. Thank you.
Attn: Taylor Cowbell benefit fundMake checks out to: Taylor Cowdell First INTERSTATE BankPO Box 1307, Laramie, WY. 82073