I’m not sure why I have put off writing this post for so long…I said I would do it not too long after Alex’s accident and then every time I sit down to type it all out, I don’t know, I’m just overwhelmed. I am probably still in a state of shock, trying to grasp that this young, gorgeous, smart & active individual is now trying to recover from a severe brain injury.
I, along with my whole family, have been blown away by how many people genuinely care and are praying for her. It’s amazing, really. So many of you were right there, encouraging us along when Dad has his accident, and now here you are, supporting again. Thank you.
First of all, let me just lay out the “family dynamics” for those of you who don’t know our family. I have referred to Alex as my sister throughout this whole thing–and she is. While technically she is my stepsister, I have long hated the word step since it seems to carry along with it negative connotations (at least in my mind). I had this fear some who knew me might not give my sadness over her accident as much merit since she isn’t my full-blooded sister, etc. At the same time, I would never want to place myself in a situation where people think Alex & I are best friends. We have our own kind of relationship, just not one where we talk on the phone or chat about life every day 🙂
Enter “family dynamics” chart:
Kevin with children Audrey, Adam Christian, Abby & Alex marries my mom, mother of me, Ali & Adam David. Got it? A regular ole Brady Bunch if you will, established in 1998. Alex was 8 years old when Mom & Kevin got married–the same age as my Zoe, and she’s the youngest of our crazy bunch. We were two separate families, both coming into this new family with our own set of hurts. Us as children from a divorce, them as children whose mother, Michele, had died in a car accident. I’ll be honest in saying there were many times I felt the “step” part of our family, meaning it was hard. Yet over time, they began to feel like siblings to me. I cannot imagine my life without them; I feel like God has blessed me so much in this. It’s so funny to think about–Audrey, Adam & I rode the school bus together back in the day, Aud & I cheered together! There was no way I could’ve ever known when I heard about their mom dying they would one day become family of mine. But God has a funny way sometimes so now here we sit.
Mom was here at our house when Kevin called her to say Alex had been life flighted to Wichita following a horse accident (she was going to college @ Fort Hays, that’s why she went to Wichita). The whole moment is such a blur; I felt like the wind had been knocked out of me. I was trying to grasp what was going on, the kids were crying, Mom rushing out the door in a panic. It’s still so unimaginable. I called BJ at youth group, he rushed home and said we were going to Wichita to see her. I was literally trying to figure out what we would find out once we got there; Mom & Kevin were already on the road and still no one knew ANYTHING. It was horrible. We left the kids with dear friends of ours, picked up Ali & Ashley and headed out.
We heard along the way Alex had arrived at the hospital and was alive but still unconscious. We entered into a waiting room where already so many were gathering–Obviously Kevin & Mom, Abby, Edward Lee & Laura, Alex’s rodeo coach & wife, a few friends, Aunt Patty & Uncle Glen, Kim & Tim Ohls, Robin & Lyndsey (right??)…I can’t remember who else. Adam David left to come not long after we left Pleasanton, Adam Christian was driving from Texas, and Audrey was on a cruise with her husband so we were trying to get a hold of her.
Many of you have asked exactly what happened so here’s the short story: Alex is on the rodeo team at Hays, she’s been riding horses for as long as I’ve known her. She & her friend Sam had gone riding in the pasture, I think Sam said they were about 1/2 mile out. Alex’s horse Eazy basically died out from under her (heart attack, maybe, we’re not 100% sure). Eazy fell to the side and knocked Alex to the ground and she hit her head. She was knocked unconscious, the horse was on her leg. Sam could not get Alex out from underneath the horse so she road back to the arena where she got the assistant rodeo coach and they came back to Alex who was still unconscious. I’m not sure when they called 911, Abby, etc. I know the decision was made to not have an ambulance try to get to her because the snow had been melting and it would’ve been muddy so they called a life flight instead–such a God thing considering she needed to be taken to Wichita.
At this point, days start running into one another. I can only speak for BJ & I personally, but we were thinking for awhile we were just waiting for her to wake up. When we left to come back home on Tuesday sometime, she was still unconscious and we didn’t have any answers. On Wed. morning they did her MRI and the doctors informed the family Alex had a diffuse axonal injury. I had never even heard of that, but you can google it and find out more than you ever hoped you’d have to hear in your lifetime. Not good. The Lord worked it out to have some precious church members of ours to be at the hospital when the news was broken to the family. As the time approached for the MRI results and doctors were making their rounds, I finally broke down for real for the first time. I was in our bathroom while they kids watched TV, I had the door shut and was crying out to God, begging Him for Alex’s life to be restored. When they relayed the MRI results to me, I felt such deep, intense sadness but it wasn’t overpowering, either. I am still very hopeful God will continue to restore her and use her even though the “odds” are stacked against her.
Then again, what were the odds that a man could be crucified on a cross and raised from the dead three days later?? This is the God we’re clinging to for hope and restoration of Alex.
Tonight we are hours away from being three weeks out from her injury. She has made progress, God’s glory has abounded and yet I am so very heavy hearted. Not because of my belief or lack of faith but for the reality of her situation right now. I know God can do whatever He wants to do with Alex, with all of us for that matter. But tonight, two parents are watching in agony their daughter in a helpless state. I can relate to what they are going to as far as my mind & heart will allow but the truth is, I have never had a child in Alex’s situation and so I cannot even imagine their pain. Questions and concerns can be consuming and I’m praying Jesus will give them the strength to see them through this trial.
Tonight I have three siblings whom I love to the depths of my soul who are dealing with tragedy in their lives not for the first, but for a second time. I am so aware of the unfairness of it all and my heart aches for them. Yet I’m watching them cling to Jesus. I’ve seen Adam Christian step into a role I wish I’d never had to see him in but I am so very, very proud. He was (and is) a rock to Kevin & Mom, a voice for Alex and to all of us as to what was going on with her.
So right now I feel heavy & hopeful all in the same moment. My thoughts & emotions are equal to our a family: a hodge podge!
Thank you so much for your prayers for Alex. Please, I beg you, don’t stop. We are believing God for James 5:15 a which says, “And the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up.”
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