Do yourself a favor and go read Jen Hatmaker's book "For the Love".
However, if you want to hear a story about a really bad day, and you and your family often jump off cliffs into water, or you just want your family to STOP jumping off cliffs into water, read this story, and feel free to share it.
If you haven't followed the saga of Tyler Holt (my son in law, whom I love to the moon and beyond) this year, he has had a tough year. He's had to have his gallbladder out, his appendix out, and passed a couple of kidney stones. It's not been his year when it comes to health issues.
So, imagine, if you will, when presented with an opportunity to have some down time and go to the lake with two friends and hang out, and just "be".... you have to know that he was ON BOARD.
All I know is October 3, that whole week, has not been a good week for our family as a whole, for about the last 8 years or so. Something ALWAYS happens that week. Weird, significant stuff happens. God always has it, and gets us through it, but this week, Lacey and I hold our breath until the 10th rolls around.
5:15ish October 5th, my phone rings and it is Lacey. Not too worried picking that call up, because we normally converse every day about that time. Today though I'm met with, "Tyler told me not to panic, which makes me really panic, but he's at the lake and he was cliff jumping and he has messed up his foot". All in one, long, punctuated with terror, sentence.
I'm still processing "At the lake", thinking "Do I remember knowing he was going somewhere?" and then immediately thinking of my friend, Kelley Jones Chlouber, and her older brother Jeff, diving off the cliffs at Eufaula, and breaking his neck and dying. Gone, in one fun, thrill seeking second. Unbelievable.
So I ask her, "Slow down, NOW WHAT?" and apparently, he and 2 friends ran to Eufaula to work on one of the guys lake house, and decide to take a break and go fish. No poles later, they end up stripping to their undies and start first on the rope swing, jumping into the water, and then for the ultimate thrill pleasure, deciding to jump off the cliffs (just a bit over).
Now these are NOT our knuckleheads, but a picture I found on the internet, so everyone will know what we are talking about here.
The three of them stood on the cliff before they jumped, two of them trying to decide if they were going to dive (OMG, let's not even think about that outcome), or who was going first, when my son in law, ran smack passed them, yelling "This is only going to be fun once", followed with "I'm FIRST" and off he goes.........
At 6'7 and 200 pounds, at that velocity of speed from 60 feet up, I'm not good at physics, but I can tell you the force you hit the water will be pretty stupid significant.
Even worse when the lake is low, and the rocks are not near as deep as they used to be. He can only describe it as searing pain and horrific blood all around him. He came out of the water, and the guys thought he had first hit his head (it was bleeding) must have projected him back into something, he yells, (still in shock).. "Get me out of here, I'm attracting sharks".
The guys are running down the hill to get to him, and he is desperately trying to paddle (with his injured foot "Flapping skin") to the edge. Thank goodness he was with Hercules and Thor, because between the two of those big guys, they managed to piggy back his huge butt to the car, and load him up to take him to Stigler Hospital.
This is all we know at home. "On my way to the hospital to have them stitch up my foot, going to Stigler hospital, because it is closest".
With my heart beating out of my mouth and chest, I google Stigler Hospital to see where it is and what people have reviewed about it,
And I kid you not.....this is what it said....
Not wanting to ALARM Lacey, (who is group texting Kip, her dad and I every detail), I say, "We need to make a plan to get him out of there, can we medi-flight him to OKC?" not knowing that Tyler and co. have made their way to that ER and already know they have to get out of there ASAP.
Now what I am about to show you is gruesome and gross, but I feel so strongly about cliff jumping in general, after people getting hurt and losing Jeff, that I am going to show this, because please, If you value and love your family.... don't let them cliff dive. Ever. And I'm thankful to God above that he JUMPED, and did NOT dive (as his buddies were about to do).
Again, warning......queamish people do not go any further than this sentence.
They sent me this picture and I was like. I am going to cut off his good leg and beat him to death with it.
They sent me this picture and my next thought was, "I am going to smack that face off his body, next time I see him".
Then, I got over the initial shock and anger and panic set in. He could lose this foot. If they don't get the debris out and infection sets in, he could lose it.
Muscle, tendons, nerves, all the way to the bone, severed. Unbelievably, his bones are not broken.
They transported him by ambulance to Tulsa, and a top notch surgeon got hold of him and stitched him up (3 hours), and told Lacey how incredibly lucky he was.
"However, if he doesn't stay off of it, and mind EVERY THING I SAY, he will lose his foot".
I think he has way too much pain meds in this picture (still joking around), but this is as he is leaving Stigler, heading to Tulsa.
People, life can change in an instant. I take for granted EVERY SINGLE DAY that I'm good.
We all do.
Tyler's guardian angels have taken a leave of absence for the next 6 weeks, (while he is on strict bed rest) to recover from their heroic efforts in keeping him in one piece. I am thankful for those guardian angels. I can't allow myself to think of what could have been.
Lacey and Tyler have no idea (but are seeing it first hand), how incredibly loved and adored they are. They are home now, with Tyler going back to Tulsa end of week for doc to change bandages and make sure healing is going as planned.
Tyler has a tendency to spike a fever in the evenings and be pretty miserable and sick. I would just ask everyone to please continue to pray for him daily, that he handles being "Still", that the meds keep the infection far from his foot, and that the pain doesn't become unbearable as more time passes. His toes were very swollen to me today, and we elevated his foot some more and that seemed to help. It's just a jacked up deal, yo.
Here's what I know to be true, though.... and Tyler will agree 110%.....
Friends don't let friends jump from cliffs. EVER.