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Austin’s Trauma Anniversary


Sunlight streamed into our bedroom. Birds chirped brightly outside, and Buddy the cat pushed his way close between my husband and me. Morning snuggles kept me in that zone between blessed slumber and harsh awakening.

Suddenly the bright light rudely invaded my sleepy eyes, and I flung the blankets over my head. No success sinking back into my dreams–time to face the day.

No sooner had I emerged from the blanket did the realization hit me. April 4. One year.

Goodness, awe, thanksgiving, and praise whispered through my mind even as the bitter churning of stress, trauma, horror and complete emptiness returned full force. That happens every time I think back to what happened one year ago.

My mind swelled to nearly bursting with prayers, over and over, pouring my heart out to our God. Out of the impossible circumstances, Austin survived, and one year later, he’s doing amazingly well. Shockingly well.

I still stand in awe.


Austin has recovered. You and so many have prayed for this. We are forever grateful. Not everyone survives; we are fully aware of that.

Throughout this past year, our family has watched and walked with Austin through his recovery. Now, on his one year trauma anniversary, the main ways you’d know of Austin’s accident would be the scars on his legs, a slight less ability to work out his right arm and shoulder, and some residual deep pain on occasion where they placed rods in his right leg.

So, a year later, he can definitely feel that he went through his accident, but it is not holding him back from life. He’s gone through months of therapy, grueling at times, and pressed on. He’s put one foot in front of the other and done his part, but mostly we recognize the fact that God stepped in.

That’s Austin.

His trauma anniversary is no big deal to him. That’s what he’ll say. I suspect he feels otherwise, but there’s that whole tough guy image to keep up.

I, on the other hand, have no such image to maintain. Let me just tell you, when you go through something like this as a mother, it does something to you. I realize that I was not the person injured, yet my heart lost a piece of itself when I answered the call telling me of Austin’s accident.

God held me together, he held my husband and other boys, and we made it through with the help of God, prayer, and many friends, many of whom are unknown.

I will not lie. That accident changed me. When all was said and done, Austin alive and kicking, past surgeries, chest tube and vent removals, and past the worst of the onslaught, I fell apart. Like two weeks after the accident.

Once we got Austin settled into the rehab facility where I knew he’d be safe, I lost it. Physically, mentally, emotionally. I cried and cried, a deep well that would not stop.

Greg held me, we clung together, and I let go of the extreme stress, mental burden, and fear that I’d been holding. I didn’t completely let go of the heartache from watching our eldest son work through the pain, numbness, and loss of function, but I was able to loosen the grip a little, with him in the care of experts.

Over the past year, I’ve felt the pain of letting go more, as Austin felt his need to exert his independence. He didn’t want me accompanying him to dr visits anymore, once he could drive and walk better. That stung at first, but it’s part of life, and twenty-year old young men don’t want mama tagging along, for some reason.

For the 1 year trauma anniversary, my heart overflows with gratitude. Austin is alive, God gave him another chance at life, and we pray earnestly that he will allow God to lead this life of his.

PTSD is real.

While Austin initially denied flashbacks or other indications of PTSD, he now, when I asked him at this one year trauma anniversary, told me that he sometimes does have flashbacks. He also still has some pain, even a year out. It’s not something he will admit to normally.

I have occasionally experienced some as the mom. A couple months after the accident, our middle son, Andrew got the job of digging the lines for our propane tank. With an excavator.

Everything was running smoothly, but suddenly at one point, I was shaking, crying, and reliving the event of Austin’s trauma.

I had to leave the scene, pray for strength, and explain my reaction. It was just flashbacks, even though I’d not been at the first accident site.

All I could see was Austin’s broken body, bruises and tubes everywhere, as the laundry list of injuries clanged through my head.

Andrew was fine, but I had to pray through that moment.

Even now, at the year mark of the trauma anniversary, I get a visceral reaction to really considering what happened. With that reaction, I also get the immediate sense of God’s extreme goodness. His intervention, and His love.

I am so humbled.

I am so truly, truly thankful.

I never think about Austin’s accident without weeping, pleading still for his life–his eternal life.

“God, hear! Hear the cry of this mother’s heart! Not just for Austin. For our other boys and their lives. But don’t stop there. Let the circle widen. Work in the hearts of their friends for their good and for salvation. Don’t let this injury and your intervention be a thing that is wasted. Do whatever it takes to save these young people. But, I plead, let it not be by the skin of their teeth, but let them go all in. Do a mighty thing and use these young people to reach others for you.”

This is my prayer.

Let it be so.

Young man catching ball
Austin on Easter Sunday.

For anyone who does not know what happened to Austin, I have a whole section of my blog dedicated to the injury and his progress, written from the hospital by his side. Those are bittersweet memories, born out of raw emotion and desperation.

Please visit this page on this blog. Austin’s Recovery

Those blog posts go from most recent to oldest, so scroll to the beginning page to read the reports in order.

I’d probably start here with this brief article, then get more detail in the next post, including the link to the Facebook post where I poured most of the details from the start. I guess the Facebook post would give the most detail, then follow the blog posts through the process of recovery. ❤️‍🩹

God is good.

Recklessly good.

Family in field with three young men and parents
Our family. Austin in dark blue.

8 Replies

  1. I remember this day a year ago! I can’t imagine the pain you went through watching Adam go through so much pain. God was definitely by his and your side.

  2. The thousands of emotions that inundate you when you get that phone call…I still remember quite vividly.
    Praise the Lord Austin is alive and thriving!
    And amen to your prayer!

  3. The pain is so real and intense when it is your own. You have gone through a miracle, many of them!
    It’s so nice that you have all the support around you!

  4. Praise the Lord for his recovery! It is hard to believe that it has already been a year. Truly God has healed him. I love that he is living and enjoying life!

What is your experience? 💜 I read every comment, and so many times I find that I gain encouragement from what’s shared. ❤️