Colorado never gets the memo about spring till around Mother’s Day — if it doesn’t snow on Mother’s Day itself, which it has done before.
I’m not bitter about it AT ALL.
Just the same, it’s not unusual for me to see a small creature scampering in the woods or along a path during April’s “spring-winter.” You can bet the little guy has weighed the pros and cons of being seen. In my own corner of the Colorado pines, I don’t often see chipmunks this time of year because the chipmunk leans towards sleeping more to conserve energy so his tiny self outlasts our long winter. In his underground home, his heartbeat can go from 350 beats a minute to a barely-there fifteen beats. On a warmer day he might risk being seen by an owl or a fox (or you and me) to check his storehouses of seeds and nuts. But all in all, he will err on the side of resting rather than rummaging.
The cottontail rabbit, on the other hand, leans toward activity. From my office window or the nearby trail, I’m more likely to see her darting about. She regularly monitors and practices the three or four escape routes between her food source — twigs and branches good for chewing — and her hollowed-out space for resting. Long ears bent flat across her back, she’ll likely wait for dusk to zig-zag sprint across the snow toward her food before dashing home again.
Both the chipmunk and cottontail are mighty apt at risk management, and what seems like the best course of action one day may not be so the next.
I don’t often think of myself as having much in common with critters, but I too have discovered that in risk management, what works one day may not work the next. This is never truer than when a circumstance or life occurrence you never saw coming runs right into you.
You shake your head and think, I never, ever could’ve predicted this in a hundred million years.
Of course, none of us could’ve predicted a global pandemic. But pandemic aside, I bet you can think of another time when this very thing happened to you or your family. I know I can. As my family prepared for our future to take a turn in one direction, a change only God saw coming threw us in the other, and all my forethought and “responsible planning” didn’t amount to a hill of beans. None of us asked for or wanted this outcome, but it was what we had.
I wrote more about this at my second online home, (in)courage, but I’d also like to tell you about one of our family’s dearest friends who met this reality in a way few of us have.
On the morning of March 8th, 2021, our friend, Ryan, suddenly lost all feeling and control from mid-chest down as well as in his hands. Doctors at CUHealth Anschutz Medical Hospital in Denver, Colorado, were able to pinpoint that Ryan suffered a spinal stroke causing paralysis, as a result of a clot settling somewhere between his C5 and T2 vertebrae. At this time, doctors can’t explain why it happened, but they still hope to learn so they can best know how to prevent another spinal stroke from occurring.
With spinal strokes, once the injury occurs, the injury is generally there to stay. The chances of returning to his previous level of function have been explored, but it’s too early at this time to determine how much, if any, ability he may regain. At this time, Ryan is undergoing both rehab and physical therapy in the spinal cord unit at the VA hospital in Denver under a team of extraordinary doctors and staff. Nonetheless, it is a challenging road to recovery—however that takes shape.
In the meantime, friends of ours as well as my husband and I would like to be able to help Ryan, his wife Rebecca, and their family defray the many costs following this spinal stroke, especially since this is a time of reduced household income. These costs include but aren’t limited to:
· Outfitting Ryan and Rebecca’s home for needs regarding Ryan’s limited mobility.
· An outfitted vehicle that’s wheelchair accessible.
· Travel costs between the hospital, rehab center, and home.
· Home services, such as cleaning and lawncare, that is more difficult to complete at this time.
· In-home nursing care.
Ryan, a veteran who served in our United States Air Force for 20 years, was deployed twice to the Middle East during his career and to several other locations as well. He has spent a lifetime giving not only to this country, but to his family, his neighborhood, and his community through active participation in many different church and local organizations. A giver with a servant’s heart by nature, Ryan has done much to be a source of hope and encouragement to others. Through this Go-Fund-Me page, we hope to give a small measure of that back to him in return.
Ryan does have medical insurance, but it is not comprehensive for an injury such as this and will not cover necessary modifications needed to get him back home, which will hopefully occur early summer. Our fundraising total takes this into account as well as the realities of financial hardship brought on by Ryan’s inability to work at this time and Rebecca’s reduced availability to work (Rebecca is a preschool teacher at a Colorado Springs school) while Ryan recovers.
The needs listed above and several more are on Ryan and Rebecca’s own dime, and they cost a staggeringly WHOLE LOTTA DIMES.
If you’re able to donate, we’re more grateful than you know. If you’re able to pray and share this page with other folks who may want to contribute, we’re more grateful than you know. Ryan and Rebecca are so dear to so many of us, and your kindness in joining us as we rally around them during this difficult change is dearly appreciated, too.