December 2nd Scott planned to go to a national forrest not far from where we live in North East Georgia to cut fire wood. We didn't actually have the wood stove yet, but we had one lined up on craigslist and he wanted to use his day off get ready for it. Whatever it is about men that makes them love dirt and destruction was in Scott too (and now his son).
Monday night I was getting ready for class the next day. At the time I was teaching English as a second language part time. I remember that we watched part of a sermon online and then I went to bed before Scott. The next morning I was running late and asked him to help me get the kids ready so I could take them to my mom's before ESL class. I dressed Simeon and he dressed Eliya. I remember what he put on her that day. He helped us out to the car, still in his p.j.s, and after a quick kiss goodbye he went back to bed and I hurried off to class. My phone had completely stopped working the day before and I wasn't able to call him on break like I normally did. I got to my mom's after classes around 2:30 pm. I called Scott around 3:15pm on my mom's phone and we discussed when he would be home. I had one night class a week and Scott was always off Tuesday nights. I asked him to be home around 5 and he said 5:30. We playfully went back and forth and he said, "okay see you at 5:30" just before we hung up. I needed to be at class by6:30 that night.
I stayed at my mom's a little longer and just got home a little before 5pm myself. I wasn't concerned at all that Scott wasn't there yet. By 5:45 I was anxious because I didn't want to be late and I was feeding the kids dinner. I was trying to get completely ready so when he got home I could just walk out of the door and be on time for class. We had a phone line in the house, but not an actual phone. I literally had no way to call him. I remembered that I used to text him from email to his phone when I was in China before we were married so I tried that a few times. As 6pm neared, I was getting nervous because it was getting dark outside and didn't think he would be out this late. By 6:15 I e-mail texted a student to say I wouldn't be at class on time. I became very concerned and remember telling the Lord that if he came home, I wouldn't be upset at all that he was so late, I'd just be so happy to see him. I felt so helpless without a way to even call anyone, and WHO would I call anyway. I e-mailed Scott's brother asking him to call Scott. I looked up the sherrif's number and e mailed it to my mom. I had no one to help with the kids and I was afraid if I left the house to go look for him, that he'd come home and I'd miss him. I was completely helpless and kept asking the Lord to help.
Finally, my mom and aunt (I think, can't really remember) arrived and by this time, she had heard from someone that they had found him and he was on a medi-flight to a hospital in South Carolina. All they said was that we should come. It was an hour and a half drive there. I had no idea what had happened and they wouldn't give any clues.
We arrived and immediately they let me go see him. I was told that he was hypothermic and that he had a major head trauma. From what they could tell, a tree fell on him while he was cutting. Because of the pressure on his brain, they were going to do surgery as soon as they could get his body temperature up. His head was wrapped, his color was off and he looked a little puffy; but it by no means looked like he was near death. He had all the machines and ventilators going. I only got to be with him for a few minutes when they said it was time for surgery.
After that, they took me to a place to get his stuff and sign forms. I really don't remember how much later it was when the surgeon came to tell me that he did the best he could and we would have to wait and see. I asked him to give me a percentage of possibility and he said Scott might have a 5% chance of survival. The way I saw it, if God wanted Scott to live, that number was meaningless anyway.
That was the longest night of my life. I didn't know how to hope or what to pray. I knew if I heard God say that he would sustain Scott's life, I could believe it confidentally. I asked for His life to be kept to bring glory to God, because it would take God for him to survive...but I knew the only things I could pray confidentally was that God's will would be done.
Morning came and he wasn't any better, but he wasn't any worse either. I remember playing Jason Upton's song "In Your Presence" for him, not sure if he could hear or not. Sometime mid morning they took him for a brain wave test that showed if there was any activity and there wasn't. After praying over him several more times, I was told I needed to say goodbye. Almost all of his organs were used to give the hope of life to others.
I left the hospital Wednesday night realizing that life as I knew it would forever be changed. That night I slept alone in "our" bed knowing that on this side of eternity, I had already had all of my "lasts" with Scott.
In a world where everything changes, I have learned how to lean into a God who NEVER changes. Although I had walked with the Lord for more than a decade, my need for Him ushered in an awareness of His presence. I have found there is fullness of joy in His presence and His nearness is my good. (Psalm 16:11, Psalm 73:28)