Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Prayers For A Great Friend

Austin has been connected to our family pretty much from the day he was born, yet we didn't know until Mono and I each met him… My family did not know him that long, nor did Mono's, but my sister-in-law's family has, as well as two of Mono's cousins. Mono and I both met Austin 7 years ago. My family met him when we moved to Alabama in July. Mono met him when he moved to Alabama a few months later in December. Mono and Austin became really good friends from then on. They even traveled to Europe together and had a blast. I love hearing their stories and looking at the pictures from those days.
When it came time to choose groomsmen for our wedding, Austin was a no-brainer. Just as sure as he wanted his brother as his best man, he was sure he wanted Austin as one of his groomsmen. And a groomsman he was! Big smile all day long and brought some great Austin fun to the day! In fact, he (and Mono) was the only one that did a "fun" entrance while being introduced to the guests at our reception. And when my Mom was choosing who she wanted to walk her down the aisle, I asked her, "Who do you think you'd like to walk you down, Mom?" Very confidently she said, "I'd like Austin, Mare." And I smiled, in perfect agreement.
We all lived here in Alabama for years, and then Austin went on and moved away to take some classes at a college up north. Still keeping in touch, but unable to see each other often, he and Gus stayed great friends. We met up in Miami a few summers ago and whenever he was passing through to visit his family in Florida, we'd try to catch a visit… or at least the guys would. And then of course at our wedding, we were able to visit.
On Saturday, June 16th, I called Mami while we were driving in the car and before we ended our conversation, she broke the news to me. And then I had to break the news to Mono. Austin had been in a very bad accident at the beach in Daytona Beach, Florida. He was visiting there with his parents and some family, and before they had even been there twenty minutes, Austin was caught in a wave wrong and hit a sandbar and lost all feeling from the neck down. His uncle had to drag him out of the water and he was rushed to the nearest hospital. He did not break his neck, but had severe injury to his C2/3/4 vertebrae. He stayed in the hospital in Florida, underwent two surgeries and was then flown to a top notch rehab facility in Atlanta. We were very happy to hear he was being sent there, for two reasons… first and most importantly, he is going to be receiving the best care for recovery and two, he's close by so we can go visit when he is up to it! For now he has to use all of his energy in rehab. He still has no movement, but he has good sensation and muscle tone. As Mono says, he is truly going to win the world record for the most prayers being said for on person! So many people love him, are there to support him and offer all the prayers they can! I ask you to do the same. Please keep him and his recovery in your prayers, as well as his family. This is very hard on them as well. Like I said, his parents were there when he had the accident, but his two sisters immediately went down from Virginia to be with him. One is still with him and the other had to return home to get back to work. She'll be able to return soon for a nice visit. I know he loves having them there!
To be honest, I don't think Mono could have a better friend. Austin is a man of God; his Faith is lived openly, day in and day out. His smile is contagious and lights up a whole room. He has a personality that you can't help but love and remember. He is a trusted and good friend. I'm happy Mono has such a good choice in friends!

Please, please keep him in your prayers!!

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