God doesn’t blink

Everything can change in the blink of an eye.
But don’t worry;
God never blinks.

Regina Brett


(Coach Tim and Dawn Criswell at one of the three son’s graduations)

You may recall that a couple of weeks back I asked for prayers for
an old friend and former colleague.

Tim Criswell is the Basketball coach at Carrollton High School.
I had worked with Tim ever since he was hired, nearly 30 years ago, to come back
to his old alma mater to be the head boys basketball coach…

Fast forwarding to August 5th…

Tim and his wife Dawn were involved in a serious bike accident on
Carrollton’s Greenbelt…the 17 mile recreational path that circles around the city.
Tim sustained traumtic injury and was life flighted to Atlanta’s Grady Hospital’s
Trauma Unit where he remains to this day.

Tim suffered broken ribs, a punctured lung and severe head trauma…
while quickly developing pneumonia and various infections along with
increased oozing and swelling of the brain upon arriving at the hospital.

I had promised you that I would offer updates as time and Tim progressed…..

This past week, as the brain swelling finally leveled off and reached the
magic number,
doctors were able to perform the necessary surgeries to
put a trach tube in place to better assist with breathing
(still on a ventilator but is being weaned off) as well as inserting
a feeding tube directly into the stomach to help eliminate issues with
aspiration and further infection.

Since Tim has been in the hospital his middle son has had to leave for college,
with his oldest son soon to follow suit…
plus Tim’s mother passed away this past week.
The comings and goings of life while husband, father, son has remained heavily
sedated…hanging in the balance of life and death.

Dawn, Tim’s wife, has been good to offer a daily update on their CaringBridge page
(caringbridge.org)
If you’ve ever spent anytime in an ICU watching over a loved one whose very
life hangs in the balance, then you can understand the roller coaster of emotions,
the fatigue and heavy weariness that eats away at ones mind and body…
Yet Dawn has spent most of every hour of every day with Tim,
spending each night at the hospital.

Her sharing on Caringbride comes each evening, usually between 10 or 10:30, as
she offers a recap of the day’s ups and downs.
These updates come with her own observations and feelings…usually about life
in the ICU unit and of the other families and staff she shares her time with—
She recounts the small acts of kindness that she soaks in like a sponge…
acts offered, or actually preformed, by staff members who are merely doing their job,
yet to Dawn, these acts are more than just a job…
they create an actual continuum and life line.

The other evening I was touched by Dawn recounting the fact that as she was finally settling down for the night, the movie The Notebook was showing.
A movie she just wasn’t emotionally up to watching but yet was a visceral reminder
that love is a verb….

Dawn offered these words:

“My dad is flying in from Chicago to spend the next 3 nights with me in the ICU.
I am actually laying down and the movie, The Notebook, came on the TV (not sure I can watch it tonight:). It is one of my favorite love stories of all times. The first time I read the book over 20 years ago, I knew that story was the type of love I wanted in my marriage – love as a verb. I am lucky that it has been the kind of love I have now and for the last 27 years with Tim. The kind of love Tim’s mom and dad had for each other for over 50 years.”

Yesterday she reported that Tim is beginning to open and close his eyes.
This comes as they are backing off from the heavy sedation while still administering
some very strong pain meds.

Tim is not yet responding to commands…but Dawn did ask yesterday for Tim to give her
a kiss and she noted that Tim did attempt to pucker his lips.

Here is the closing of Tuesday night’s post….

“I feel God’s presence all over this hospital – especially in the trauma and ICU.
It reminds me of a quote Larry Patton sent me –
“Everything can change in a blink of an eye. But don’t worry;
God never blinks.”
Love ya all!!!”

May we all be reminded,
God never blinks…never misses a single thing in our lives…

Please join me as prayers continue for Tim and his family…

You go to pray; to become a bonfire, a living flame, giving light and heat.
St Josemaria Escriva

25 comments on “God doesn’t blink

  1. atimetoshare.me says:

    Continued prayers for Tim and his family. I often feel like I’m writing a version of the Notebook in my daily blogs. Some days I’m angry, while others are filed with compassion. I need to journal these emotions, these bits of love, these life events so that my love becomes a verb too Your posts are written with an abundance of emotions and I truly cherish you as my friend.

  2. Wally Fry says:

    Amen and good morning Julie

  3. Lynda says:

    The words that Dawn shares on CaringBridge are an incredible witness to the strength that God provides to each of us when we are humble enough to ask. I’m sure that Dawn touches the hearts of many through this medium. Prayers for them!

    • I know.
      I have been amazed reading her updates. Last night she spoke of sharing the area where she sleeps each evening with the other families there keeping vigil over loved ones. How very different everyone is yet are joined together in single act of waiting…and watching.
      How the families either each mourn together or rejoice together…
      I don’t think she understands that she is actually involved in her own ministry during all of this….
      Thank you for your prayers Lynda—Tim is one of the best individuals I’ve had the pleasure of knowing and working with—a huge role model not only to his own kids but to the countless young men he’s coached—plus the girls he’s been an example to as he teaches both Health and PE
      The kind of man you want your own kids to with—
      When Brenton was little, Tim offered a two week Basketball camp for kids each summer.
      Brenton was no more a basketball player than I was but I wanted him to be exposed to a coach who was much more than just that…a coach who saw kids as individuals.
      Tim knew Brenton wasn’t a kid passionate about the sport but was willing to come out, learn and have fun. He worked with all kinds of kids and offered each one his attention…something so many kids, especially boys, today need…positive attention from positive male role models!

      It’s hard when things like this accident happen to “the good guys” but such is our lives.

      Thank you for your prayers!!
      Slowly but surely there is progress!

  4. Reblogged this on Talmidimblogging and commented:
    Praying!!

  5. phyllissnipes says:

    I know no other coach who is so genuinely concerned and in tune with his students. He is definitely unique among educators! I find myself at the point of tears every time I think about Timothy in such a condition, and Dawn faithfully holding vigil as he works his way back. Prayer for healing is of utmost importance, as well as prayer for Dawn’s continued strength and peace through it all. She is clearly an inspiration of dedication, love, and reliance on God’s great power!! Praying….

  6. Thank you for sharing this! I will join you and many others in prayer.

  7. Tricia says:

    Nice to see an update on this and that the direction while slow, seems to be trending int he right direct. Many prayers for the Criswells.

  8. oneta hayes says:

    They sound like noble people, jewels to our world. May God grant healing and continued peace to them, I pray.

  9. Amen and amen. He never blinks. I know because nearly 5 years ago I had a bad clot in a very bad place in my brain and at midnight God was there to guide the surgeon’s hands and keep me alive and well. So He not only never blinks; He never sleeps either. Praise God for all His tender mercies and amazing grace!!! 🙂 ❤

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