November 8, 2005
I’m a ball of emotion this morning. I met a wonderful man a little over a week ago. I’m very excited to get to know him so I’ve been tripping on tree tops since that day but this morning I’m in a different spot…
Last night, Tyler called from Shriner’s Hospital in Sacramento. He’d spent the day down there with Gram and Pop (Bob and Bev) while his cousin Josh was in surgery. The surgery was to place two steel rods in Josh’s back in an effort to slow the effects of Scoliosis. Josh has a disease called NF2. It causes small tumors to grow on his spine. In a previous surgery, during the removal of some of the tumors, Josh lost the use of his legs. He’s been confined to a wheelchair ever since and the Scoliosis has developed over time..
The boys have been really close since they were little. I have pictures of the two of them at Christmas riding their Wonder Horses in nothing but cowboy hats. I remember a little Tyler yelling “Watawah” while trying to get Josh’s attention. And this year, Tyler transferred from Wheatland High School over to Sutter High so he could be with Josh and help him out a bit in his travels. Ty wants so badly to help Josh out that he told me he’d rather buy a car than a pickup so it will be easier to get Josh in his vehicle.
At any rate, Ty called me from the hospital at 8:30 pm. Josh was finally in ICU after 10 hours of surgery to secure the rods in his spine. Tyler was crying when he called and had to take a moment to get a hold of himself before he could tell me how Josh was doing. He said he was lying face down because they did the surgery on his back. A lot of fluids had pooled in Josh’s face and his eyes were swollen shut. The doctors were worried that Josh would have some trouble breathing so they decided to leave him on the respirator. Ty said he touched Josh’s hand and said “Hey bud, it’s me, Ty”. All Josh could do to let Ty know he heard him was raise his eyebrows. Tyler fell apart again while telling me how badly he was hurting for Josh. He said he was ashamed of all the times he’d said hurtful things to Josh during their friendship. I told him that when we have friends, sometimes we say hurtful things but, if you are truly friends, that doesn’t diminish your love for each other. I told him I wished I was with him so I could wrap my arms around him. All he could do was squeak out a “Me too Mom”.
When I got off the phone, I got down on my knees (something that rarely happens with me anymore) and I prayed for Josh. I prayed for the people that love that kid, too. My heart is in a knot as I write this thinking how Kim and Malcom must be feeling seeing their boy in a hospital bed….again. But I also count my blessings. I’m glad that I know Josh. For a guy that’s been up against a damned hard medical wall since he was pretty young, this kid is amazing. He has the most fantastic sense of humor on the planet. They say adversity breeds personality and it’s apparent that Josh has accepted his plight and is making the best of it. He is a neat kid and I like him a lot. And the one thing I told God last night when I was asking him to be easy on Josh was “thank you”. Thank you for letting me become acquainted with Joshua Colton Hensley. A very inspiring young man.