7/15/15 (Autumn)

An update from Scott, Autumn’s father:

“As I sit in bed well after 1:00 AM, I finally find time to get this update together.  The silence between our updates doesn’t indicate bad news, it just means that life has completely overwhelmed us.  Please understand we’ve been through a couple of tough weeks, so please allow me to pour out my heart. In May, the ICU experience was very difficult with very emotional days and nights that we limped through by God’s strength.  Now looking back it seems to be frozen in time.  Life stopped and we lived completely focused on Autumn.  This new phase we have entered is different.  I liken it to trying to merge onto a packed interstate with everyone cruising above the speed limit.  You can’t seem to get up to speed in time to merge safely so you have to force your way in after riding the extra lane for all it’s worth!  The last few weeks have been crazy busy.

We have spent a lot of time preparing the house for Autumn’s arrival.  Her inpatient stay at Craig is coming to an end sometime near July 24th.  We needed to redo all of the bedrooms and finish the basement to handle our new arrangement that would best suit Autumn.  We’ve had some generous people donate their time to help out on the projects that are still underway which has been very helpful.

Of course supporting Autumn in her rehab is top priority so Cinnamon and I are taking shifts at the hospital every day.  We’ve had some generous help from friends to cover three mornings so Cinnamon can come in the afternoons and I follow that up with a late shift after work.  I am pretty sure that the 40 min one way drive that we do many times a day is starting to wear on us no doubt.

So now regular “life” has been added to our scheduled care for Autumn.  This other “life” seems to be a bit bumpy of late with cars that break down, a hot water heater that gave out, a washer that leaks, a very busy work schedule, oh yes and we can’t forget the other five kids that need our attention as well.  I have also started the lengthy process to apply for guardianship with the court so legally, Cinnamon and I can make decisions for Autumn regarding insurance coverage, attorneys, and the very large bills that are starting to come in her name.  Her neurologists agree that she is not able to enter into contracts or navigate normal adult decisions without help.

It has been a lot of stress on our relationships and I certainly have been guilty of melting a bit and saying some things I do regret.  But God is a God of restoration and He has forgiven us and given new life and a hope that can never be extinguished.  I see my own frail attempts to keep it together and I marvel at God’s grace and love.  It’s not conditional and offered freely!  We are used to earning everything we get… so to receive something undeserved shatters our world.  Quite amazing indeed.

Autumn is returning to us slowly.  What I mean by that is she acts like herself in certain ways and then there are other things that her injury has clearly affected.  If you did not know Autumn before the accident and conversed with her now, you wouldn’t see very clearly where she struggles.  She communicates well and is way beyond her initial issues.  But if you know Autumn, you can see the problems she still faces.  Here are a few things she struggles with:  She is very flighty and fidgety and acts like she is 14 again.  She also gets nit picky about our other children when they are together and they bother her easily.  She doesn’t offer much depth to conversations yet and her emotional state is still very shallow.  Her Neurologists are not sure how much of this will return for her and what the timetable looks like. These are the areas we are praying for specifically and we hope you could join us.

As I share this I know it sounds like I am ungrateful for what God has done, but that is simply not true.  I thank God many, many times each day for saving her and the miraculous events He orchestrated for Autumn to be where she is today.  I know others struggle with much tougher outcomes than the one we are dealing with so yes, I do have perspective on that as well.  God gets all of our praise and we are thankful.  But that doesn’t nullify the personal heartache we still feel at times when we move along this rocky path.  This journey is not over and in many respects we are just beginning. Like most parents, God has borne deep within us a passion for our children that cannot be easily quenched.  And so we pray for them and fight for their well being.  And the day that dies in me is the day that God takes me home!

We are real people serving a real God.

P.S.  Stay tuned.  I am putting together a video which chronicles Autumn’s recovery from the second day to our current stage.  I plan on posting it when Autumn finishes her full time rehab at Craig.  I know many of you have never met her and this will give you a glimpse of the wonders God has done in restoring her to this point.”



17 thoughts on “7/15/15 (Autumn)

  1. On June 29th this year, I had a heat stroke. Too much coffee got me that(what was I thinking?). The pain was substantially worse than I’ve ever had. I recovered in 2 days. On that day I had the heat stroke, I was mowing lawns, working out at the YMCA, and walking my dog. By the way the weather was 90 Degrees F. God really was watching out for me. He is also watching out for Elijah and Autumn. Look at how they are getting better!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I continue to pray and your faithfulness to Jesus is inspiring. Do not think for a minute that anyone sees anything but grace in and on you and your beautiful family.May all rough places be smoothed by the healing balm of our Savior’s love.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I am still praying for you all and know that God has indeed blessed you as HE continues to heal Autumn. For those of us who have never gone through this, I for one, can only marvel at your strength and know that GOD is who is helping you all get through this. So I will continue to pray for all of you, including Elijah and his family, that God will continue their healing. God be with you!! Love, Jeannie

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I do not know you, or your family, or the other family at all. We happened upon this accident probably 30 minutes after it happened. We saw the truck…or more specifically…what was left of the truck…and worried that the people involved did not make it out alive. I stumbled upon these updates by accident and have been following them diligently.

    I am not a very religious kind of person (I do pray when the need arises), but see that your faith is astounding. I am glad that it has helped you deal with all of this. I admire that.

    I just wanted you to know that both of these kids are in my prayers and in my heart. I only wish the very best for them…that their journey to healing progresses more and more every day.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Scott, thank you for the update on Autumn – it is so much appreciated. We are members of the body of Christ and what happens to your family affects us in the spirit; so knowing the details of your lives help direct our specific prayers. Please know your update does not sound as though you are ungrateful – quite the contrary. But it must help to some degree to be able to share the challenges, and successes, that your family is experiencing. Autumn’s story reminds me of a young lady we know who suffered a head injury in a serious auto accident a few years ago. For a while, they didn’t know whether she would even survive, and if she would survive, to what degree she would return to “normal”. Last year I saw her at a local water park – she was the lifeguard! I envision the same for Autumn – she will be healed back to “normal” – or better, because she’ll have the knowledge that her God saved her mortal life for a greater purpose. We keep you and your family in our prayers and will help with finances whenever, and to what degree, we are able. God bless each of you.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. These “Real” posts concerning your life helps a lot of us, more than you know. I appreciate your honesty of your feelings, and how life really is when trials arise. God lifts us in our trials as we turn to Him. “How Great thou Art!” You are not alone, because He is always there, and as you can tell, there are many of us you do not know, that are here. I have Autumn and Elijah’s names sitting on my computer and as I work each and every day, I pray for them aloud, and I pray for them silently. God hears all prayers. God be with you as you go thru yet another adjustment. Thank you for your faith and courage. It helps my own.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you for sharing your feelings so openly & honestly. Your faith doesn’t mean your journey is not without pain & heartache. It means you have our friend & savior, Jesus, by your side, every minute helping you cope. May you feel the caring support from all those following Autumn’s progress. She and your family are in my thoughts and prayers throughout each day. May God continue to strengthen you & bless you.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank u for this update. We have never personally met you but are fellow home schoolers who live in cheyenne. We are friends of the Lowrys and feel like we have come to know your family a little over the past 2-1/2 months. Just want to encourage you and let you know your not alone in this journey. We continue to lift you up in prayer daily. In Him, Ivory

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I am one of the people who have never met you but heard about the accident and have joined in praying for both Autumn and Elijah and the families. I appreciate the updates as it helps to know how to pray specifically for your family. My heart aches as I hear of your daily struggles but know that our God will give you the strength to endure this trial and I appreciate your sharing honestly as it makes your story seem more real. It would be difficult to relate to you if you sailed through this time of testing without any problems. Know that I’m praying for peace for your entire family and am rejoicing with you over each victory. Your sister in Christ, Marilyn

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Glad to learn she is about to return home. Make sure you talk to everyone about state benefits she is entitled to such and Medicaid waivers, etc. They have been a lifesaver for our family. While our daughter is not old enough yet to require guardianship, we are preparing for that day, and have watched several friends go through it with their children. Reach out to the ARC in your area- they have great resources and often know of attorneys that will do the paperwork at greatly reduced cost. You will find your sea legs, I promise.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Grace and love from our dear Lord; there is nothing like it, and it will cover you all of your days. Our God is merciful. He has brought you all this far, and His faithfulness will never fail you. We are in deep agreement with you in prayer. Jesus will bring peace, and healing in you, Mr. & Mrs. Schwinn, as He has been healing Autumn.
    May the Love of our Lord Jesus give you strength through this journey.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Thank you for your updates! Even though I do not know you personally, it is so good to know how to pray; and so I am thankful for your vulnerability as you share the struggles of your journey with us! My brother in law had a traumatic brain injury years ago. This stage is difficult. There is a new normal in your life. His injury caused him to be very blunt (to the point of being rude/hurtful), but he didn’t realize that is how he was coming across. Please encourage your other kids with the knowledge that Autumn still loves them, but it takes a long time for the brain to heal and rewire itself. While he is not the same as before the accident, my brother in law is a wonderful man (graduated college with a computer science major) with a great sense of humor. I pray that God will give you good rest, wisdom to know what to eliminate from your life during this busy time, strength to continue to walk this road of recovery, and that He will continue to bring people into your path to help you navigate through the challenges. His timing is perfect! We praise God that Autumn is finally able to come home and ask Him to help you with this new transition! So thankful that we don’t have to be strong…His strength is there to carry us!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Nobody who knew Autumn before the accident could view these updates as ungrateful. We grieve with you, as well as rejoicing. To hear that tenderhearted, kind, patient, loving, personable Autumn is having struggles with flightiness, being easily disturbed by her siblings, or lack of emotional depth in interactions gives us direction for continued deep, pleading prayer. These things are so unlike the Autumn we all know and love. While we too are grateful for so much recovery, we are also miss Autumn as she was, and continue to pray expectantly and hopefully for a full emotional recovery. Thank you for the updates, and please continue them as you find time, without regards for how they might come across to any of us. Our hearts ache with you for the Autumn who was, even as we rejoice in the everyday triumphs of Autumn as she is today. We know that the sweet, loving, patient young lady of great depth and compassion still exists in the depths of her healing body, and we pray for many, many glimpses of that lovely spirit to shine through increasingly in the days to come. Even when we can’t see and Autumn can’t express her lovely soul, God sees it, and holds His precious daughter tenderly, loving the heart she can’t express and knowing the emotional depth we can’t experience with her right now. For now, our memories must sustain our aching hearts, but He knows the depth and maturity Autumn attained, and somehow, He holds that still in His hands, knowing in the present all that was and all that will yet be. Her heart can commune with God intimately even when we can’t see or participate in that process. Faith becomes believing in what we cannot see and trusting the hand we cannot hold – the hand which holds Autumn’s heart and mind as tenderly as ever.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I just saw this group in concert and I would like to dedicate this song to what I am calling “Team Autumn and Elijah”. That is Elijah and Autumn, all their family, Haley, and all of the rest of us that have chosen to unite in a spirit of prayer and thanksgiving over the past 71 days. Lift your voices of Praise to the King! He is on the throne and He still has a mighty work to do in Elijah and Autumn.<3

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Thanks so much for sharing that; it was beautiful and encouraging. May God strengthen and encourage you all each day, and restore Autumn as He wills. My husband and I can relate to the rocky roads, going through a special needs birth with surgeries in a foreign country – no parents allowed in ICU! 😦 So our continuing prayers go up to the Father for you. :o)

    Love and blessings in Christ Jesus, our Redeemer and Prince of Peace,
    The Jay Johnson Family
    Cheyenne, WY
    (Friends of Elijah)

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Our family doesn’t know yours either, but your situation is heavy on our minds and you are always in our prayers. His power is made perfect in weakness, and an honest assessment of our own power and strength is never something to be ashamed of. I appreciate that you’ve been willing to share honestly about those weaknesses, and you can be assured that prayer is already happening on your behalf. (In fact, as you no doubt know, the Holy Spirit himself is praying for you today.) 2 Thessalonians 2:16 –May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word. That is my prayer for you all today, in addition to praying for complete healing. Hang in there! Someday this trial will be over. Blessings, Charah Melchior

    Liked by 1 person

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