Preston pictured with his friend, Jimmy McCoy.
I know! I haven’t posted in awhile. Life has had me in a funk lately. The recent, sudden death of someone that my boys loved sent me to a dark place that had a domino effect. I’ve wanted to count all the unfair things going on with me. I’ve excused myself from being around people that have what I don’t. I’ve envied the people that have a healthy spouse that you don’t worry yourself sick over constantly. The worry and anxiety threatens to choke me. I’ve envied the couple with the black bank account with extra zeroes and had multiple weekend getaways this summer. I envy those that have never experienced death, or sorrow. I’ve been so green with envy, that I even have a hard time being around my own mother. I love my mama, but the hand she was dealt is starkly different than the one I’ve been dealt. Why reach out to anyone? They can’t possibly understand. I’ve even pushed the crow away.
Today, I’ve had a breakthrough of sorts. I started counting the things that I CAN be thankful for. Before long, I lost count. Then I started thanking God for them, one by one. I thanked Him for Preston’s friend, the Real McCoy…. Jimmy McCoy, that is. As I started thanking God, the more memories stirred of more blessings.
Jimmy, and his wife Jackie, sat behind us in Church on Sunday mornings for many years. But it wasn’t until Preston and Jimmy both ended up having heart surgery within a few weeks of each other that a friendship formed. Several months later, Preston was in a coma and it wasn’t looking good for him. I asked our pastor to anoint Preston. Jimmy and several other men gathered and prayed over him. Jimmy had a gift from Jackie for me. I opened the envelope and found a mustard seed. I kept that mustard seed with me every single day, for over 2 solid months I rubbed that seed when the fear and anxiety would set in. That seed got me through some pretty bad days.
Fast forward to Preston’s recovery. While MY support team was absolutely amazing… it became clear that Preston didn’t have that same support. Everyone else’s lives went on. Ours didn’t. Our beloved Matt wore many hats…. he had his own family, was trying to fill a void with Chase and Hunter, and he was and still is one of Preston’s best friends. Preston loves him as a son and will forever be grateful for his friendship. Matt also has a full time job. I cried as I entered back into the workforce.
Leaving Preston was the hardest thing I ever had to do. Now he was all alone during the day. Even my own family said “they wished they could help” but they couldn’t handle the medical stuff. They hoped I understood. I’d nod my head but be reeling inside. Depression reared it’s ugly head in my sweet giant and even in me. I reached out to several men hoping they would step up and just simply sharpen the iron that the Bible talks about. They would do great for a few times but nothing consistent. I’d go back and beg again. Same results. Preston found me crying my eyes out one night and I accidentally told him the truth of why I was upset. He looked me square in the face and told me that he understood why men didn’t come around him. He was a reminder that they weren’t invincible. He said as long as he had Matt, he’d be okay. Bitterness started forming in my heart then… becuase I was not okay with that.
I started praying, and shared with my prayer circle how things really were at home. Jackie was in my circle. She saw my tears, and she shed her own as a handful of us prayed. At some point during all these weeks, Jimmy had started reaching out to Preston. Just calling to see how he was. And he kept calling. And kept inviting him out. Preston turned him down a few times. Jimmy didn’t give up on Preston. He kept inviting him fishing. One day, a brave Preston picked up that pole for the first time in years and had a wonderful time with Jimmy. They now have some regular honey holes.
The same thing happened with a set of golf clubs. The boys would beg Preston to go and play golf. Nope. Preston wouldn’t budge. He was a cripple who wasn’t going to get out there and embarrass himself. Jimmy wouldn’t give up. He has since had Preston on some swanky golf courses, just as recent as today. And Preston had a ball!
I took the picture of them together at a revival a few weeks ago. Jimmy asked me why I was taking his picture, to which I relied that I wanted to write a blog about him. He’s humble words were “I don’t need recognition from nobody. God knows”.
Matt and Jimmy have been and continue to be wonderful friends to Preston and I am so thankful and grateful that the Lord reminded me of this today. Jackie and the crow ain’t so bad , either.
If you need me, you’ll find me counting my blessings……one by one.