atch me!” the words rang
out through the bright
sunshine as my red-headed ;reball of energy sped
past on his bike. I stood just inside the
door and watched in wonder as his hands
gripped the handlebars tightly and his legs
pedaled furiously against the brisk wind
that le; a trail of dust running a;er the
boy and the bike.
West Texas is known for the wind that
seems to whistle across the plains on a
regular basis. If you live in West Texas,
you either love the wind or you spend
most of your time indoors and miserable.
I love both the beautiful sunsets that paint
the big Texas sky with color and the dusty
winds that ;ll the air with dirt particles
and catch the light of the sinking sun to
give the sky its glorious hues.
Bloom where you are planted. It is an old
statement, but there is a lot of truth to the
words. I think, though, in order to truly
bloom where we are planted we must be
thankful for more than just the location
that we call home; we must also be grateful
for the circumstances and the seasons in
which we ;nd ourselves and learn to praise
God and see His loving hand in both the
good and the di;cult things in our lives.
Justin had learned to ride the bike late in
the summer, not long a;er his ;;h birthday, but winter’s cold had forced the boy
and the bike to wait until warmer days to
resume their journeys on the dusty farm
roads near our home. On that bright day,
summer was just around the corner and
Justin was taking full advantage of the
warm weather. Less than a week earlier,
he had coded on the table during a cardiac
catheterization: his heart had stopped as
the small tube attempted to pass through
the non-existent pulmonary valve, and the
physicians had immediately withdrawn
the catheter and worked to revive his small
body. Justin would soon face a second
open heart surgery to replace the defective
valve, but none of us could have imagined
what lay ahead for our family.
Justin went into the hospital for that second surgery on May 5, 1992. We had just
Where You Are
By Sheila Campbell
Above Le;: Justin, age 5, prior to surgery.
Above Right: Justin, Jacob, Jerrod, and
Jennifer in 1996. Justin is in a handmade
cart that allowed the family to pull him
about the farm and to go on nature walks
with his siblings. Le; below: Campbell
family, fall 2001, shortly a;er the death of
their father. Below: Campbell family today.