Dear Little Cousin

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build’em up with worn-out tools;

Kipling

Hola,

Will you pray with me — my little cousin was in a bad accident and they don’t know if he is gonna make it or what his quality of life will be if he does. I didn’t know what else to do so I wrote him a letter and just want to put it out there into the ethers. I will pray with you too. So if there is anything you want prayers for just add them in the comments.

Love,

Shiloh

Dear Little Cousin Kyle,

If I was with you right now I would want to speak to you of miracles. Tell you how loved you are. Of how nothing is impossible with God. But you know all of that already because you are a Grant, like me, and we are an unreasonable sort of folk. One way or another, rebel or otherwise, we Grants tend to lean on God.

There are more girls crying over you right now than ever. I woke up thinking (and crying) about you, like I do almost every day since I heard your story. No one knows what to say do they? I sure don’t. But I found myself wanting to talk to you — and somehow believing that you could hear me, and us, in your spirit. But then I am your big cousin from California and we do tend to believe things other folks don’t here in California. I believe that you can hear our prayers, at some cosmic level, you can feel it. And even if you can’t, some of us need to talk to you just because we don’t know what else to do.
I have heard so many stories little cousin, about miracles, even when the odds seem stacked. Right now it is hard for us as your family to see our way through to you being okay again. Nothing will ever be the same, that’s for sure. Isn’t it amazing how it just takes a second to break? We humans are fragile creatures, and you have reminded us just how fragile we are.

You have made all of us sit up and pay attention, to you, to God, to our own lives. I can see our Great Grandfather Gene’s face right now as clear as day and hear his voice too…there is something of him in all of us and one of those things he brought, as well as your Great Grandmother Eden, is a sense of invention, and creativity. When I think of you I cannot help but think of your father Brian’s hands. I wish I could remember if you had your father’s hands…but it has been a few years since I saw you. Your father’s hands are like his fathers, and his fathers. They worked with things. They work things out — things that to others seem impossible – to Grant men, almost anything can be made. Just ask your cousin Lael who seems to be able to make anything. I hope him or your uncle will read this to you out loud so you can hear it. Can our prayers, and your father’s hands, mixed with God’s own hands, remake you? Last I heard no one knows. My sister Shannon asked your dad how he was holding up, he said Faith. That did it, I had to write to you and add my faith to that of the rest of our family.

If I was with you I would want to play this old tape I have of grandfather playing spoons – have you heard it? I will pretend I am playing it for you right now. If the Grant men are creative and have strong hands, then I will say the Grant women are beautiful and wild. We like to dance and have our own way. Round here we are called, the “Grant Girls”. Or some might say, Here comes trouble.

The last time I saw your Mama, also a Grant girl, we laughed the whole time, she is so dang funny. I can even hear her laugh right now, how lucky you are to have a mama like Cheryl, who is interested in who you are and what you want in your life. When I saw her, it was at Great Grandmother Eden’s memorial. Great Grandmother Eden, she used to have your picture up and say your name with such sweetness, like when she looked at your photo it made her happy inside. I know you didn’t get to be with either one of your Great Grandparents on your dad’s side much — but let me tell you they both have legends worth learning and being proud of. Both strong folks. Did you know GG Eden could use a skillsaw and plumb a house and fix most any machinery? Her and our Grandfather Gene were quite a pair in their day. Ask your Grandfather, my Uncle Bobby to show you some of those photos when you are feeling better. We don’t always care as much about those things when we are younger, but time or tragedy can change what we care about.

You know what little cousin, I don’t know how things work of this nature, maybe no one but God knows but we all have a lot of theories don’t we? I don’t know even what I believe. If someone survives something like this they say, he’s a fighter. If someone dies they often say it was his time. We humans are fond of making things up to make sense of things – that’s just how we are. You are what we are trying to make sense of right now. I just talked to my mom, Caron, your great Auntie, and she says that you are “just 21”. That’s sad adult talk for “he’s so young.” But tragedies at any age make our hearts ache for what could have been.

I’m not good at talking with young boys, I never know what to say – and so last time I saw you I just stared at you and how handsome you were. I tried to talk to you a little and I liked your smile. I can see your face so clearly in front of me right now — and I wish I could give you a hug and I wouldn’t worry if you wanted one or not, I would just hug you anyway. You have a feisty smart pretty big sister don’t you? I do too, Shannon, around here we call her The Cinnamon Cowgirl. What beauties and what brains for big sisters we have huh? And I am sure Kendra put you through it didn’t she? And you, her!! She most likely prepared you for dealing with girls in a way that only big sisters can. We sure are lucky to have big sisters. And lucky to have Grandmothers – like yours, Beth, who my mom brags about all the time for her brilliance, her love of God, and her knowledge of scripture. If I was there right now I would clasp hands with her and then see who was up for an old fashioned laying on of hands – but I am sure they are doing that already, and I am joining in from afar.

They say that when a person survives something like what you got yourself into Kyle, that they have “a will to live”. I want to know, if could talk to you now, no matter what the rest of us want – what do you want? I hope you want to come back to us. I hope you catch hold of the light that you are and follow us back into this place called earth. It’s a strange place earth – when one person is dying another one is being born. It is a majestic creation that God has made us, and we sure have a hard time taking care of it, and ourselves. I am not one of those folks who believe everything happens for a reason, or a lesson learned, or that even God always uses hardship to teach us. Sometimes yes. But sometimes we just get caught in the precarious crossfire of life and find ourselves flying out of windows we had no business flying out of. I have no idea how it all works out — but in the mean time I know I can pray and let you know know I am thinking of you.

I add my prayers to the many that are being said right now, for you. I don’t know if God changes his mind based on how loud our prayers are — but I know it makes us feel better to think He does. The truth is, I really only want God’s will to be done in your life. That’s the truth-truth. However, there is another truth that many of us are holding for you.

We want you to come back to us. We want a miracle. We want your mind intact and your body to heal. We want your heart to be whole and your eyes to see and your ears to hear. We want your light shining in this world. We are a family that believes in miracles, and our lives and our earth are filled with them – and so we call on that miracle power now.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Please hear our prayer. Lord have mercy on Kyle. Bring him home to us, and to himself. Cause the doctors to be amazed. You who can raise people up from all circumstance, know how to knit Kyle back together just like you did when you put him in his mother’s womb. Heal Kyle Lord. 
In Jesus Name, Amen

I love you little cousin. And when you are up and about I am going to come and see you. I keep thinking of things I could bring you but I don’t even know what you like. Do you like to draw like your dad? Make people feel good about themselves like your mom? Do you like chocolate cake? When is I see you I want to know what your favorite things are…I want to know how you like to spend your time and what your dreams are.

We are Grants and inside each of us is a creative being, each in our own way a poet and a survivor. And ya, we are trouble makers too. I find myself side-stepping trouble on a regular basis but sometimes we just step right into it and have to get ourselves out of it. 

I believe on God for you little cousin. I am so glad you were born. I will be so glad to hug you again one day soon.

Shiloh

P.S. Below are a few things I wanted to send you, If by Kipling which was one of our Great Grandfather’s favorites. And then one of my favorite scriptures.

If

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build’em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

Rudyard Kipling

The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul:
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’ sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil: For thou art with me;
Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies;
Thou annointest my head with oil; My cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the House of the Lord forever.
— The 23rd PSALM