I have a friend.
No really, I do!
Tara and I became close in middle school, and our friendship remained strong through high school. We drifted apart in college, heading for different schools and living in different states, and we reconnected through the magic of Facebook years later.
I still have some of the notes we passed in middle and high school, a fact that delights me. My kids’ baby books may be woefully sparse, but I still have shoeboxes full of the senseless ramblings of young girls. I can’t share those notes with you today, because even I couldn’t handle the embarrassment of how ridiculous we sounded, but I can tell you that I was incurably boy crazy, and may have said on more than one occasion, “Who should I like?”
Who should I like?
Did I have too many crushes to pick one? Did no one stand out, but I needed someone to pine over anyway? I wish I could go back and smack 7th grade me upside the head. While I was there, I would have a serious sit down with me about my hair. I’m talking about your bangs, young Amy.
Thankfully, I found my forever crush, and so did Tara. The object of her affection for more than a decade has been her husband, Bryan, and it’s easy to see why. He’s pretty dreamy to look at, and he’s a loving, committed father and husband. Together they’ve made five adorable children, and they live this gloriously beautiful and rustic life in The Middle of Nowhere, Wyoming.
Seriously, you guys. I drool over Tara’s Facebook and Instagram photos all the time, and if I didn’t love her, I would hate her Pinterest perfect life. Get this, though: Tara isn’t even on Pinterest! Whaaat? I know, right?
I’ve told Tara a million times that she should start a blog, because I would follow that thing all the live long day, but she’s apparently too busy raising humans, and goats, and horses, and chickens, and cats, and dogs, as well as cultivating an incredible garden, and selling her homemade bread at the local farmer’s market to bang away on her keyboard like me.
Another thing that’s keeping Tara and her family busy is Bryan’s heart. He has some serious health issues, and while the Bailey family is still going fishing and riding horses, they are also spending an incredible amount of time in hospitals.
In the middle of surgery in November, Bryan’s heart rate dropped dramatically. After being life-flighted to Billings, he was outfitted with a pacemaker/defibrillator to help maintain normal heart rhythm.
Since the procedure, the family has traveled to see cardiologists in Billings and Salt Lake. Bryan’s medical treatment will continue for the next several years, and includes another scheduled procedure in a few weeks.
He was in the ER again just last night.
Bryan’s health problems are not only draining emotionally and physically for the family, they are also very expensive. The costs are mounting, and my friend and her family need your help.
A GoFundMe account has been set up to help the Bailey family with their travel expenses. If you can, please consider donating, and sharing this link with your communities.
You may not know this family, but really, you do. They are a loving couple who just celebrated their 11th wedding anniversary, they are raising their children to love God and their community, and they are carving out a life to be proud of, just like the rest of us.
Bryan is a teacher and football coach, and he needs a healthy ticker to watch his children grow, to take them to parades, and to continue to be a partner to his wife. There are basketball games to attend, and hills to hike.
There is life to be lived.
So often, we sit by, helplessly watching hard times fall on good people. This is one of those times when a few dollars can ease a burden.
Please join me in lifting up the Bailey family in prayer, and donating to help them with their growing costs. Worrying about money when you are worried about the scariest of life’s possibilities is an awful feeling, and every little bit helps.
Last month, Tara posted the above picture, saying:
“This is my family. My happiness. My heart. My world. We are a family. We are a team. We work together. We lift each other up. We cheer each other on. We help each other out. In 2 short weeks we will be driving back to Utah to admit my husband for another heart surgery. We will be spending our 11th anniversary around each other keeping daddy’s spirits up in a hospital bed. It’s the path that has been laid before us. And so we will conquer it together. We have to trust in God’s plan. And until then, and after, we will live day to day. As a team. A faithful team. A hardworking team. A loving team. Because we are a family. My family.”
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