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Hearts full of gratitude

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Jim and Linda Cross of Moorelandappreciate the home community more than ever. They are giving back by donating most of the food, including the hog, for a Mooreland Friends Church Ham & Bean Supper/Hog Roast from 4-7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26.
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Jim and Linda Cross are back on their feet now after an ordeal that took months or surgeries and medical attention.

By DONNA CRONK - dcronk@thecouriertimes.com

MOORELAND — On a fall day two years ago, life changed forever for Jim and Linda Cross of rural Mooreland. And even through the months since have been filled with hospital and rehabilitation-facility stays, surgeries and multiple related diagnoses, treatments and pain, today they revel in a shared attitude of gratitude.

The Crosses showing appreciation to their Mooreland Friends Church, additional community churches, friends, family and strangers who prayed for them, boarded their pets, visited them, and helped in so many ways. The special thanks will come in the form of a hog that the Crosses are donating along with fixings for the Mooreland Friends Church Ham & Bean Supper/Hog Roast, 4-7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26 at the church, 101 W. North St. 

Freewill donations will be accepted with proceeds benefiting church missions. Along with the Mooreland-Fair-quality ham and beans will be a menu of cornbread, sausage sandwiches, roast pork, cole slaw, peach cobbler and other desserts and beverages.

“While at the rehab facility we talked about ways to repay some of the help and assistance we were given,” says Linda. “Timing is always best left to the Lord. The time has now presented itself.”

Tough times

The missions fundraiser comes two weeks shy of the two-year anniversary of the couple’s ordeal. Jim was loading a 2,000+ pound bull into a trailer to sell when the angry beast turned, charging out of the trailer and into Jim. Linda arrived in time to see her husband thrown into the air three times. She didn’t have her cell phone on her, and said aloud, “Oh God, what should I do? James needs you!”

She heard inside her mind, “Do something or he will die.”

Linda doesn’t know where it came from but she picked up a board, crawled through the barbed-wire fence, and hit the bull with the board. This angered the already-mad animal, who then attacked her. She, too, flew through the air.

“All the time James was crying out, ‘Stop that, get out of here, he will kill you too,’” Linda recalls.

The two laid on the ground, injured beyond an ability to stand, with the bull finally leaving them be.

Jim still had his cell, and was able to call 911 with the call reaching a Winchester dispatcher who thought it was a Randolph County call. Time was ticking as the dispatcher couldn’t understand their whereabouts. Jim hung up and Linda was able to get the phone and call again. This time the call was transferred to Henry County and help was soon on the way.

First to arrive was family friend, Sheriff’s Deputy Todd Keihn, who directed other emergency personnel. Keihn also contacted Kevin Marsh of Maddie Moo’s Custom Meats, also a friend of the family, who came to the Cross home and downed the bull with a single shot.

Numerous injuries

The couple were transferred first to Richmond, then onto Methodist Hospital. Jim’s injuries would include: a left pelvis broke in 13 places; a right leg broken below the knee; broken ribs; bowel injury with shutdown; development of blood clots in the lungs; heart ablation four months after the accident, hip replacement seven months after the accident and six months of physical therapy and rehab.

Linda’s injuries were: a fractured L-5 vertebrae requiring placement and later, surgical removement of the lower spine; fractured ribs; permanent damage to her sciatic nerve; and several months of physical therapy.

Despite it all, the couple speaks of the blessings and fellowship that comforted them in their times of need from their church family at Mooreland Friends, from area churches, the community at large, family, friends and so many others who took the time to pray for them, provide meals, help out with the pets, mow their lawn and so much more.

Linda says that while they were in treatment and recovery, “our family, friends and Mooreland Friends congregation were a blessing. We were risen in prayer and received cards from all over our great country.”

She says, “Our lives have been greatly changed and we are no longer able to enjoy or do a lot of the things we were able to do in the past ... Each day brings joys of its own in God’s way and blessings.”

Married 32 years, Jim and Linda both were raised in the Blue River area. Their daughter is Maranda (husband Logan) Cougill who have a son, John.

Jim and Linda met while they were working at the former New Castle State Hospital. Linda is retired after 37 years with the Family Social Services Administration. Jim still works at the National Guard Armory in Winchester. He was unable to return to his job for an entire year.

Says Janet Bales of Mooreland Friends Church, “They are a true miracle and a testimony of God’s faithfulness and answer to prayers.”

‘So many people, so many blessings’

“So many people helped us in so many ways,” says Linda. “Visitations, phone calls, home remodeling so we could function with walkers and wheelchairs, a hospital bed provided by relatives allowed James to sleep in the living room with easier access to his wheelchair.”

She added more to the list of all kinds of blessings, ranging from the psychological, emotional, prayers, food, housecleaning and help with “a bunch of medical bills.”

“A lot of churches only stick with their people,” Jim says, adding that in Mooreland “it doesn’t matter which church you go to, the people help.”

The list of helpful individuals and blessings continue to be mentioned by the couple from snow removal, mowing, transportation, gift cards and money from Mooreland Friends, Knights of Pythias and Losantville Masonic Lodge.

The couple provide a list of these names to thank: Pastor Ross and wife Sharese Smedley who came to the scene and helped as well as went to the hospital be be with them; Crist Schmidt and family; Luellen Farms, Jack Conwell, and Glenn Coffman, who loaded and transported the bull to be made into hamburger; Steve Cross and Todd Howard for feeding the cattle and helping with their sale; Jeff Pyles, Robin and Thomas Upchurch, Jeff Cates, Bennie Bird, Terry Sallee and brother David Cross for the construction and home remodeling to accommodate their equipment.

Also, for transportation to and from Indy courtesy of Stephania Cross; Lana and Jessie Jones; countless meals carried in by Mooreland Friends and other friends; yard mowing by Tim Conwell; Masonic and Knights of Pythias brothers and sisters for gifts, prayers and visits at various medical facilities and at home; those who cared for their other animals including a 35-year-old pony and their dog and cat.

Says Linda, “So many people should be listed and acknowledged. We thank you all, each and every one ... So many people, so many blessings. We thank God for all of you.”