Update first. My friend's husband is doing much, much better. And, we have the story finally straight. He rents pasture land next to his calf barn. He had noticed a strange truck spending a lot of time sitting in the parking lot of a church that had been burned a number of times because it was integrated. He wrote the tag number down for Just In Case. Fortunately.
Later in the day, as he went to feed, he saw the truck in the driveway of the house that went with the property he rented and that he watched over for the family who lives away from here. He stepped out of the truck and asked the man what he was doing. The man told him it was none of his business. My friend's husband replied that it was as he was responsible for the house and that he rented the farm that went with it. At this, the fella jumped from the truck, slugged my friend's husband, knocking him to the ground. Then, he straddled him and proceeded to hit him more than 30 times in the face, breaking every bone in his face, all while my friend's husband begged him to stop. Somehow, my friend's husband managed to get an arm free and poke two fingers in the man's eyes, wiggled his cell phone from his pocket and call 9-1-1. This caused the fella to get up, run to his truck and go home.
He, along with his father-in-law, returned to see if my friend's husband had gotten up from the beating. Apparently, when they saw all the rescue works and deputies, they fled. Since my friend's husband had the tag number, however, he was detained before my friend's husband was even in Winston-Salem. He remains in jail under $250,000 bond.
My friend's husband, meanwhile, has managed to get from the ICU to home in three days! The bleeding on his brain stopped on Thursday and by Friday the blood was re-absorping and the swelling in his face was going down. He could open his eyes and the opthamologist determined that he would not lose his eyes. While he will have at least one surgery, after the swelling is gone, we are all blessed by his quick turn around. We feel optimistic and he feels well enough to watch basketball and talk about going fishing!
This incident has reminded me how fragile our lives are. We never know who or what will happen even in the next minute. We take for granted that we are safe and secure in our worlds. The idea of violence or cruelty seldom enters our minds; it isn't what we would do, but we forget not everyone shares our values. Yet, we mustn't forget that there are many who don't have this assurance. And, we must work to bring peace, safety, and kindness in any way we can.