Lean On Me, Song by Bill Withers
Sometimes in our lives, we all have pain
We all have sorrow
But if we are wise
We know that there's always tomorrow
Lean on me, when you're not strong
And I'll be your friend
I'll help you carry on
For it won't be long
'Til I'm gonna need
Somebody to lean on
Our precious Cole died Sunday, May 31, 2015, in Lubbock, Texas while surrounded by loving family and friends at the tender age of 15.
From the moment he was born, Cole captivated us and brought us much joy. He was a very happy and very, very chubby baby, that was constantly smiling and laughing. His first best friend was Rusty, his sweet Golden Retriever. Cole grew into a beautiful young man, brilliant and funny, giving his heart completely to the menagerie of animals throughout his life. Gracie, Kuma, Barkley, Ellie, Reese, Moose, Toby Cheese, and Soldier Waffles just to name a few – even the feral cat that Cole himself named Mr. Boogers. He had a special connection with animals and was often the instigator of convincing us to make a U-turn to pick up strays off the side of the road.
When he wasn’t spending time with family and friends, discovering new music, or playing video games, his inquisitive mind and adventurous spirit often led him outdoors. He loved to be on his skateboard, go exploring on a four-wheeler, and especially loved being in the pool. He was extremely proud to be on the MHS swim team and had recently received his lifeguard certification.
He inherited his mother’s compassionate heart and desire to help strangers, her willingness to try anything at least once, and her love of playing practical jokes. He inherited his father’s gifts of encouraging others, being protective of his family and friends and his amazing height and enormous feet. He enjoyed meaningful conversations, asking deep questions and giving hugs. He was also known to hack cell phones, change your screen saver without your knowledge, and was notorious for photobombing. He was an avid reader, enjoyed learning the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, loved to participate in anything competitive, and to tell mildly inappropriate jokes. He was sarcastic and witty, gifted and compassionate, and had the kind of hair that would make even Justin Bieber jealous. He was an excellent big brother. His little cousins cherished him and he never tired of playing with them. Cole had this amazing way of making the people he was with feel special. If he ever looked at you, intently, and held you there with him in that moment, you know exactly what we mean. He wanted his people to know they mattered to him.
Our Cole did not die in vain. As an organ donor, he will help approximately 200 people continue with their own lives.
We may never understand why this happened, but we DO know that God will never let go of us as we walk through this time. We take comfort knowing that Cole no longer hurts, he IS in Heaven and his body is now whole. Cole was perfect in our eyes. He was and is so very loved. He will forever live on in our hearts.
Cole leaves behind a large tribe of people, connected by marriage and blood and love and place. His mother, Rachel Nicholas Austin and brothers Zane and Sawyer; his father, Jon Austin and step-mother, Jennifer; step-sisters Charlotte and Ansley; his grandparents, Al Nicholas and Mary Nicholas (Grandpa Buddy and Grandma Mary) and George and Marj Austin; his great-grandmother, Eugenia Wilson; Uncle Dan Nicholas and wife Cheryl, cousin Jacob Nicholas and wife Ariel; cousin Melissa Nicholas; Uncle David Nicholas and wife Melanie, cousins Parker and Bodhi; Aunt Karin Austin Trujillo and husband Albert, cousins Amanda and Kassie; his confidante and partner in crime, Zac Marshall and Anabell; and the wonderful extended new family that welcomed him as their own: step-grandmother Mary Yocham, Aunts and Uncles Jim & Cindy Benson, Tim & Patty Prude, Todd & Becca Yocham, Scott Yocham and numerous cousins.. He is preceded in death by his great-grandfather Rev. William "Doc" Wilson, his great-grandmother Ivy Nicholas and his infant brother.
We cannot thank Brad Burgeson & Angela and Brant Glenn enough for their unfailing love and presence. We are especially grateful to the doctors, nurses and staff who cared for him at Lubbock Covenant Children’s Hospital, and to the thousands who prayed for Cole literally across the world.
A celebration of Cole's life will be held at noon on Saturday, June 6, 2015 at Stonegate Fellowship, 6000 W Wadley Ave, Midland, Texas.
In lieu of flowers, donations be made to:
Rays of Hope
900 W. Wall
Midland, TX 79701
The Covenant Foundation*
Attention: Child Life D
3623 22nd Place
Lubbock, TX 79410
*Please specify Child Life D on check memo line.
Condolences may be sent to:
In Memory of Cole
PO Box 9012
Midland, TX 79708