Update, July 18, 2012

As i write this, Gary is sleeping soundly just a couple of feet away from me. i just sang him a song, in little more than a whisper, that is sometimes sung at the church we attend:

“glory, glory, hallelujah,

since i laid my burden down

glory, glory, hallelujah,

since i laid my burden down.

i’m goin’ home now, to be with Jesus,

since i laid my burden down

i’m goin’ home now, to be with Jesus,

since i laid my burden down.

The old song, a slave hymn, seems apropos to the moment.

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. Since yesterday, Gary’s physical condition has continued to decline. By bedtime last night, he was having trouble drinking  fluids and had a very bad cough.

We met with our Hospice nurse this morning (she has become family to us over the past 6 or 7 months) and she has advised us, after consulting with the doctors, to discontinue feeding Gary and to discontinue most of his medications. He is, she says, close to . The Hospice term is “actively dying”. She is quick to admit that no one knows how much time we have left with him and simply encourages us to do the very thing we have been, and are, eager to do: love him well to the very end.

By tomorrow evening, my 3 sisters, Dad, Mom and i will be here together, presumably till the time of Gary’s passing.

And of course, you’ll be here too, in ways immeasurable but real. i am convinced that, on some level, he senses your affection, feels your prayers, knows of your love and concern for him. And we will certainly endure these days as a family on the strength of your intercession.

We cannot thank you too many times. Nor can we overstate our gratitude to the Lord Jesus for the promises and the good hope of His gospel. “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift.”

For those who might be asking if we’ve given up on asking for a miracle from God; we would be overjoyed by the return of a perfectly healthy Gary. But we do not fear the probable — his passing away — and i’m not even sure that, as a family, we have been praying with great energy for a cure. We believe in miracles and would welcome one now, but we also accept that heaven itself is miraculous, every bit a much so or more than a short term restoration of health, and continue to simply pray that God’s will be done. We have no one that we can trust but Him, and we trust that, on account of our Lord Jesus, He has been, still is, and always will be “for us”.

We will keep you posted.

“Blessed are the homesick; for they shall make it home.”