The Next Morning

Posted in From Al & Libbie, Updates at 8:08 am by Libbie

Good morning!

I feel a good deal more human after a night’s sleep, and have now read comments that people have posted here–thank you all for your love and encouragement!

Yesterday was a long day, but we saw the Lord’s hand in so many ways. For one thing, first thing yesterday morning He kept Al sane through yet another MRI, this time without any medicine to curb the claustrophobia–just Brahms playing very loudly.

For another, the surgery went smoothly. The doctor told me just afterwards, as he was briefing me on the details, that he had had to make the incision a bit larger than he’d planned. But the reason for that made me smile. He said the tumor was located right at what is currently the edge of Al’s receding hairline, and he didn’t want to leave a scar across his forehead, so he cut around behind it from the back so as to leave the scar hidden by the hair that will eventually grow back after radiation. How’s that for thoughtful?

And speaking of thoughtful, two pastors from our church came by to be with me in the waiting room during surgery, and then two of Al’s colleagues as well–who stayed with me for four hours! Rather than the wait seeming interminable, it was jovial. We talked, laughed, cried, reflected and just shot the breeze together, and it was such a nice time for me. And they told me that there was a prayer time at WTS at 12:30 and were able to update folks there for me. I’m grateful.

Also, yesterday morning Eowyn and Alden had to be at two different doctor’s appointments, six miles apart, at 9:45 (neither was serious; both were routine, but they did need to happen as scheduled), and then Alden got braces put on at 11:15. Before any of this recent development hit, Al and I were already trying to figure out the best way to work that out with only one car available. Of course as it turned out, neither one of us was around to take them. But Alasdair went with one of the kids, and Andy went with the other, and it all worked out fine.

Al had great nursing staff for both day and night shifts in the ICU, and when the kids came down to see him, they let us all be in his room together, rather than two at a time in short shifts. So we could all talk and share about things, laugh at Al’s humor, and even sing one of our favorite family songs (Non Nobis–the version from Kenneth Branagh’s Henry V) and pray around Al’s bed.

So, while we all ended the day pretty poooped (and the pain in Alden’s mouth from his new braces was killing him by the end of it), it was full of blessings nonetheless.

There is no doubt that we feel surrounded and held tightly by God’s good care and love, and also by that love expressed through you–the wonderful family and friends he’s given us.

Many thanks to him and to you,


PS: Al is not up to visitors yet, but he appreciates just knowing that you all are holding him up in prayer.


  1. Bob and Aimee Gerhard said,

    August 25, 2006 at 8:40 am

    We are praying for you. -Bob & Aimee Gerhard

  2. Judy Parnell said,

    August 25, 2006 at 8:51 am

    Dear Libbie,
    I usually check the blog at least once a day but I didn’t on Wednesday or yesterday so did not know all that had happened until Sally called us last night. Bless you all! So glad the kids are there with you.
    For 27 years we were in PA and would feel so far away from our family when they were hurting but now it is the other way around. Our “family” in PA is hurting and we are not there! Please give Al a big hug from the Parnells. We love you all very much.
    Ray & Judy

  3. Deb Henry said,

    August 25, 2006 at 9:30 am

    I hope you remember me from the plane. I just wanted to let you know that I am praying for you guys. I misunderstood what you had told me on the plane; I thought your husband’s father was the one you were referring to about all this- I’m sorry. The silver lining in all of our valley walks is that God does have you tightly in His grip. You will be on the mountain top again soon.
    Deb Henry

  4. Allie S. said,

    August 25, 2006 at 9:46 am

    I’m so glad the surgery went well! You bless us by your thoughts. And I’m so encouraged to see God’s people filling in. This is all so hard, I really can’t imagine. But, the Life that you exude gives Hope. And we know Who it comes from. We love you all so much and continue to pray.

  5. Fred said,

    August 25, 2006 at 10:50 am

    Dear Libbie & Al.

    Thanks for the updates. Mike’s phone call last night was a real shock, but we had a good talk and prayed together before we hung up.

    Libbie, at first I thought “Good grief!–having to go through Al’s appointment book and decide what and how to contact folks.” But then I prayed that those names would instead be God’s gift of grace, reminding you yet again of our–we in Al’s calendar–deep love and affection for you all in Christ.

    May the Lord’s mercy continue to rest upon you all, like a cloud that shades you from the sun’s heat and a pillar of fire that guides by night.

    And may those streams of mercy never cease.



  6. Susan Michaelson said,

    August 25, 2006 at 3:42 pm

    Hi Libbie:

    We just returned from vacation (no internet), and so I’ve seen everything at once. What a blessing that Al has come through this most recent ordeal.

    Continued prayers for Al, you and the family.


  7. Laura Salisbury said,

    August 27, 2006 at 2:29 pm

    Dear Al, Libbie, and kids,

    We’ve been joining with the many, many others in lifting you to God in prayer. I really appreciated reading Eowyn’s entry about Al glorifying God through his suffering.

    Please let me know if I can help with transportation needs, or if you need a blender to make smoothies for Alden’s aching teeth!

    With love in Christ,


Leave a Comment